Matana: Leo Ortolani’s western parody

Here comes Matana: Prepare to diethis is the title of the new work by Leo Ortolanithe mastermind behind the idiotic superhero Rat-Manand this time not even gender western was spared.

Here we review the first issue of this new series published by Sandwiches Comics.


In the town of Goldencity a lone bounty hunter arrives in town to collect a bounty: it’s Matana! The devil’s left hand (it used to be the right hand, then the devil bought a smartphone)!

Tracking down a notorious outlaw to collect the large sum on his head, the bounty killer teams up with other hunters for even a chance.

Prepare to die (laughter).

The good, the rat and the bad

Over the years, Maestro Ortolani has managed to create countless parodies of famous films and stories, sometimes included in Rat-man (himself a parody of the Batman Of Bob kane), while special ones such as Star Rats, The Rat Lord, Friday 12 and so on.

This time the author has decided to try his hand at a genre that had so far escaped his sarcastic and incorrect irony.

Menacing stares at strangers, saloon booze, Mexican standoffs, monologues about soon-to-come death, you’ll find almost all of it here.

A western or, better to say, one spaghetti westernswith all its clichés and clichés, but well rendered by Ortolani through jokes and moments, they elicit more than a laugh from the reader.

Matana: Leo Ortolani's western parody
One of the many clichés parodied in the issue – Photo Credits: Web

matana, that face is not new to me

As usual, the characters of his magnum opus take the main roles within the plot: so here it is Rat-Man as the protagonist, with his distinctive ears sticking out of his hat.

Inspector BrakkoRat-Man’s sidekick and friend, becomes Isaiaha slave who must redeem himself, taken to make fun of rampant racism and excessiveness politically correct which affected various sectors of comedy.

Cynthia Otherside (protagonist of a beautiful graphic novel released a few years ago), takes the role of Djangaan old acquaintance of Matana (unfortunately for him), whose name is clearly taken from DjangoOf Sergio Corbucci.

As already mentioned, there is no lack of quotations and references, but there are some that are much more subtle and little known to most, for example the protagonist’s talking horse, a clear homage to Jolly Jumper of the Lucky Luke Of Goscinnyfrom the always ready joke (caustic or not), others obvious, such as Hopedeuteragonist of history.

Matana: Leo Ortolani's western parody
Gag between Matana and the talking horse – Photo Credits: Web

The latter has the appearance and character de The man with no name from the Dollar trilogy interpreted by Clint Eastwoodtaken faithfully without caricaturing it too much.

An individual who rarely breaks down or shows another expression than that shown by the cinematic counterpart from which he is taken.

Matana: Leo Ortolani's western parody
The enigmatic Hope – Photo Credis: Francesco Brasco Baiocco

It is significant that this character is assigned the most serious speeches in history. A sign of respect and at the same time a tribute to one of the most important figures of Italian and international cinema, at least for now.

In conclusion

The first issue of Matana is very promising and manages to keep the attention high. Well-distributed gags and jokes alternating with more serious moments, with cinematic cut scenes typical of the western.

What we need to see and understand is how the next issues will evolve and what other trappings of the genre will be used and parodied.

All that remains is to wait for the next appointment in April with Shoot harder… Matana can’t hear you!

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Matana: Leo Ortolani’s western parody – Metropolitan Magazine