Wrestlemania is on the horizon and to commentate the biggest event in sports entertainment, Boom! Studios has released WWE Wrestlemania 2018 Special #1 as a complement to the monthly series. WWE Wrestlemania 2018 Special #1 is anthology comic that is focused on special events during Mania of years past. The stories are all solid retelling of the events in the world of WWE, and serve to expand on major moments in the history of the company.
The lead off You Can Hate Me Now is a brief retelling of Wrestlemania 27’s main event between The Miz and John Cena. Written by Justin May, the story is centered on The Miz (one of the most underrated Champs of the last decade) as he faces the boos of the crowd while staring down the company man himself John Cena. The story gets into the internal motivation of Miz and works in the key highlights of the match such as the restart from the Rock and Miz’s victory. It is a solid piece of work. The art by Michel Mulipoa and Doug Garbark is solid in places, but the figure work gets away from them at times. A lot of wonky foreshortening and scaling, but it does the job well enough.
The next two stories are the Co-headliners of the book. Both stories feature Macho Man Randy Savage, but in different tones.
When a Macho Man Loves a Woman is a comedic story that follows Macho Man and Miss Liz as they try to enjoy Randy’s retirement. Writer Ryan Ferrier does a great job on the story. It is almost Looney Tunes in its level of absurdity and nails the Macho-isms down perfectly. The art by Kendall Goode is dynamic and exaggerated in a way to match the insanity of a story that starts with Ultimate Warrior vs Macho Man. Goode has an eye for expressions that is valuable to this story. Very strong story and enjoyable.
The second Macho Man story details the legendary match between Macho Man and Ricky Steamboat. Iron Sharpens Iron is written by Lan Pitts and he delivers an epic retelling of a the match that lives up to the legendary status of the match. Pitts brings out the motivation of each wrestler that builds into the narrative of the match. Wrestling is much more than just feats of athleticism. It is about ring psychology, and Pitts does this well. Iron Sharpens Iron is the most in-ring heavy story of the WWE Wrestlemania 2018 Special #1 and it nails what makes wrestling works. It is put over even further by the phenomenal art from Jake Elphick and Doug Garbark. Elphick captures the fluidity and action of the ring. Pitts and Elphick together capture the magic and drama of wrestling.
The final story details Stephanie McMahon’s outfit choice for her famous heel entrance with HHH as leaders of the Authority. Written by Tini Howard and illustrated by Rodrigo Lorenzo and Doug Garbark, The Authority Wears Prada was an okay story at best. Definitely one of the weaker stories in the comic. The dialog is stilted and the story doesn’t interest me all that much. I like the motivation of Stephanie McMahon’s decision, but it just didn’t click. The art was solid, but nothing spectacular. It doesn’t hurt the story in any way, but it doesn’t uplift it.
Overall, WWE Wrestlemania 2018 Special #1 is a strong wrestling comic that captures the humor, drama, and excitement of the sport. The comic is uneven, but the Macho Man features are well worth the price of the admission. It is impossible for a card to be perfect from top to bottom, but there is more than enough here to send the fans home happy.