A comic book about wrestling has a number of strikes against it. The action will never be as fast and as hard hitting as the live version. The other being sometimes, a writer will stay real close to the wrestling world to make it boring or go so far off what wrestling is, it becomes stupid. The one good comic book about wrestling, I found was a back and white about women wrestling. In the issue, we see a younger female wrestler babysitting the child of an older almost over the hill female wrestler. The older woman just takes a beating in the ring through out the issue to the point, you think she maybe dead. When the younger woman gets the call about the older woman, it is heart breaking as she is looking at the child. It was pretty powerful issue that I still remember 15 years later. WWE Superstars is not going to be that black white book, but nor is it as bad as WWE’s first venture in the 90s which was just horrible.
WWE Superstars Issue 1 is an interesting combination of a lot of my favorite things. The first being comics hence the name of this site. The second being wrestling. I am not so closet wrestling fan even though I am not exactly a fan of the current product, a shock to some of you and a shock not to a lot of you depending where you are being linked from to this site. The last being crime mysteries. I love a good mystery. A mystery, a very good one will take you from one place to another while questioning everything around you. Its unnerving and if done correctly, makes you think. I am a big fan of questioning ideas and problem solving. So, you would think the combination of my favorite format, my favorite genre and one of my favorite properties would make a good book. You would think.
The story stars with our favorite golden boy, John Cena being in jail for a crime in didn’t commit in Titan City. Sounds vaguely familiar. Apparently, John stole a $10 Million briefcase, you could say it was Money in the Bank. There, we are done with that. HHH, who is sort in charge of the city along with the McMahon family wants John to get the money back. John agrees and is let out of prison. He eventually meets with Officer Christian of Titan PD and AJ, the women who ratted him out. This leads to a diner meeting with Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar about John making a deal with them to keep an eye on D.A. Orton. Orton is one of the guys who may or may not have the briefcase. Orton is also running against Alberto Del Rio, but is plagued by a mysterious man who spray paints Yes and No everywhere.
The other part of the story is CM Punk trying to get a Rally for the People together. He goes to the Undertaker in a bar. There are callbacks to their Wrestlemania feud from this year, but they are back to being on good terms maybe. Punk seems to the driving force of good on the streets. He does get attacked by the Wyatt Family gang, but is saved by the Big Show who may or may not work for HHH. Punk also has a relationship of sorts with AJ as does Orton. The story ends with Cena having to deal with a Mark Henry sneak attack and the abduction of AJ by the Belle Twins. It is a nice cliffhanger to a very large story.
There are other WWE Superstars like Miz as a TV host and Dolph as Titan Detective. So, we are starting off with a ton of characters. Almost too many. The book does have a nice color photo explaining who the wrestlers are and their roles as of now in the book. It is a nice rundown and if you read it again, a lot of it things start making a lot more sense. You could make an argument for maybe putting it at the beginning, but that is minor to the real problem with the book, the art. Let me start, I don’t think the art is awful. The problem is a number of the characters look the same. Orton and Ryback look so much like each other that I had to re-read the pages, they are in to see which one attacked Dolph. The character models need more distinguishing features. Some of the guys look like dead on like Alberto, Taker and the Wyatts. Yet, I think those characters are custom made for a comic book.
All in all, Foley does a nice job of winking at us with the dialogue. Cena’s You can’t see me catchphrase starts off the issue which is nice. The other nice part is that a lot of what is going on is happening on TV. Bryan and Orton’s feud is still going on as well as Cena’s interactions with the Authority. Its also interesting to make AJ, the center in which the story revolves. I know at least two people I know who will be more than pleased by this. AJ being the fem fatal fits with her character on TV. Actually, I can see everyone in the WWE as these people if they were thrown into this Film Noir bizzaro world. Foley nails these characters probably more than the current WWE writers.
Now, can this keep going? I honestly don’t know. If you are not a fan of John Cena as Jack from Chinatown or Cena which is not uncommon for wrestling fans, you might be out of luck. Yet, Punk being Daredevil and Bryan as Batman is pretty cool. HHH as Kingpin or maybe Lex is not that far off either. Foley does a nice job of setting up a big world to come. Still, we are talking about a wrestling comic book that has little or nothing to do with wrestling. There is a ring and there are wrestling moves, but there no mention of belts just trying to take over Titan City. Now will fans like the crime mystery or will they see it as too out there. Time will tell. For now, give a try, the price tag is $3 a book, average and it feels bigger than the normal comic book. It feels like you get your money’s worth. The real telling part is how issues 2 and 3 look, hopefully we can tell the characters apart in those issues. I recommend giving a read if you are a fan of the WWE or like the set-up for a dirty criminal world of headlocks and take downs.