Review: WWE #2
Professional wrestling and comics are probably not something you’d generally think of meshing together so well but BOOM! Studios’ ongoing series aims to prove that the storylines of WWE are just ripe for the paneling.
There’s a lot going on here, especially for someone who isn’t entirely up to date on the world of pro wrestling. If you want to get a more complete picture, pick up WWE: Then. Now. Forever. #1 along with WWE #1 and 2. The current run covers the story of the Shield and in particular Seth Rollins in his desire to be the very best. A bright young star fighting to the top of the pile with his two brothers, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, by his side. Seth gets offered a devil’s bargain by Hunter Hearst Helmsley, COO and married to the CEO’s daughter. Together, the couple and their cronies make up the Authority. Seth takes the offer and becomes the primary tool for the Authority doing “what’s best for business”. Unlike during his time with the Shield, he’s forced to do what he’s told and held back with a promise to make everything worth the wait in time. He wins Money in the Bank with their help, a contract for a championship title match that he can cash in any time and any place. Tired of waiting and with a little prompting from an old friend of Hunter’s, he calls his own shot at the biggest event on the WWE calendar: WrestleMania. He wins but what was the real cost of the title he sacrificed everything for? Was it even worth losing his brothers in arms? Can he be the face of the WWE or will he crumble under the weight?
WWE straddles this very interesting line with its story that reflects the storylines of the actual Superstars while keeping itself entirely within kayfabe. Kayfabe is the treatment of things that occur within a storyline, in ring and out, as entirely true. This was a thing the WWE franchise, then WWF, did a lot in the late 90s. It’s also why people tend to remind fans that wrestling isn’t real. Definite kudos to Dennis Hopeless on capturing the straight-faced comedy of some moments right alongside the drama and seriousness of others. Because of the very narrowed and Seth Rollins-centric focus, we do miss some important peripheral events that would make the context flow more easily, like how Kane transitions from corporate nanny to something else entirely. However, it doesn’t stand in the way of the story being told: one of Seth Rollins dealing with the fallout of betraying his friends to get a genie’s wish. The art of Serg Acuña and colors of Doug Garbark definitely build the larger-than-life and over-the-top ring personas, bright and not perfect to life but perfect to caricature. It’s exactly what this story needs, even if the art does get a little dissonant in spots when you have a general idea of the proportions of the actual people.
If, after picking this up, you want to know more about the Shield, Seth Rollins, and the whole storyline as it aired, check out the pay-per-views mentioned within the comic. You may end up spoiling yourself for the next issues but this comic proves that wrestling is more than what happens between the ropes.
Story: Dennis Hopeless, Aubrey Sitterson Art: Serg Acuña, Ed McGuinness
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0
Recommendation: Buy, especially if you’re interested in the storytelling aspects of wrestling or want a storyline to follow without watching 5+ hours per week.
Graphic Policy was provided with a FREE copy for review.