THE SHIELD IS REUNITED…against each other for the WWE Championship!
The saga of WWE’s heel faction The Shield is a strange one. Back in 2012, a trio of NXT hopefuls donned tactical vests and boots and instantly became so much more than the sum of their parts. The Shield was massively over. Then, someone over at creative got the idea to split them up, which worked out beautifully for two of them. In 2017, we got the triumphant return of one of the best stables in pro wrestling history, only to have the celebration cut short by a backstage outbreak of the mumps. You read that right. Mumps. Now, Roman’s back, but Dean Ambrose will be out for a year with a torn tricep. Ugh.
WWE #12 follows Ambrose, Reigns, and Rollins from their game-changing debut at the 2012 Survivor Series PPV (sort of), through a few milestones, all the way through their triple threat match for the WWE Championship strap at Battleground 2016.
The Survivor Series segment was a little odd for me. I understand the omission of Phil “CM Punk” Brooks from the sequence, since Punk basically left the company high and dry while he was still one of their biggest draws. The part I couldn’t quite wrap my head around was the Gabe Tuft lookalike the trio powerbombed through an announce table. That’s a very memorable spot, but it was Ryback, not T. Reks, who went through the table. Maybe there’s a licensing issue or something, since Ryback still uses the moniker and his trademarked look on the indie circuit.
The story is shown in three parts, each piece told from the perspectives of Reigns, Ambrose, and Rollins respectively. Dennis Hopeless has a brilliant understanding of the characters these cats play on television and does a great job with the internal monologues and backstage dialogue.
Likenesses and action sequences are absolutely killed by Serg Acuna. Deano’s little sideyways smirk, that weird half stubble on Seth’s chest, Roman’s scowl… all spot on. There is a slight shift in the art on the pages that Tim Lattie filled in on, but the art is still good, if not a little distracting.
I’m interested to see if we’re going to stick with the focus on The Shield with recent developments taking ANOTHER member out of action for an indeterminable length of time. This is still a great story, regardless what’s going on in current WWE programming, and chapter 12 is a great jumping on point for fans who are looking for a way to dig deeper into one of the WWE’s greatest modern storylines.
WWE #12, published by Boom! Studios, released on the 27th of December 2017. Written by Dennis Hopeless, art by Serg Acuna and Tim Lattie, colors by Doug Garbark, letters by Jim Campbell. Main cover by Dan Mora, Lita variant by Carlos Magno, Rikishi variant by Adam Riches, Royal Rumble connecting variant by Brent Schoonover. Backup story by Julian May, with art by Rodrigo Lorenzo. $3.99.