16th May2019

‘Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia #1&2′ Review

by Chris Cummings

Written by Ed Kuehnel, Matt Entin | Art by Dan Schkade | Colours by Marissa Louise | Published by Starburns Industries Press

wrestletopia-1-2-covers

Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia #1: Date with Destiny

Believe me when I say there’s two things I love seeing mingle together, and that’s wrestling and comic books. There are a few out there and I, for one, love them. It’s a perfect marriage of a fantastical over-the-top business and a visual art-form that can be more wacky and out-there than anything else.

Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia is written by Ed “the Carnage Artist” Kuehnel and “Masculine” Matt Entin with art by Dan “the Body” Schkade and colouring by Marissa Louise AKA “Col. Von Slamstein”. The words that the creators leave for pro-wrestling on the opening page shows just how much of a passion-project this is, and how much respect and love they have for the wonderful world of wrestling.

I was immediately taken in by the throwback feel to this, and the way the writing brings up memories of wrestling from years gone by, with the dialogue penned like a high-energy wrestling-promo. There are characters here that remind me of past workers, guys I grew up watching, and being able to interpret certain phrases and characters in that way is a lot of fun. The art in the book is classic in its style, and the colours, bright and vibrant, fit well with the world being created. The larger than life characters, the make-up, the ring-gear, it all works well with the way it’s been drawn, coloured and written.

There’s a lot of wrestling lingo here, something that non-fans might not necessarily always understand, although if you stick with the story it wouldn’t be tough to figure out. As a wrestling fan, I thought it was great to see that side of things, the language and the terms we know, being used in a comic book. It makes it feel more authentic, more real. The humour hits regularly and I laughed out loud on a number of occasions while reading this. The in’s and out’s of a career in wrestling, and the insanity of what happens behind the scenes, is a blast to read about at the best of times, and that’s true here too, in this form it works brilliantly.

Issue one introduces us to plenty of characters, to the American Wrestling Federation, to a wrestling-bear, and much more, as we follow “Rock ’n Roll” Rory Landell, a pro-wrestler who is tired of his place and decides to takes matters into his own hands. It’s a story that is both relatable, as a fan of wrestling, and also fantastical with the sci-fi elements that the writers and artists bring in. It ends in a way that makes you want to turn the page right into Issue 2, which is always a positive thing.

Bringing back fond memories of 1980s pro-wrestling with bursts of humour, great dialogue and a wonderful palette of colour, Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia kicks off in a big way with this issue and immediately had me hooked into its Boston Crab. This book won’t put a sleeper hold on you. It’s funny, entertaining and a super-kick of nostalgia, and if you’re wrestling fan, like I am, then I recommend you check it out, brother.

Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia #2: Two Worlds Enter, One Leaves

Issue One of Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia was a blast. It was nostalgic, funny and really appealed to that big side of me that’s been a lover of wrestling for decades. I was excited to check out Issue Two, then, and what I got was much of the same, but in a good way.

The “Houston Homewreckers” Matt Entin & Ed Kuehne head back to the writing-pad, with artist Dan “The Commie Tsunami” Schkade and colour by “The Manitowoc Mauler” Marissa Louise (did I mention how much of a kick I get out of the nickname/wrestling-name thing at the start of the issues?). The team do another top notch job, creating a second issue of bright and dazzling imagery and lively amusing writing.

We see the return of “Rock ’n Roll” Rory Landell as the book sets up a big showdown for future issues. I don’t want to give too much away, the fun thing about comic books is organically seeing where things go, but I will say that this is full of that wit and wrestling-lingo from the first issue, and new characters are introduced to the story. The mix of sci-fi and American Wrestling is unusual in the best way. In one moment it is showing us something normal, and then in another we’re seeing a crazy concept like something from the mind of Philip K. Dick, if he had been trained by Bruiser Brody.

Issue 2 really brings the drama too, and much like a good wrestling show, it gives us a hero, a villain, a bunch of spectacular moves, loyalty, hatred and somebody being hit from behind with a weapon. It also does what any great wrestling show does, and leaves you wanting more so you can tune in next week… or in this case, next issue.

I can’t recommend this series enough to fans of the professional wrestling industry. It’s a big wink to all the fans reading, but at the same time it’s a damn fine slice of action. With two issues down, Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia is already body-slamming its way into my heart.
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Issues one and two of Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia are available on Comixology now.

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