Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia Review.

This Saturday WWE presents Worlds Collide, pitting the stars of NXT versus their counterparts across the ocean in NXT UK. Then on Sunday, 30 men and 30 women will get regal as they look to withstand the Royal Rumble. Yet there is a wrestling tale that dwarfs these two events. A story that is intergalactic planetary. An infinite squared circle. This is a tale that can only been told in the first five issues, and a soon to be released and highly anticipated sixth and final one. A tale known only as INVASION FROM PLANET WRESTLETOPIA!!!!

In a tale as old as time, a creation believes himself to be bigger than his creator. The hottest heel in the company, “Rock and Roll” Rory Landell is pissed off that the booker has gone back on his word. Rory is not getting the title tonight. Not the win, not the money, not the accolades. None of it. He’s too good as a heel and its a face driven territory. So Rory does what numerous pro wrestlers have done in such a situation.

He accepts the wise words of the booker, and follows the script thus making both of them lots of money for many years to come.

No, I’m kidding! Who would do such a thing? No, Rory decides to go into business for himself and straps a pizza box across his waist claiming to be the Galactic champion. Bigger than World champion. Not quite as absurd as a Universal champion though. That would be ridiculous.

In the real world this “shoot” moment would get Rory bounced and he would live the rest of his life as a “what ever happened to” question during long car rides full of wrestling trivia. And for the next many years, that is exactly what happens to the Rock n’ Roll rebel. Whatever stroke or heat he had before is long blown out, spent, and abused. He can’t blame himself entirely. Nor can he blame his only remaining friend. Nor can he blame his father’s shadow when it’s more like a mirror. It’s tough to blame someone for running away from their responsibilities when they never stop moving away. All of this on it’s own would be an emotional tale which could hold it’s own in a tag team along with The Wrestler.

But wrestling is and has been the most popular and longest lasting form of entertainment on all of cable television, and those signals are broadcast into the endless abyss.

Well, the abyss is looking back at you, brother. And the abyss’s name is Manifest Destiny!

See, Rory’s self declared Galactic champion promo has finally reached a far flung planet. A little spinning orb known as Wrestletopia. The ruler of this grapple globe, Manifest Destiny, does not take kindly to false champions. The entire planet tapes up, stretches out, and encloses all of Earth in a massive steel cage.

As my wife said, “it’s like someone wrote a book just for you.”

Now Rory is wandering the desert, while Another World Order is threatening to take over our home unless Landell steps up to defend his title. If only someone could find him. If only he could step up. If only he was anywhere close to the same man seen in that light years old video. Because, while the world is searching for Rory. Rory is searching for his place in that same world.

As our champion faces certain defeat if not death he is more concerned with finding a life. When the crowds have long parted and the bookings dried up, who is “Rock n’ Roll”? He has spent so long creating a persona, he forgot to create a reality. Throughout the series every time Rory tries to say something genuine, it goes wrong. He is lucky to have a handful of peers who constantly get his shoulder up before fate hits the three count. He is the grizzled veteran to self centered to step aside. Too scared of the new generation to spend any time training them and building a legacy. I feel sorry for Rory, but I also feel if the tables were not yet broken and reversed, he would not sacrifice for his brothers the way they have for him.

All of this is the incredible character study taking place simultaneously to a selfish promoter and an invading promotion from the stars. Money, betrayal, backroom deals, all of the hidden aspects of wrestling are here with a dark matter flourish.

Best of all, this is by and for fans of pro wrestling. The Venn diagram crossing over wrestling fans and comic book readers is nearly on top of each other. Both Vince McMahon and Stan Lee have created countless heroes, villains, and battles for our enjoyment over decades. Matt and Ed have a gift for distilling this shared joy into every page. Not only is the story big and strong enough to get put right on Raw without any training, the subtleties throughout the comic had me reading every issue 1…2…3 – no 2 1/2 times! Just to pick up on jokes, commentary, and moments they no doubt laughed uncontrollably over and dared to put on the page. Y’know, “for the boys”.

I’m ready to see how this tale culminates. I’m hoping at the grand daddy of them all with pyro and fireworks. Then, when Matt and Ed have to leave and change their names before working in a new promotion (I’m going with “Behavioral Suspicions”) I’ll be there with five stars.

(A copy of this comic book was provided for review.)

From Suspicious Behavior Productions. Published by Starburns Industries Press.

Issue one by:

Written by Ed Kuehnel & Matt Entin

Art by Dan Schkade

Colors by Marissa Louise

Lettering by Dave Lanphear

Issue two by:

Written by Matt Entin & Ed Kuehnel

Art by Dan Schkade

Colors by Marissa Louise

Lettering by Dave Lanphear

 

Issue three by:

Written by Ed Kuehnel & Matt Entin

Art by Dan Schkade

Colors by Marissa Louise

Lettering by Dave Lanphear

 

Issue four by:

Written by Matt Entin & Ed Kuehnel

Art by Kendall Goode

Colors by Jason Lewis

Lettering by Sal Cipriano

 

Issue five by:

Written by Ed Kuehnel & Matt Entin

Art by Kendall Goode

Colors by Jio Butler

Lettering by Sal Cipriano

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