WWE: Then. Now. Forever. #1 Comic Book Review
WWE: Then. Now. Forever. #1 | Writers: Dennis Hopeless, Ross Thibodeaux, Rob Schamberger, Derek Fridolfs | Artists: Dan Mora, Rob Schamberger, Rob Guillory, Daniel Bayliss, Derek Fridolfs |Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Two years ago, when Seth Rollins’ shocking heel turn put an end to one of most prevailing factions in wrestling history, The Shield, fans were treated to the typical answer when such things occur in the world of WWE. It all added up to Rollins being tired of splitting the glory three ways and wanted it all for himself.
It’s a plot device that works more times than not. However, we rarely get to see what led to these haughty desires or the conversations where the corrupt administrator turned the hero of the day into the villain of the story.
WWE: Then. Now. Forever gives readers a fictional look into how HHH got in Seth Rollins’ ear along with the backstage events that occurred days before the breakup. What we didn’t see on television is how conflicted Rollins was over making the decision to abandon his friends, which adds depth to the angle.
Dennis Hopeless (All New X-Men) might have found the winning formula to help WWE’s latest comic book venture succeed where others have failed. In the past, comics featuring WWE superstars never connected with fans to the degree of their real life inspiration.
A comic book featuring The Undertaker’s supernatural, spell casting showdown against The Embalmer will never gives fans the same escape from reality that wrestling on television provides.
The last WWE comic series written by Mick Foley was promising, but the insider/kayfabe nature of the story predominantly appealed to die-hard fans. Hopeless’ concept will appeal to most WWE fans by adding more background to on-screen events.
Even though Rollins ditching Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns for a secret rendezvous at a country club isn’t officially canon, it’s completely inside the realm of possibility considering the characters and the setting.
This oversized debut issue also contains a couple of backstories featuring Sasha Banks and The New Day. There is also a charming short staring Tugboat and Earthquake, which is delightfully illustrated in the vein of Popeye.
Comic book publisher, Boom! Studios currently has 2.85% of the retail market share. Thanks to its inclusion in October’s Loot Crate, Boom’s crossover “Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York” debuted as the top selling comic book with over 500,000 copies sold.
This is the second time the publisher has had a top selling comic book that beat out titles such as Batman, Spider-Man, and The Walking Dead. These accolades make Boom the most prestigious issuer of WWE comics. As a result, the book will receive more consideration with consumers.
Honestly, the possibilities are endless with WWE: Then. Now. Forever. Adding story elements to past angles could also be used to fix or improve programs that didn’t get over the audience.
Perhaps there was more to the Montreal Screwjob than we realized?
What if the WCW Invasion angle was actually good?
Corny dialogue, zany visuals and private cookouts on top of production trucks will make wrestling fans feel at home. A strong opening salvo lined with a novel concept delivers a body slam of the most authentic WWE series to date.