After nine issues of straight up ignoring it, we finally dig into the #1 comic in pro wrestling: “WWE Superstars”. To no one’s surprise, we were not prepared. Warning: this review will have tons of spoilers but they’re the type of spoilers where you’ll think I’m just making stuff up, read the comic, and find that I am most definitely not.
Written by Mick Foley and Shane Riches
Illustrated by Paris Cullins
“Giants” In the biggest battle royale in history as WWE Legends of the past continue to brawl with WWE Superstars of today across a vast array of fantastic warzones. It’s the ultimate clash of the titans when the most colossal WWE Superstars throughout history find themselves forced to fight against each other – Kevin Nash, the Big Show, Vader, The Great Khali, Yokozuna, and Gorilla Monsoon. As Roddy Piper and Daniel Bryan attempt to navigate the carnage, two more giants enter the fray – the Phenom who is Undertaker goes head-to-head against one of the greatest legends in WWE history!
We at Multiversity Comics are pretty big fans of wrestling. Jess Camacho and I watch WWE and NXT religiously and Chikara is literally my life. Brian Salvatore also passively favorites my tweets, 90% of which are me complaining about Monday Night Raw. As such, it’s weird that we never looked into “WWE Supestars” from Super Genius Comics. The series is written by hardcore legend and Person I Will Literally Cry At If I Met Them In Real Life™ Mick Foley and, as the solicitation notes, features a Daniel Bryan and Roddy Piper team-up. This should be my favorite comic in the world. And when I first read “WWE Superstars” #10, the second part of the “Legends” storyline, I found one of the worst comics to have ever been created. Just objectively, all around terrible. And yet still, “WWE Superstars” #10 is still my my favorite comic ever.
If you want a recap of the “WWE Superstars” storyline you’re as out of luck as I am. From what I can tell, the first story arc was about John Cena being a good cop framed for the wrong crime and Daniel Bryan being an honest to god revolutionary raring to take down Triple H’s government while Randy Orton schemed his way towards becoming district attorney. Then, the second storyline, “Haze of Glory” featured Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, and CM Punk – three guys who will never wrestle for WWE ever again – in a The Hangover style misadventure with a giant gorilla who turned out to be Big Show in disguise. And now, superstars from all corners of time and space are colliding for a “Secret Wars” style brawl in “Legends”.
If nothing in that paragraph made sense, I wish I could say watching WWE would help you out. I watch like four hours of wrestling a week and I still have no idea what that paragraph means.
Anyway, if you’re a big fan of pro wrestling and just want a comic that makes reference, “WWE Superstars” is for you. Literally every wrestler, from Kamala to the freaking Gobbedly Gooker, makes an appearance. Basically, if you’re an old wrestling fan who just wanted to be reminded that Arn Anderson existed, then this book’s for you. If you want an actual storyline then you’re also out of luck because this comic was written by a human-sized pile of head injuries. If you want twenty-something pages of sheer insanity then you’re in luck because that human-sized pile of head injuries has a name: Mick Foley.
Mick Foley’s contribution to pro wrestling has resulted in some truly exciting matches, amazing characters, and he basically ended the “Monday Night War” by being so damned beloved. “WWE Superstars” on the other hand, is hardly going to be Foley’s lasting contribution to WWE but it still has the Foley brand of insanity that makes it weirdly appealing. It’s not enough to have wrestlers from different eras fight each other, they have to fight in OLD WESTERN TOWNS with ROBOT PAUL HEYMANS calling the fights while RANDY ORTON and JAKE “THE SNAKE” ROBERTS form a team based on THEIR LOVE OF SNAKES. Then, DANIEL BRYAN AND RODDY PIPER investigate CLONE FACTORIES that produce CLONE ARMIES that are HALF JOHN CENA AND HALF HULK HOGAN.Continued below
If I didn’t include that screen cap, you would not believe me.
On one hand, it’s easy to write off moments like the Cena/Hogan clone as just lazy wackiness but it serves as an odd meta-commentray on WWE. Daniel Bryan and Roddy Piper are two of the best wrestlers in the world but are/were constantly overshadowed by big muscle dudes like Cena and Hogan who demanded they be the main event for decades (Cena’s dominated WWE since around 2003, Hulkamania made Hogan the actual definition of a pro wrestler). Having Piper and Bryan unite to take down a factory producing catchphrase-spouting muscle gods who would take over the company? That’s as poignant as WWE could possibly get. Of course, it’s ruined immediately by Hogan taking over the show for the ending wherein he wakes up from being experimented on to confront the true villain of this comic: 90’s HOLLYWOOD HOGAN. So it looks like any poignancy I’ve been looking for was actually just a pipe dream I concocted in order to defend my love for wrestling. In many ways, this is what it’s like to be a wrestling fan.
The rest of the comic is a hot mess of matches that’s less fantasy booking and more just happenstance. Was anyone really raring for a comic where Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock beat up George “The Animal” Steele for no reason? Probably not, especially when all parties involved look like they were drawn by a middle schooler who is, like, really good with Microsoft Paint. Panels are cluttered with flailing arms and limbs that I think are meant to represent “wrestling moves”. When wrestlers aren’t forgetting where their head is located on their body, they’re being more ripped than is humanly possible. Jake Roberts looks ripped in this comic which is weird considering he’s always looked like the type of weirdo who would bring snakes to the ring. Hell, if there wasn’t a secondary body type category for “BIG FAT GUYS”, Big Show would have probably looked like a bald John Cena with a goatee.
Also of note is just how bad the coloring is. Sometimes, characters will lurk in the shadows for dramatic effect but no one told the colorist who just turns characters into featureless people that look like the Blue Electric Superman from the 90’s. I don’t want to call this comic an amateur effort, but there’s a moment where The Undertaker spouts Scott Hall’s “You want a war? You got it!” catchphrase that makes me think this comic might not be the most put-together sequential narrative ever published.
Overall, there is so much wrong with “WWE Superstars” #10. The plot is all over the place, there are sequences that make no sense – like Mick Foley’s face bursting through a window to say “Have a nice day!” and then never coming back – and artwork that’s just tragic. It’s a slapped together effort from a bunch of people trying to create a story out of the resources they have and creating utter nonsense. And if you’ve watched any wrestling show within the past three decades, you know the same could be said of pro wrestling.
Final Verdict: 4.5 – This is objectively a pretty terrible comic but one that is drenched in a sincere kind of insanity you can’t find in every comic. If you’re a wrestling fan who loves just how utterly silly the industry can get at times, this is the comic for you. If you are literally anyone else, avoid this comic completely.