We take a look at the new comic book that’s based on pro wrestling – Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia.
Wrestling comic books can be really hit and miss. Most of those featuring the stars of World Wrestling Entertainment fall on the miss side, often poorly-drawn and badly-written, but there’s been a trend in recent years for a new breed of independently-published books which take their inspiration from the past – a world where the territories and the colourful characters you’d find travelling from town to town is still very much a thing – and project it into a crime drama, a superhero story, or – as in the case of Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia – science fiction.
The first two issues of Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia were put out by Suspicious Behaviour Productions, a very small press company set up by the comic’s writers Matthew Entin and Ed Kuehnel. Enlisting the considerable artistic talents of Dan Schkade (who has worked for Image and Dynamite, amongst others), they’ve crafted a story of Rory Landell, a second-generation grappler who walks out on his last big main event in 1984 after declaring himself champion of the galaxy when he’s denied a promised run at the AWF Heavyweight title. Bouncing around from territory to territory, which get smaller and smaller as the big boys gobble up the wrestling business, by 1999 he’s washed up and wrestling a midget in Alaska. At that point, television signals of his parting promo reach the planet Wrestletopia and its ruler, Adrian Polaris, who doesn’t take kindly to anyone challenging his position at the top of the universal wrestling tree…
Full of nods to wrestling history and tradition, and with enough in-jokes to keep readers of this site chuckling away to themselves, Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia more importantly succeeds as a saga in its own right, and non-wrestling fans will get as much from as dedicated followers of the mat scene. The art pops the characters right off the page, with action scenes bursting with kinetic energy, and while there was an interminable wait of a year between the first two issues, it’s hoped that a tie-up with Starburns Industries Press will bring the further adventures of Rory Landell into our homes on a more regular basis.
This is a very funny, warm-hearted tribute to the crazy sport we spend far too much of our time and attention on, and you should make room in your wrestling schedule for Landell, Polaris, Don Fong Wong, Mini Macho, and Kodiak Jack, the wrestling bear.
— Thanks to Alan Boon from Love The Graps for the review!
Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia is currently available via Amazon and via Comixology.