Review: Invasion From Planet WrestleTopia Issues #1-3

Image by Suspicious Behavior Productions


One of the main complaints of many longtime comic book fans is that the modern industry seems to have lost the ability to simply tell entertaining stories and engage with the audience through comics that have conflict, drama, comedy and even space for a bit of a campy feel. As I said in my Lobo article, modern writers seem all too concern with being politically correct and trying to deconstruct iconic characters, instead on focusing on what people want, which is reading a good comic.

So when I got my hands on the first three issues of Invasion From Planet WrestleTopia, made by Suspicious Behavior Productions, I knew that I was going to get my campy content alright, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that writers Ed Kuehnel and Matt Entin added a little bit of everything to make these issues quite enjoyable and entertaining, which should always be the main goal of anyone interested in working in comics.

What is Invasion From Planet WrestleTopia?

Image by Suspicious Behavior Productions

This comic’s plot is actually quite simple: Rory Landell is a wrestling champion who has to lose a fight on purpose for commercial reasons, but he decides to walk away because he doesn’t want to betray himself. He decides to retire by claiming that he has become the Champion of the Universe, which gets the attention of planet WrestleTopia and they invade Earth for a chance to see Rory fight their own champion, Manifest Destiny.

Along the way, Rory is travelling through the United States and his agent, Don, and his former colleague, Mini Macho, have to look for him because there are many enemies on his tail.

How was it?

Image by Suspicious Behavior Productions

I have to give Kuehnel and Entin a lot of credit on the writing part because what seems like a weird and bizarre concept is executed in a very fun and complete manner. Invasion From Planet WrestleTopia benefits from not taking itself too seriously, but at the same time adding a layer of character and personality to the story.

My main gripe with most modern Marvel and DC comics is that they are all too similar: the same political correctness, the same lack of struggle and the same lack of excitement and entertainment. In this comic we get to have a main character (Rory) that is loud, manly, cocky, makes mistakes, gets himself into trouble and doesn’t get easy exits–this is good, this is a positive direction for any type of writer.

They also seize the pages in each issue, providing a lot of information and characters, so by the time the third issue ends we are already familiar with Rory, his background, his supporting cast, the villains and the conflict is unfolds in an organic way. All of this is played out with a mix of seriousness and comedy, especially the latter when you see hilarious takes like the one of the politicians beating each other over which wrestlers to choose from.

These three issues focused on delivering a fun story with character and gusto and I have to say that they delivered quite well.

What about the art?

Image by Suspicious Behavior Productions

I’m going to be upfront and say that I’m a huge fan of detailed artists like Ethan Van Sciver, Jim Lee, Ivan Reis, Marc Silvestri, Clay Mann or Todd McFarlane–artists that provide a lot of detail, content and grandiloquence to each page. So at first I was a bit put off by Dan Schkade’s art, but I have to say that it grows on you because it fits with the style of the story very well and it portrays the weird, campy feel of the comic the way it should be.

There is also space for more artistic moments like the panels of Rory’s flashbacks or his travel through the country, which shows that Schkade is more capable than what you may think at first.

What it represents?

Image by Suspicious Behavior Productions

Invasion From Planet WrestleTopia is a good example of when you like what you do and deliver with passion. I have never been a fan of professional wrestling, but both Kuehnel and Entin accomplished something that any self-respected writer should strive for: they made me care for these characters and they left me wanting more. I want to know what happens next and I want to know more of Rory and his friends, which is something that every good story should achieve.

If you want to entertain yourself, have a few good laughs and remind yourself of comics that implement campy, weird concepts, this is the best choice for you.

 


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