Review – WWE #1 (BOOM! Studios)

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Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Dennis Hopeless, Ross Thibodeaux
Artists: Serg Acuña, Rob Guillory
Release Date: 18th January, 2018

First, let’s get the joke out of the way. The writer of a comic about WWE is called Dennis Hopeless, which is a surname befitting of the WWE creative team in 2017. It’s not too cynical to say that Monday Night Raw hasn’t been very good of late, with superstars stuck in a stale cycle of inconsistent booking, no creative direction and barely ever given a chance to wrestle. There is more wrestling in the opening few panels of WWE #1 than the Cruiserweights entire duration on Raw so far. It also takes us back to a time in the company’s recent history when Seth Rollins was the biggest heel in the industry and Roman Reigns had yet to be shoved down our throats. However, unlike the contemporary real-life WWE product, Hopeless’ story is anything but hopeless.

While it is likely that this will do nothing for those outside of the WWE Universe, the story is an interesting insight into the WWE product which also adds an extra layer of fantasy. For instance, the story opens with Rollins ascending the ladder to retrieve the Money in the Bank briefcase – which was a real storyline – as he embarks on his journey to become the world champion, but it’s depicted in such a way that the characters always remain just that. Kayfabe isn’t broken as the cartoon universe we see on TV is extended to the backstage area once the cameras are off, which in the current era of reality – where no one even pretends wrestling is fake anymore – is a nice touch. This adds an extra layer to the characters we’ve come to know from TV and video games throughout the years.

Where WWE #1 falls a little flat is that it features storylines most of us who are still masochistic enough to watch WWE already know. While it is good to launch the series with the familiar and expand on it, some might find it uninteresting if they’re seeking fresh stories with their favourite superstars. That said, for what it is, WWE #1 is good storytelling with strong characterisation and serviceable artwork. I imagine it’ll go down well with the enthusiasts and possibly serve as a gateway to WWE for others, but overall, it’s just some good fan service to add to WWE’s myriad of mediums they’ve got a slice in.

In summary, WWE #1 is well worth a read if you’re a wrestling fan or even mildly intrigued by its shenanigans. And it’s much better than Monday Night Raw, so you’d be better off just reading this as opposed to watching three hours of that every week.

Rating: 3/5.

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The writer of this piece was: Kieran Fisher
Kieran Tweets from @HairEverywhere_.

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