If there are any of you out there that remember the sheer undiluted excitement that you got from the antics and exploits of the WWF, then we’ve found the comic for you! If the names Junkyard Dog, Sgt Slaughter, the Undertaker, Ric Flair and Randy Savage ring any bells with you, stay tuned sports fans, cause things are going to get rough.
Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia issue 1 is a fun and thrill packed nostalgia fest from the talented writing partnership of Ed Kuehnel and Matt Entin. If those names sound familiar, you might be thinking of the cult horror classic movie Lumberjack Man or video games too numerous to mention.
Ed and Matt know a thing or too about writing, and it shows in the dialogue for this comic. The interactions are sharp and believable, there’s not a barrel load of pointless exposition and they let the art do a lot of the talking.
Speaking of the art it’s supplied from Dan Schkade with colour from Marissa Louise. The back cover blurb gives you the premise of the book, “When a disgruntled professional wrestler declares himself “galactic champion of the universe” an alien planet of wrestlers sees it as an act of war”. That pretty much sets the scene for the first issue, and what a great first issue it is. The team bring you 32, yep, 32 pages of wrestling mayhem, that is written with wit and charm, and an obvious love of the chosen subject.
I could be wrong, but I would venture that the writing has been influenced by a past obsession with the sport, and that’s exactly why this comic works. To write about certain subjects, you need a passion for it in the first place, and the story here plays on the tropes that fans would associate with the bygone era of wrestling mania.
We have over the top characters, and Rory Landell is the fighter that causes all the trouble in the first place. When he airs his views live proclaiming himself “Champion of the universe” while claiming that “There could be a Martian,” and he would have him “laid out on his martian back”, you know that powers greater than ours will be raising an eyebrow in disapproval. Now you have to admit it’s a great concept, and luckily the writers know how to pitch the story. It has some great lines and set pieces, and the artwork helps push this forward.
Dan Shkade lends his style well to the story, it almost reminds me of The Venture Brothers, and if you look closely you can see some Brock Samson in Landell. Dan has a slightly cartoony style, and I was pleased to note that he has done some work on The Spirit, you can clearly see Eisner is a big influence here. The cover also has a nice retro feel to it, and looks like a Marvel Kirby cover from the 70’s. Colours and edits are all in place, making this a nice package to go looking for.
There are 2 issue available and you can find them on Amazon, Comix central and Comixology. If you are a wrestling fan, you MUST pick this title up, and if you are looking for something new and fun you could do far worse than this. In an age where comics are bogged down in the lore of their own past triumphs, and reading them seems more of a chore than a fun pass time, give some indie stuff a go. I loved this issue, and it deserves a bigger market.
I know Bendis is on Superman and Wolverine’s coming back, but c’mon, this has a wrestling bear and a midget in it, I know what I enjoyed more!