The success and longevity of anything in the world of Entertainment is based solely on having the ability to grab your audience, hook them in, keep them guessing, and leave them always wanting more. With the proper combination of captivating characters, and having a profound story that steps out from the crowd, you can achieve these goals and so much more. I found all this and a few extra bonuses in the new breakout and instant comic book classic known as the “Invasion From Planet WrestleTopia” series.
(See here for past coverage)
Now being both a fan of comics and wrestling, I was sold before ever getting the opportunity to read a single issue. Having such high hopes, anticipation, and expectations, I will admit that I was not immediately impressed after reading the first 8 to 10 pages of this inaugural book. As a life long die-hard fan of all things Professional Wrestling since the 80’s, I’ve seen it all. So I was really wondering if it would be somehow possible to see something different here. The story started off with the classic and typical “Backstage Wrestling Politics” cliché that is now so common in storylines on any Wrestling TV Show. However, by the 13th of the 36-paged first issue, I was very intrigued and extremely engaged to see how this story would inevitably play out. My thoughts had changed, and my mind was made up. This was going to be an exciting new read, and I was very happy to know that I had four more issues to dive into as soon as I was done with this first book.
Part 2 of the series really helped to set the story in motion. If you were like me and thought this comic book story was going to only be about some retro wrestling story set in the 80s, then like me, you are sadly mistaken. In the second issue, you will come to know that Professional Wrestling is not just an International Sport, it is an INTERGALACTIC contest for Interstellar Domination. In part 1, you receive a great introduction to all the major characters; “Rock n Roll” Rory Landell, his manager Mr. Don Fong Wong, the AWF Wrestling Organization and it’s promoter Dick Drazzin, as well as a few side characters like Mini Macho, Sir Cecil Steedmont, “Boy Scout” Bob Schultz, and Earth’s ultimate enemy Manifest Destiny. So by the time you get through this second part, you already know exactly what’s at stake and how high they are.
By the end to the third part of this series, we really get to see how deep this story goes. I thought that the story skipped back and forth between moments taking place in the 80s and the 90s. But we learn more about the story as well as our main character with a flashback via a dream into the 70s. We even get to learn about Mini Macho’s backstory growing up in the late 60s. So now we officially have a “Tarantino Style” form of story telling, which I think is awesome. Thanks to this method, you now get to add in so much Subtext and Character Depth to this High Concept project. This is how the pro’s that have been in the business for decades get the job done. And I’m proud to see this happening in this new world of young talent.
What I love the most about reading this series is the way that the creators are able to introduce new characters, plots, twists, and story angles at the turn of every page without causing any form of confusion to the reader. This was not only well done, it was well thought out, planned, and properly executed to perfection. As I mentioned before, I am a huge fan of everything comics and wrestling, and yes, I’ve seen this kind of “marriage” many times in the past, but this time I have to say is very different. It has so much to offer and so many challenges for both the characters as well as the readers.
As you make it half way through the fifth issue, it becomes so apparent that absolute chaos has consumed the Earth, and spread uncontrollably worldwide. With all that’s happening, you begin to wonder if this dark hero has the strength, mentality, iron will, or any ability to save the world. We then even begin to wonder if he has the interest in wanting to save us let alone himself. The future of human existence lies in the hands of a person who can’t hold a day job. How will this all play out? This is the question you ask at the end of every issue. Unfortunately, the 6th and final issue of this great series has not been released yet. So I will be eagerly awaiting the official debut of Invasion From Planet WrestleTopia #6, the finale, where it all goes down for the Intergalactic Championship as well as the fate of World Humanity.
When you experience this incredible comic series, you will instantly know you struck gold. Anyone can tell these books were done by true fans of both comics and wrestling. I get such a kick out of the final pages of each book. Please check it out, these “ads” bring such “realism” to the books. The creators also tip their hat to past Wrestling Superstars and Legends of the business. I loved to play, and I invite you to join in on a game of “Guess Who’s Really Who”. You can tell that many of the characters in this series were “inspired” by real life Pros from the past. It’s your job as a fan to pick them out and share with your friends exactly what you discovered. If you currently watch WWE programming, specifically Monday Night Raw, then you already know about the 24/7 Championship that has many stars of WWE going nuts. There are parts of this story that remind me of that. Only in this case, our hero “Rock n Roll” Rory Landell is the 24/7 title that everyone is after.
Invasion From Planet WrestleTopia is “Binge Worthy TV” on paper. It has all the elements to become bigger than the pages it’s written on. A look back into Wrestling History, from the days of the “Territories”, the different organizations with their styles and numerous champions, the fantastic art work, the use of various Wrestling holds and maneuvers throughout the entire series, and the acknowledgement of back stage politics that actually do take place in this business. This Comic book series has it all: action, adventure, comedy, drama, and even a little romance. A classic tale of mistakes and redemption, with twists, turns, and heavy bumps along the way of this tremendous journey. I promise you will love it as I did from start to finish, every beginning and every end, leaves you wanting more.
Editor’s Note: Ready to rumble with Invasion From Wrestletopia? Then head here to grab up your copies! Issue 5 now out!
Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia #”s 1 – 5
Suspicious Behavior Productions/Starburns Industries Press
Written by: Ed ‘The Carnage Artist’ Kuehnel and ‘Masculine’ Matt Entin
Art by: Dan ‘The Body’ Schkada and ‘Backwoods’ Kendall Goode
Colors by: Marissa Louise AKA ‘Col. Von Slamstein’, ‘Luscious’ Jason Lewis, and Jio ‘Big Pain’ Butler
Lettering by: A Larger World Studios (The North Hollywood Nightmares) and ‘Slippery’ Sal Sipriano
Reviewed by: Adrian ‘Andromania’ Richardson
Summary: “Boy Scout” Bob Schultz! Cousin Orville! Mini Macho! Kodiak Jack! Spanish Rose! Don Fong Wong! These are the megastars of 1984’s AWF. “Rock ‘n’ Roll” Rory Landell isn’t getting the respect he thinks he deserves, so one crazy night he ups the game, declaring himself the Galactic Champion of the Universe. But it turns out AWF fans aren’t the only ones listening, and the denizens of planet Wrestletopia aren’t going to take a challenge like that sitting down!