Seth Rollins’s knee is as good as new. He’s redesigned and rebuilt, and now it’s time to reclaim. Nothing’s going to stop Seth from taking back what he feels is rightfully his: the WWE Championship. Least of all Triple H.
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Serg Acuña
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
What follows is an issue entirely composed of story we didn’t see on Raw or Smackdown, which makes this especially can’t-miss for wrestling fans. I was expecting at least one more issue depicting what Seth did during the six months he was on the shelf, but we instead fast forward to May 2016, at the Extreme Rules PPV where Rollins made his return during the main event to attack then-champion Roman Reigns. I can’t help but feel this is somewhat of a missed opportunity, especially given how entertaining Seth’s interactions with the New Day were in the last issue, but what writer Dennis Hopeless does decide to focus on here is great all the same.
It’s great, mostly, because it’s so ridiculous. To me one of the best parts of pro wrestling is the dichotomy between the ultra realistic and the off the wall bonkers, and this issue has the latter in spades–crooked union workers doing Triple H’s bidding to stifle Seth’s plans, a busted bathroom sink causing a flood allowing him to escape a bathroom he was trapped in, and AJ Styles being…well, AJ Styles. It’s all silly, but it all works.
And if I slide over the hood of my car, I’ll score some sweet style points.
It works in large part because Serg Acuña’s artwork is so spot-on. WWE Superstars look just like their Monday and Tuesday night counterparts–AJ Styles in particular looks just as dashing in print as he does on television. The action scenes are rendered with the type of urgency you’d expect, and it helps ground some of the sillier aspects.
The backup story this time centers around The Wyatt Family on their compound. If there’s any character in modern WWE that deserves his own comic book, it’s Bray Wyatt, but unfortunately this backup feels a lot like the Bray Wyatt character itself–bursting with potential and at times genuinely striking, but mostly meandering without any purpose other than to sound vaguely scary. It does look really good, though.
Is It Good?
This issue reads something like a Scooby Doo caper, but within the confines of the wacky world of professional wrestling, that’s a compliment. It’s also entirely new story, composed of things that we didn’t see on Raw or Smackdown, so wrestling fans won’t want to miss it.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!