Singles Going Steady is Comics Bulletin’s weekly review roundup.
WWE #2 (BOOM! Studios)
(W) Dennis Hopeless (A) Serg Acuña (C) Doug Garbark (L) Jim Campbell
Seth Rollins’ story progresses as he finds out there’s more to being WWE World Heavyweight Champion than fame, glory, and a heavy metal belt. Kayfabe is often mentioned about the WWE comics, but it’s what makes them so appealing. It’s as if readers are viewing behind the scenes specials where only the important interactions get featured. The gaps between televised shows are filled in with script from Dennis Hopeless and art by Serg Acuña and Doug Garbark.
Seth, the new eager-to-please champion, is under the dictatorship of Triple H, the Executive Vice-President of Talent and Creative of WWE. Seth is always trying to prove his worth to everyone, while reluctantly accepting help that Triple H is offering (more like demanding), and not thinking before he acts. Time management, increased frequency of matches, and the ramifications of his boneheaded outbursts steadily bring him to a more sensible mind state.
What a humbling issue. We see several panels of sad and even fearful faces of Seth, which viewers are not used to. Watching the champ crumble is heartbreaking, but necessary for his character. Redirection from an intimidating boss doesn’t help much either. Triple H is serious and pressing in opposition to Seth’s enthusiastic, fireball attitude. The contracting duo gives good conflict and makes the story more interesting. A personal highlight is the artistic depiction of Triple H’s almost stoic, but eerily menacing face seen several times in this comic. Acuña’s choice of facial expression and Garbark’s shadowing combine to illustrate Triple H’s frightening commander role.
All characters presented are accurate depictions of their TV personalities. Of course, full promos can’t be written due to panel space and attention span, but the choices in paraphrasing was well done. The most important quotes were used, and some were switched around a little bit while still maintaining the essence of the character. Check out the shortened version of Paul Heyman’s pitch to Brock’s rematch:
Only a few flaws turned my attention away from the story. Most importantly, a WWE Hall of Famer was mistaken for a cameraman in the writing, which is unacceptable. Other than that, the dialogue can get a little campy, but that’s sports entertainment for you. Flaws aside, WWE #2 is a stimulating read for the wrestling mark in us all. Also, enjoy the short at the end of the issue about an inspirational monologue of The Ultimate Warrior written by Aubrey Sitterson, with art by Ed McGuinness and Marcio Menyz.
— Kristopher Grey
The Wild Storm #1 (DC Comics)
(W) Warren Ellis, (A) Jon Davis-Hunt, (C) Ivan Plascencia
Warren Ellis, what have you gotten us into this time? The Wild Storm #1 is packed with some of the best “what the fuck?” content in recent memory. Those hoping to see WildCATS, Gen13, and the rest of the Wildstorm crew party like it’s 1999 may be initially disappointed, but what this issue lacks in back-breaking fanservice it makes up for with a an interesting cast and an array of ideas which challenges the reader. And for the hardcore fans, Ellis ensures that there is enough to keep them coming back.
The Wild Storm #1 spends much of its time wrestling with themes relevant in today’s culture of paranoia and political turmoil, setting up the world which will be explored over the next 23 issues. And while the subject matter is played seriously, deadly seriously, it is not without its moments of humor (as a state resident, I can confirm Connecticut wine is crap). As biting as the Ellis’ commentary is, it does not outshine the world-building by artists Jon Davis-Hunt and Ivan Plascencia. Between the panel structure, layouts, and artwork itself, the duo have crafted a beautiful – if sterile – issue.
If there is one book to pick up from your comic shop this week, or the next week, pick The Wild Storm #1. It may not be the most coherent of mainstream releases, but it is the one that will demand the most of its readers. Among its demands is a leap of faith that this foundation for which the new WildStorm Universe is sound. So what the fuck, let’s do this.
— Daniel Gehen
Rockstars #3 (Image Comics)
(W) Joe Harris (A) Megan Hutchison (C) Kelly Fizpatrick
Music. Whether we want it or not, it plays an integral role in our lives. It can be a calming presence, a mood setter, or a means to lose all inhibitions. And because many lack the talent to create music (myself included), its existence takes on a magical quality. Perhaps that is why so often, when music is the subject of a comic book, it is tied to either the magical or supernatural as is the case in books such as The Wicked + The Divine, Phonogram, or even the Scott Pilgrim series. That dynamic plays out in Rockstars by Joe Harris, Megan Hutchison, and Kelly Fitzpatrick.
What makes Rockstars #3 (as well as the rest of the series) shine is the artwork by Hutchison and Fitzpatrick. Each page is an explosion of pop and pulp-inspired artwork designed to titillate the senses. This is the number one reason to keep coming back to Rockstars. Fitzpatrick’s colors are particularly stunning.
Three issues in, Rockstars finally delivers an issue that revolves around an actual rock star. Jimmy James is a man with the stage presence of Jimmy Page or Slash, but with an air of mystery. Because of this, he’s placed firmly within the crosshairs of our protagonists Jackie and Dorothy, suspecting him of being a killer. However, as has been the case throughout the series, nothing is really what it seems. He may not be a killer, but there is some seriously weird black magic at play. Though the ideas and concepts that Harris plays with are interesting, the series still feels a bit directionless, which may be problematic as the series progresses further.