The wrestling world is filled with tons of different companies, none higher or more popular than World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). With brands like Raw, SmackDown, and NXT, the WWE Company is booming with success. Some of its most famous wrestlers include Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns, who are the stars of Boom! Studios’ new WWE: Then. Now. Forever.
This issue recounts a major event in WWE history. “The Shield” was created in 2012, and consisted of members Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns. In 2014, they took on the Wyatt family. That same year, Rollins betrayed the Shield. I’m actually really glad that the writers decided to stick to the history of the event, but if they intend to do so, then in WWE #1 (January 2017), we will know that Seth joins ranks with CM Punk and the Authority. As much as I love historically-fueled scripts, I want to be surprised.
The characterization in this issue is really thorough. Reigns seems sort of like the guy on the sidelines. Ambrose has quite the temper, and judges Rollins for his actions. Rollins, on the other hand, comes off as completely heartless. He simply made a choice and stuck with it. If Rollins was meant to be a villain in this story, the writers have done their job. By being secretive and suspiciously happy when beating his “friends,” Rollins’ character is locked in as both protagonist and villain—an unusual combination for a comic book, but interesting nonetheless. Each character has enough conviction that they push the story forward with almost the same immense force that they put in the ring.
Rollins’ narration in the caption boxes serves as
The artists have carefully and effectively captured the look of each wrestler. Beyond that, these characters show a great deal of expression, like the slight hesitance in Rollins’ face just before he beats his friends with a steel chair. The detailed features like facial hair play a big part in the believability and intensity of the issue. Movement is shown really well in action sequences and in transitions from panel to panel.
At the end of this issue, there are a few different “Then. Now. Forever.” stories, each very short and very entertaining. I must admit, I’m not the biggest fan of WWE. I’ve watched and, heck, I’ve studied it in college! So, I have the utmost respect for it and the members that thrive within the community. For someone who isn’t the biggest wrestling fan, I sure as Hell loved this issue. I can only imagine how much die hard WWE fans are going to. This is an awesome issue that hyperbolizes what we know to be true. Adding this kind of creativity to fact always makes for a good story and, with a creative team this strong, it won’t let you down.
Written by: Dennis Hopeless, Ross Thibodeaux, Rob Schamberger & Derek Fridolfs
Illustrated by: Dan Mora, Rob Schamberger, Rob Guillory, Daniel Bayliss, Derek Fridolfs