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Todd C Matthy Comic Book News, News

“This looks like a job for…the Undertaker?” Well it will be in March, 2010 when Titan Publishing (publishers of the UK Transformers comic and Spider-Man Movie Tie-In Magazines) launches a new comic book called “WWE Heroes” based on the Superstars of, you guessed it, World Wrestling Entertainment. Details are vague but the comic appears to be about a war between two forces called the First Born and the Shadow King, that has been going on for centuries and has somehow spread into the world of the WWE.  Now before you cry foul, it should be important to note that the worlds of professional wrestling and comic books aren’t as far apart as you think and can actually learn a lot from each other.

Wrestling, like comics, is an ongoing narrative that never stops for an off season and stars larger than life, over the top characters who perform great feats of athleticism as part of ongoing story lines. The primary difference between the two is wrestlers are real people and their bodies can only do so many amazing super heroic feats before age wears them down and they are forced to retire. For example Hulk Hogan. In the nineteen eighties he was America’s real life super hero, body slamming Andre the Giant and dropping the Atomic Leg Drop on the Iron Sheik. Unfortunately, age has taken its toll on the Hulkster and thanks to hip and knee replacements he apparently can no longer drop the big leg. Yet, despite his age and physical problems the public still loves him and wants to see him just like they love Superman. So how does wrestling solve this problem? The retiring star passes the torch to a successor by losing to him cleanly and afterwords (in the case of the good guys) giving the new guy his endorsement. This lesson can be applied to comics, especially when it comes to new characters taking over the identities of classic super heroes. I could go on about this all day but for now lets get back to the subject at hand…the WWE’s comics.

This is not the first that the WWE has had comic books produced about their wrestlers. While some have been successful, like Sgt. Slaughter starring in GI Joe, most wrestling comic books are better as kindling than reading material. (Sorry to the guys involved with those books, but it was awful) Anyone who read Valiant’s Battlemania and Marvel’s WCW Comic book from the nineties will know exactly what I’m talking about. (I’m hesitant to lump the Undertaker series from Chaos Comics in there because I liked some aspects of that story)  So, what will set this book apart from the previous failures mentioned above?

Well, for one thing, the creative shows promise. The book will be written by Keith Champagne, who wrote Justice Society of America, Green Lantern Corps, and World War III for DC Comics. If DC trusted him with those high profile books, I think he can work some magic with the WWE Superstars. The only thing I can see getting in his way would be well…Vince McMahon himself, assuming he wants to have anything to do with the direction of the comic. Drawing the book is Crossgen veteran Andy Smith, whose sharp muscles and curvy women, are a perfect fit for the rendering the physiques of the WWE Superstars and Divas.

In the end, I personally believe the success or failure of this book will rest in how much say Vince McMahon has on the content. One way or another, it will probably be better than the shows.

Want to read some Fan Scripts for RAW and an interview with former Diva Lauren Jones click here. Also check out these interviews with Divas Maria and Torrie Wilson.

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