Wrestling comics, they've been done many many times before - from WWF Battlemania to lucha libre focused Sensacional de La Lucha Libres, through the current run of WWE comics written by Mick Foley. Some of them good, some of them bad - but, most of them are always intriguing. I didn't know what i was getting myself into when I decided to get this premiere issue. I guess, I was optimistic that wrestling comics could be again.
Our story begins in Japan, where we are introduced to a "lifer", who has yet to be formally introduced. He immediately introduces us to the fact that he is hiding something and is completely in denial of his identity. He immediately rejects acknowledging his wrestling career (by rejecting any memorabilia featuring him), he wants to present himself as somebody who has more. The magazine introduces us to his character, Matador. Who exactly is Matador?
The comic then flashes to a professional wrestling event. A show that seems abrupt with panic, a show that seems at the verge of collapse, but as they come to the conclusion "The Show Must Go On." Backstage with are introduced to a scrawny jobber known as Reynolds and another grizzled veteran. They are both struggling with their positions in the industry. The veteran wrestler gets a phone call from Dan - Dan Knossos, or the Matador, who wants to have dinner with him and catch up.
Andre - who is this guy? Andrew Aligreti is one wacky guy. But a hilarious character. Just thinking of him as a lawyer/shyster/manager/bails bondman/whatever else is interesting. I love how there is affection between these two characters, but also a distance to realign themselves together again.
Next we get to the diner scene at Murray's. Reynolds, and the other veteran, are waiting here for Danny Knossos. Reynolds turns out to be a complete mark for Matador. He can't help but show his inexperience and naivety, he is still super young in this business and has yet to learn proper respect. Reynolds then proceeds to get educated and warned about the business from Danny. Reynolds isn't exactly sure what to make of this speech. Reynolds also reveals that he has a boyfriend who he rarely gets to see. This is interesting in include and I hope that this idea gets explored in more detail going further.
Danny is now at a bar, drinking alone, when he is approached by somebody who goes by the name of Edward. Edward takes him to the alley where Danny gets jumped by several men. Men who he doesn't know and men who seem to have control of Teddy or know what is going on with Teddy. After this beating, Dan manages to find his way home where he is approached by his neighbor. She sees that he has been brutalized and she responds by granting her access to her stockpile of guns. I'm not entirely sure why she had this stockpile, but it's interesting. The comic ends with El Matador saying that he thinks that this stockpile of weapons is a good start.. The Matador is going to war, but the question remains - who is he going to go to war with?
Overall, I'm intrigued about where this comic is going to go. I like how even in this premiere issue they did a good job of creating characters that I want to know more about. Reynolds, Knossos, the neighbor, and more. I'm totally interested in finding out everybody's back story. I can't help but note how bright and vivid the art is which creates an interesting vibrancy to a story that is a bit more tame. A bit more reserved.