A Review From Christopher Franey
Here we are at part 4 of Invasion and wow is there some movement with Rory and his gang trying to get to St. Paul and the Wrestletopians getting in the way. With this new issue there is a new artist, Kendall Goode, and he does a great job of keeping the style and tone of the book consistent with the previous issues. Which I highly appreciate as with comics sometimes creative teams change and it can be very drastic to the story; character voice switches or the art can be inconsistent with what was established, please don’t confuse that with all styles have to match. The humor and action is much alive in this issue as we march on to the final showdown, so let us take a look at the issue.
To start I enjoyed the cover and what a great way to help people keep a track of previous characters, new characters, and also some of the Wrestletopians; plus in that video game style that was a great reminder to the Nintendo 64 wrestling games of yesteryear. The theme also works with the story inside as well, which is a great bonus. We pick up with Rory, Don, and Macho after the car accident of last issue and luckily they are all fine and start heading into the closest place of business which happens to be a water park called, Duke City Sunsplash. Kendall does a great job with the action scenes and takes full advantage of the location to craft some great and funny scenarios; plus with Ed Kuehnel and Matt Entin, the writers, they create some funny dialogue with the pool water jokes.
Luckily at this water park this leads to an encounter with “Fatback” Billy Mangrum, wrestling team Three-D, and Linda. Linda looks very different from last we met here and this helps to build a mystery on what happened to her these last 15 years; which I hope we get more of outside of her conversation/argument with Rory. One of the best moments is the “secret origin” of Three-D; which was a three man team working for Maximum Brutality Wrestling and consisted of Daryl, Derek, and Dennis and as Derek tells us, “but, man…just because you got chemistry in the ring…doesn’t mean you got chemistry outside it, ya know?” I really appreciate the gag they crafted and also how they played it in a series of threes all to a background of Dennis building himself up, hilarious moment.
We are treated to a pay-per-view commercial of the upcoming “Galact-O-Massacre” that will settle who is the Galactic Champ and also showcases how much of a heel Dick Drasin is. Rory and his crew manage to keep moving along but their pit stop doesn’t end well with Daryl and Derek running into the Smoking Guns club which looks to be quite adult. I love the layout of this as the club sign is very feminine yet when the rest of the crew gets inside they are treated to the strippers they might not want, enjoyed the reaction panel. The club scene works perfectly to get a moment alone with Rory and Linda which leads to another argument and Rory going off on his own and also putting the rest of the team at a relaxed manner which made it easy for them to be put into sleeper holds.
The issue leaves us with a worried sense as Rory’s crew has been captured and things are not looking good for Rory and Linda. Rory continues to distance himself which leads him into a trap as well, so now he is in the possession of Dick Drasin which might stop Rory from making it to the match or worse. Overall another fun chapter in Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia and does excellent with humorous introductions and situations along with drama and suspense that leaves you wanting more. Make sure to check out this miniseries as it is a fun independent comic read with great love for wrestling, comic books, and video games as this issue showed; this mini can be found digitally on Comixology. This mini-series was created written by Ed Kuehnel & Matt Entin of Suspicious Behavior Productions and can find their social medias here with these links: Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. You can find this issues artist, Kendall Goode, on Twitter as well. Geek out!
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.