Sami Zayn has made his decision to stand with Kevin Owens. Together, they plot their course to take over Smackdown Live…and no one will stand in their way!
WWE #19 covers the ground between Sami Zayn’s heel turn at Hell in a Cell 2017 and Survivor Series 2017. Dennis Hopeless fills in the storyline blanks and delivers believable motivation and justification for one of the most likeable babyfaces on the roster selling out his legions of fans.
It’s one thing to earn a main roster call up from NXT. It’s another to carry that momentum into the big leagues and keep that roster spot. The crowd dynamic is so different, many performers that are insanely “over” in developmental struggle to get a pop on Raw or Smackdown. For every Seth Rollins, there are dozens of gimmicks that fail to land with the WWE Universe. Anyone remember The Ascension? American Alpha? The Vaudevillains? Tyler Breeze?
It’s easy to see where guys like Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens might feel like they need to make some waves in order to stay relevant and keep their spots on WWE prime time programming. Unfortunately for the pair, there’s always going to be blowback. Former friends and allies in the back aren’t necessarily going to share the vision. And while the brass may appreciate the ratings, once the heat dies down, you may very well be staring down a pink slip.
Serg Acuna continues to absolutely destroy the artwork in this series. Likenesses are dead on. Action sequences pop off the page. There is still that McMahon issue. Apparently Acuna isn’t allowed to show the faces of any McMahon, as evidenced in this arc and several previous. He still is able to deliver an undeniable likeness of Shane-O Mac, even with the restriction in place.
One of the other odd things you may notice in this chapter is the blurring of Randy Orton’s iconic sleeve tattoos. This is most likely a result of Orton’s longtime tattoo artist recently suing the WWE and 2K games for depicting her artwork too accurately in WWE 2K18.
El Generico still hasn’t popped up, but I did catch a nod to The Generic Luchador. One panel, four words, but it’s there. Can I get the mask, fellas? Just the once?
WWE 19, published by BOOM! Studios, releases 18 July 2018. Written by Dennis Hopeless, illustrated by Serg Acuna, color by Doug Garbark, letters by Jim Campbell. Backup story “Second Nature” written by Julian May, illustrated by Rodrigo Lorenzo, color by Doug Garbark, letters by Jim Campbell. Covers available by Dan Mora, Adam Riches, Brent Schoonover (with colors by Nick Filardi), and Andy Belanger.