A Review From Christopher Franey
Alright sports fans we are back for round three of Wrestletopia and some more layers are peeled back and we discover that love isn’t lost. The issue opens with the Wrestletopians busting into Dick Drasin’s office and destroying his pricey doors; something I enjoyed about this issue was how Dick kept mentioning the price on “fancy” things which I found to be a funny tick of his throughout. Manifest Destiny and his crew come in to set things up and get “Rock ‘N’ Roll” Rory Landell for their showdown. This was fun to see that Dick could hold his own and also has quite the tolerance since the Wrestletopians are very much into destruction of his office items. Now both sides have come to an agreement for this intergalactic faceoff for the Galactic Belt and lucky for the world it will be Pay-Per-View too!
In the end it will be a 70-30 split in revenue in favor for the Wrestletopians but at least Dick got merchandising and home media rights. Then we are taking back to Rory’s situation in which he was captured by rogue wrestlers from space; still Wrestletopians I just wanted to try something different. So they manage to take down Rory and are going through his stuff when we get to see “Mini Macho” take on the thugs and this is a great moment to show off Dan Schkade’s layouts as the wrestling action is very on point and features astonishing moves. Luckily Don, Rory’s former manager and mentor, frees him and the three now have to get to St. Paul.
Before the scene change we see Rory collect his personal things and he has a folded up poster of himself and Linda, aka “Spanish Rose.” So it doesn’t look like she was forgotten which is great as I would love to see what happened to her after Rory left. Next we head over to an emergency summit of world leaders and they come to a conclusion that only other wrestlers can stop the Wrestletopians. This is so much fun as we get to see these nation based wrestlers be featured and defended by their representative and this is probably the most functional I’ve seen the U.N. be in order to help the world; you’ll enjoy their wrestle free for all. I also really enjoyed the two reveals this issue, the first being the secret origin of “Mini Macho” which was just positively inspiring and well laid out on the page too.
The second review was finding out who “you know who” was from issue two; Adrian Polaris, the speaker for Manifest Destiny, reveals himself and the others with the mark of the New Zodiac who wish to dethrone Manifest Destiny. They figure if they can prevent Rory from making it to the match they can get their own ringer in to win, who would happen to be “Sunny” Jim Cooley, “the Peach Blossom Playboy.” Remember when I mentioned that Dick has a strong tolerance? Well it is proven as one of the wrestlers grabs him by the…you know, his namesake. So Dick and the New Zodiac have formed an alliance…looks like we might be gearing up for a three way match.
Again I strongly recommend this series, it is such a fun comic and a great mood booster as it will have you laughing at the situations and how wild they get. Inspiring moments help to keep you rooting for Rory and the action is just on point. Ed Kuehnel and Matt Entin have crafted a fantastic adventure with lots of layers that keep unraveling with each new issue, can’t wait for the next! Also read the wrestler bios as the end of the issue, great humor and insights. This mini-series was created and written by Ed Kuehnel & Matt Entin of Suspicious Behavior Productions, the production company they founded in order to waste money, find them on social media with links here: Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook. Also find artist Dan Schkade on Twitter and Here
Chris’ Comic Book Corner: Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia #2 Review: The Challenger Has Shown Himself!
A Review From Christopher Franey
We are back for round two of ‘Wrestletopia’ by writers Ed Kuehnel and Matt Entin along with artist Dan Schkade with colors by Marissa Louise. This issue is going to open with a heck of a gut punch to the feelings; I’ve been reading comics for quite a while and every now and then you run across something so sad that it hits hard…the Death of Gwen Stacy was a sad moment, Batman getting his back broken was just so horrible to watch, and now I can say Rory Landell’s childhood was just some pure sadness. That opener with his parents was a hard pill to swallow and it does build on why Rory went into wrestling and also serves as a “secret origin” to the shirt Rory wears too.
After the flashback/nightmare that Rory has, the scene is shifted to an observatory and we get to see what the local workers are seeing; just something that hits the imagination hard and fast…a steel cage…built around the world! It makes so much sense but it is just wild and crazy; I can’t wait for you to see that visual it is the best. We are then taken to Don, Rory’s friend/manager/mentor, and he is having a fun time with his lover (don’t worry it is tasteful) when they start catching the news and we have our first public sign of the invasion as Manifest Destiny starts laying down the words pretty heavy and calling out Rory for the galaxy championship. I really enjoyed as Manifest was going on with his smack talk that the other “Wrestletopians” were invading Earth at famous landmarks it was hilarious to see F.B.I. agents taking on wrestlers at the White House.
In this issue we are treated to a new character, Mini Macho; it turns out he is also looking for Rory and it appears they have wrestled in the past. If you also in this and last issue you find that Rory has knee problems and it seems that Don was able to fix that, but the two aren’t together right now. We are treated to Rory taking on some of the “Wrestleopians” which looks to drive to a meeting for a future issue as Rory is taken down. Make sure to read the extra material at the end of the issue as there are some clues in there.
Dan Schkade does a fantastic job on his layouts for the issue; he has a way with having his figures more in dynamic ways and it displays some great action scenes. I have seen Dan’s art before in Will Eisner’s the Spirit Returns from Dynamite comics so Dan is an artists who can draw a hero who gets beat on but never quits, so this is perfect for the story of Rory. Ed and Matt’s story is fascinating and with issue two they do a great job of peeling back layers; with Rory’s past and then the current situation with Manifest Destiny. Mystery is also involved as some of the “Wrestleopians” mention taking Rory to someone else so that should be interesting to find out later. These two writers also bring the humor along as the characters are great with their loud boisterous ways and the feelings creep in as well with the flashbacks to young Rory. Get ready for a slam-down on your heart strings, brother!
So do yourself a favor and check out issue two as it keeps the flow going and is building to a galactic showdown that keeps your inner wrestling fan wanting more. This mini-series was created and written by Ed Kuehnel & Matt Entin of Suspicious Behavior Productions, the production company they founded in order to waste money. Social media is here: Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook.
Chris’ Comic Book Corner: Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia #1 Review: Get Ready For Thrills And Spills, Brother!
A Review From Christopher Franey
Straight out of Starburns Industries Press comes an invasion of wrestlers that is just a fun dynamic comic to read. While I was reading issue #1 I felt that same energy, excitement, and hyperbole of the WCW/WWF on Saturday mornings as a kid and it was a fantastic revisit to those days. The story by Ed Kuehnel and Matt Entin is a nice mix of nostalgia, romance, and hard knocks that puts “Rock N Roll” Rory Landell’s journey on our radar. Rory starts off as the young up and comer who is going to be the champion; luckily he has a great woman in his corner to motivate and inspire him, but sadly to Rory that isn’t enough…those dreams of being the champion are all he sees. Even the advice he gets from his manager, “Mr. Don Fong Wong”, isn’t enough to stop this head strong wrestler from pursuing the championship. We are introduced to a character that is just tragic enough that you feel for him but you know he can’t be helped until he wants it; very nice opener for the inaugural issue.
To add to Rory Landell’s problems he is going to be bypassed as the new American Wrestling Federation champion in favor of “Boy Scout” Bob Schultz keeping his title for those higher pay-per-view ratings. With this bombshell happening Rory decides to bite the hand that feeds him and during his pre-wresting interview Rory declares himself the “Galactic Champion of the Universe” and I love how that statement will come back to haunt him. Remember earlier how I mentioned nostalgia, well that works perfectly as the story opens back in 1999 and then flashes back to 1984 which would be when Rory makes his bold declaration and those galactic claims finally make it to Planet Wrestletopia fifteen years later. So not only is Rory having a hard time on Earth his problems are about to go universal.
I really enjoyed the dialogue and humor in this first issue as it plays perfectly to the troupes of televised wrestling; all the extravagant build up and multiple use of “brother!” The characters interacted perfectly to establish a history and you do feel for Rory’s girlfriend, Linda, and Mr. Don Fong Wong as they really care for Rory but their hopes for Rory are dashed. The issue does leave you wanting more as we are barely introduced to Manifest Destiny but it will be very exciting to see him go up against Rory, who is currently a washout. If you enjoyed The Wrestler movie then you are going to enjoy this lighter look at a lost hero’s path as it keeps the drama but has just the right amount of laughs to entertain.
The art by Dan Schkade is great as his style is perfect for these larger than life characters but not unbelievable as well. Dan has fantastic layouts for the wrestling scenes that keep the action moving and also provide the slapstick to make it happen. I also appreciate the way the characters aged and retained their look as well; you can see they have been weather by life but you know who they are. Dan’s art is also enhanced by Marissa Louise’s colors and she brings an amazing palette that takes the wrestling ring to the farther corners of the universe and makes that spandex look heroic.
So if you are looking for a great escape and fun time then I would highly recommend this six issue miniseries for you. Comics are always fun but they are even better when you find independent stories that are made with creators who are doing it for the passion and fun of it all; so head on over to Comixology and check out Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia #1.
Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia is a six-issue mini-series created and written by Ed Kuehnel & Matt Entin of Suspicious Behavior Productions, the production company they founded in order to waste money. Social media is here: Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook.