Rat-Man Saga: flex my muscles and I'm in the myth, review

Rat-Man Saga: flex my muscles and I'm in the myth, review

Rat-Man Saga

I flex my muscles and I'm in the void. For two decades this joke has been a harbinger of paradoxical adventures and unsettling moments of great emotion, two aspects of one of the most atypical and, in a certain sense, significant comics of the Italian comic scene: Rat-Man. Born from a visceral passion of its author, Leonardo Ortolani, the Rat, as the unlikely hero has been affectionately renamed, has been able to win the affection of more than a generation of readers, thanks to a thriving production that, in addition to the series owner composed of 122 numbers, led the Rat to confront the parodies of the great works of pop culture, from Star Wars to Star Trek, without forgetting Alien or The Lord of the Rings. Yet, in the midst of this maelstrom of stories, now that the long editorial adventure of the little superhero of the City with no Name is about to face one last, unmissable undertaking: officially becoming a Saga. It is in this nature that the Rat-Man Saga is presented to the public, a collection in twelve volumes of the stories that make up the main corpus of Rat-Man's life.

Over the years, Ortolani has not limited himself to telling the funny existence of Rat-Man, as we said earlier, but he was involved in a series of corollary adventures that have often extended the times of the main storyline. The previous reprints, always maintaining a consistency in recurring, have kept this trait, which is why Panini's recent decision to re-publish the Rat-Man Saga, focusing expressly on the main course of the myth of the Rat. A precious opportunity, both for the loyal readers of Ortolani's superhero, and for those who might discover it for the first time.

Rat-Man Saga: how to best read the myth of the Rat

To understand how much Rat-Man has been important for the Italian comics, one could think about how the last chapter of the his Saga, When it all ends, was a real event. Not a simple ending, but a strong confirmation of how authentic Rat-Man is, alive. With the strengths and weaknesses of a true human being, including the most human of characteristics: the end. Throughout his life, the Rat has tried to be a true superhero, capable of great deeds, but ends his long life by becoming something more: himself. The Rat-man of When everything ends is the sum of all the different souls of the character of Leo, incorrect, stupid and boastful, but also sensitive, in love and heroic, ready to sacrifice even when he knows that he has no hope. Rat-man has never been a hero, but he has always been a man, in the true sense of the word, above all in his being fallacious and clumsy, but because perhaps on a subconscious level he has chosen to be one. And above all, with this chapter of his, the Rat shows how his whole long adventure, his Saga, was a spectacular, irreverent demonstration of humanity. A goal achieved thanks to the fortunate crasis between irreverent and irreverent humor and the deep knowledge of the superheroic world, with which Ortolani has repeatedly ironized.

Intelligent and irreverent humor

With agility, Ortolani was able to offer us irreverent humor and politically very, very incorrect, with jokes that were designed both to make us laugh beyond all limits and to instill a minimum of critical thinking. The dynamism of Rat-Man's stories followed a precise rhythm, which struck the reader's heart precisely because of an alternation between surreal and emotion, when we least expected it. The absurd joke was followed by the sentence to effect, one second you have in front of a dwarf in a dumb-looking tights and the next you find yourself admiring him for his spirit or for a poignant sentence.

Collingwood’s cat killer saga no more than age-old hysteria

Andy MacDonald/Stuff

Gerard Hindmarsh says allegations of a cat killer in Collingwood resemble a witch hunt.

Opinion: Rumours of a cat killer in Collingwood certainly seem to have taken the small town by storm.

Accusatory Facebook posts, a map of the town with only the houses of suspects marked, a reward poster of $5000 for information leading to an arrest, trail surveillance cameras installed and tracking devices attached to pets.

Totally out of control.

The main perpetrator of the accusations claimed in the latest news report to know exactly who did it, but just can’t prove it.

READ MORE:* Missing moggies spark fears Collingwood's 'cat killer'could be back on the loose* ​What does a cat do when nobody's looking?* New Zealand cat owners 'miles' behind Australia in taking responsibility for felines' killer instincts* After three years and hundreds of grisly deaths, Britain's 'cat killer' case is solved

Yeah right!

I showed all the facts to an anthropologist for an overview, who was quick to suggest the small town accusations closely resembled the build-up to the Salem Witch Trials in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693.


A map has been distributed around Collingwood, showing the location of the missing pets. Another version includes the name of the 'suspects'.

More than two hundred people ended up being accused.

Thirty were found guilty, nineteen of whom were executed by hanging, 14 women and five men.

One other man, Giles Corey, was ‘pressed’ to death for refusing to plead, and at least five people died in jail.

Spreading to nearby towns, the episode is now regarded as colonial America's most notorious cases of mass hysteria, and remains a cautionary tale about the dangers of isolation, religious and moral extremism, false accusations, and lapses in due process.

Many historians consider the lasting effects of the trials to have been highly influential in the subsequent history of the United States.

Think I’m stretching the connection too far?

Andy MacDonald/Stuff

Some Collingwood residents are keeping their cats close due to rumours a cat killer is behind a number of cats that have disappeared.

The Croydon Cat Killer is the name given to a hypothetical individual alleged to have killed, dismembered and decapitated more than 400 cats around London, beginning in 2014 in Croydon, South London.

Media reports became more and more hysterical, with many reports quoting residents saying they knew the identity of the killer or the area where they lived, based on where the dead cats were found.

Maps were produced backing up the accusations, just as they have been in Collingwood.

It all continued to escalate until 2018 when the police revealed that DNA tests on recovered cats revealed all the mutilated cats tested were the result of predating foxes, often scavenging on cats killed in vehicle collisions.

At least one expert, Richard Ward, a lecturer and historian of crime and the reporting of crime at the University of Exeter, stated his view that the Croydon Cat Killer case was an example of a “moral panic”.

The people who had been accused all fell into one category – they didn’t quite fit into society.

Let’s face it, not everyone likes cats in New Zealand, in fact they hate them.

Dr Gareth Morgan caused a so-called “uproar” in 2014 when he set up his website Cats to Go, where he called for all cats in this country to be wiped out, claiming felines were nothing more than sadistic natural-born killers that destroy native wildlife.

But it was obvious at the time that lots of people agreed with him.

Cherie Sivignon/Stuff

Collingwood has been taken by storm by allegations of a cat killer living amongst it.

It wasn’t exactly a new idea, mind you.

On southern Stewart Island at remote Port Pegasus about 15 years ago, I came across “Cat Catchers Camp”, a hut set up by the NZ Forest Service in the 1970s, to rid the area of the wild cats ahead of establishing a kakapo protection zone.

That cat killing team exterminated upwards of 400 wild cats in their time there, no sympathies included.

It’s largely thanks to their efforts that we have the nucleus of a kakapo population at all today. It is thought the very first ship-jumping cats introduced themselves into New Zealand at Port Pegasus, coming aboard sealing ships as early as 1814.

Let’s get this right. It isn’t actually illegal to kill a feral cat, just like it isn’t illegal to put down an old dog, you just can’t inflict pain or cruelty in the process, even if we do it wholesale to lots of other critters who we regard as not so cute.

Maliciously killing a domestic cat is a criminal misdemeanour punishable by a $1000 fine or a year in prison in New Zealand. Cats have the right to trespass.

So how many cats have gone missing in Collingwood?

One figure bandied about is 50 over five years, while some claim the figure is much higher.

But only one moggie who returned home from wandering and died an “agonising death” on the way to the vet appears to be the only actual cat cited as actually dying like that.

Who knows it could well have eaten rat poison, unintentionally laid for rodents? The rest appear to be anecdotally missing or unexplained disappearances. Not exactly an overwhelming case.

Weighing up all the evidence, which is little more than hearsay, I believe there is very little anyone can realistically conclude in Collingwood.

Evidence is plainly lacking even as to whether the perpetrators are human or otherwise.

And just because someone has in the past expressed their dislike for cats wiping out the local native bird population doesn’t mean they should be finger-pointed as a suspect.

Powered by Blogger.