By: Hess Sahlollbey
WWE # 1
Writer: Dennis Hopeless Artist: Serg Acuña
While the WWE has tried for decades to publish a comic book based on its characters and properties, they’ve struggled to make an organic conversion of the pageantry and long-form storytelling. What sets WWE # 1 from Boom! Studios apart from its predecessors however is that the storyline builds directly on events that have played out in the WWE.
The ongoing series stars Seth Rollins and chronicles the fallout of the wrestling stable “The Shield” after he double crossed-them. While the story may be familiar to long-time viewers of the WWE, writer Dennis Hopeless and a layer to the story by fleshing out what happened behind the scenes and how Seth Rollins made his ascension to WWE champ. While the WWE may be scripted, Hopeless fully fleshes out what exactly motivates Rollins and to tell a more complete story. Artist Serg Acuna cartoonish anatomy abandons photo accurate realness to remind the reader of the over-the-top-ness of the wrestling world. Together, the two collaborators succeed at translating the melodrama of the professional wrestling from one medium to another.
Comic book superheroes and professional wrestling characters have long been viewed in the same vein of entertainment as colorful characters that are larger than life, the new WWE series however finally makes combines the two into one solid package.
Photo: @HopelessDent Twitter
Batman Vol. 1: I Am Gotham
Writer Tom King Artist: David Finch, Mikel Janin
What happens when Batman becomes the trainer of two idealistic new superheroes that both have powers on par with Superman? Writer Tom King’s first solo Batman storyline sets out to answer that question. I Am Gotham collects the pages of BATMAN: REBIRTH #1 and issues #1-6 of the new hit Batman series by artists David Finch and Mikel Janin.
While David Finch and Mikel were both more than well established as A-Listers at DC Comics before this series debuted, King proved he was ready to take over for Scott Snyder with his debut storyline. It should be noted that a new character appearing in Gotham to help Batman before ultimately double-crossing is nothing new, but Tom King re-invents the formula by showing the reader how a well-intentioned idealist slowly becomes corrupted by forces outside their power. What follows is a somber yarn that perfectly sets scene for the first-act in King’s three-part epic Batman tale.
Flash Vol. 1: Lighting Strikes Twice
Writer: Joshua Williamson Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico, Neil Googe
A new storm literally brews over Central City as lighting keeps striking again and again. All across the city, citizens are being hit by the lightning, which is giving them extra-ordinary speedster powers. Now the Fastest Man Alive, Barry Allen, finds himself in charge of teaching a new school of rookies while also trying to apprehend the equally fast serial killer.
Much like Tom King, Joshua Williamson, Carmin Di Giandomenico and Neil Googe had their work cut out for him when they became the new creative team on The Flash. 2016 marked the 60th anniversary of Barry Allen making his debut as the Flash and with the upcoming movie and the hit television series, the bar had already been set very high.
The new creative team not only rose to the occasion, they set the bar even higher than their predecessors. What follows is a tight plot with many interweaving stories told by stunning visuals. This is a story that feels grounded but also ties into the larger DC Universe by hinting and what’s still to come in the future for the Scarlet Speedster. Flash Vol. 1: Lightning Strikes Twice collects THE FLASH: REBIRTH #1 plus issues #1-8 of the new series.