It’s not terribly unusual to have the Comic Book world collide with the world of Professional Wrestling. Just search “Stephen Amell wrestling” and you’ll come across 2 matches that the star of CW’s “Arrow” participated in. However, it’s a little more unusual to have the Pro Wrestling world be in the Comic Book world. This comic book issue does just that, with two of the biggest names in professional wrestling serving as focal points. It doesn’t hurt that one of the wrestlers co-wrote the book.
Written by: Christopher Daniels and Franco Aureliani (Epilogue)
Artwork: Art Baltazar
Photos: Bob Mulrenin
Disclaimer: all but 2 of these characters – the two wrestlers – are new to me.
We start off in Skokie Prison, where two of the guards are discussing the previous night’s basketball game. One of the guards apparently bet on the right team and made enough money to finally get the engagement ring he wanted for his fiancee. Someone buzzes the intercom system, stating that they are there “to check the alarm system”.
Suddenly, 3 ghosts – I think – burst in! They shock the guards unconscious then start opening cell doors in the prison. One of the doors holds a bigger ghost – I think -named Dr. Gizmo. Dr. Gizmo is freed and immediately starts using for people who want to gety even with two characters called Action Cat and Adventure Bug.
At this point, I’m assuming that Action Cat and Adventure Bug are the two that put Dr. Gizmo in prison.
Dr. Gizmo and the 3 ghosts – that is a GREAT band name! – come upon another cell. This one has a giant lobster-man named Marquaid, who comes out bellowing about Action Cat and Adventure Bug. Looks like we have a criminal alliance!
The book then switches to “real-life” pictures! I wasn’t expecting that, at all! Those pictures are of the two wrestlers mentioned at the start: Ring of Honor (ROH) superstars Frankie Kazarian, and the co-writer of the book, “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels. “Kaz” and Daniels are in the ROH locker room, fresh off of a tag team victory. They celebrate for a bit, knowing that they are now 2 steps from becoming:
“WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD!!!”
Meanwhile, in the background, a Martini glass has a bunch of “evil” floating in and around it.
The duo go their separate ways: Kaz hits the shower, Daniels hits the drinks. Specifically, an Apple Martini.
From the “evil”-infested Martini glass.
Daniels realizes, too late, that his Appletini has poisoned with…
*poof!* Daniels disappeared!
Back to the ‘traditional’ animated style:
We are back in “beautiful Downtown Skokie” (read in a Ring Announcer’s voice), in “Aw Yeah Comics!” Comic Book Store. We meet Adventure Bug and Action Cat for the first time, as they unload comic books for New Comic Book Day. Their boss praises the duo for a quick, good job, then goes to check his schedule to see if he can give them some time off. While he’s gone, Action Cat turns on the TV. There is a breaking news story on the TV: the 1st National Bank is being robbed by at least 4 people.
Off goes the duo to save the day!
Cat and Bug get to the bank and meet up with a police officer. The officer shouts, for some reason, his thanks, when the door to the bank suddenly blows off its hinges. Out step those 4 ghosts from the beginning.
Along with a face-painted Christopher Daniels!
Daniels punches Action Cat in the face and the first skirmish begins, between Daniels and ghosts vs. Cat and Adventure Bug. After a few moments, Daniels announces that he doesn’t have time for this: he has other banks to rob. So he grabs the officer and throws him to Parts Unknown.
If you are familiar with Christopher Daniels and his wrestling style, you are probably aware that “throwing officers into the distance” is not in his repertoire.
Adventure Bug catches the officer before he can hit the ground. Daniels then ups the ante and throws the officer’s car at everyone – again, not a normal Daniels move – which hits a wall. Cat grabs the wall before it falls on someone, only to be relieved by…
Awesome Bear saw the robbery report on the news and also decided to come help out. Bear had two questions:
1) Why was Daniels robbing the bank?
2) Where was Kazarian?
No time to worry too much – skirmish #2 begins. Awesome Bear knocks out and grabs the ghosts, and flies off to get help from “a friend”.
Returning to the “live” side, we see what Kazarian’s up to. He’s on his couch, strumming a guitar. His strumming was interrupted by a knock on the door.
Not just a bear, an Awesome Bear!
Awesome Bear fills in Kaz on all of the happenings, including Daniels’ recent antics. Kaz and Bear return to Skokie, but first…
As they fly towards the 1st National Bank, Kaz tells Awesome Bear that Daniels is dressed and painted like a “Legion of Boom” member (an old tag team tribute that he and Kaz went as, back in the past) but he has no idea why Daniels’ eye are glowing. Or where that extreme strength came from.
The duo arrive on the scene.
BIG FIGHT SCENES!
Action Cat, whose patience with Daniels and this robbery attempt is very thin, helps Kaz take out the henchmen, while Daniels throws the money bags at Kaz; Bear and Cat essentially swap spots, with Cat directly attacking Daniels; Daniels takes control of his fight, until he is speared by Kaz; Kaz and Daniels rumble, Kaz trips Daniels, and Daniel’s crashes into a building. (The onomatopoeia during the fight scenes were “fight”, “punch”, “hit”, and “throw”!)
Hard enough to bring the building down on top of Daniels.
This is the end of the issue (nice cliffhanger).
There is an epilogue, showing Daniels and Kazarian out shopping. It isn’t really tied into the main story.
I’m a fan of the mix of animated and “live” panels; although goofy, it added a different element to the story. Speaking of the story, it did it’s job, so to speak: it was entertaining and it has me wondering what’s going to happen next. The writing wasn’t anything to (no pun intended) write home about, and the animation overall was ok, but it was still a fun, strange first issue. I might have to purchase issue #2 in the very near future, as well as some comics featuring Action Cat, Adventure Bug, and Awesome Bear!