Are you ready? The most iconic time in Sports Entertainment history comes to life in untold stories of the WWE. This anthology includes stories looking at Stone Cold Steve Austin, the rivalry between the Brothers of Destruction, Undertaker and Kane, and DX’s infamous invasion of a certain wrestling program “down South”…
The Attitude Era is arguably the most entertaining time in WWE’s long and storied history. The characters were lewd, crude, and over the top. The Monday Night Wars were in full swing, and pro wrestling had stepped out of the shadows into mainstream media. WWE: Attitude Era 2018 Special #1 dips its toes into the nostalgia pool to bring four independent stories from everyone’s favorite 90’s Monday night addiction.
Funeral For a Rattlesnake features a small chunk of the feud between WWE’s top two Attitude Era Superstars, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. On the 12 April 1999 episode of Monday Night Raw, The Brahma Bull attempted to murder the Rattlesnake by throwing him off a bridge. While most of us remember how this particular vignette played out, Aaron Gillespie adds a layer by giving us a first person perspective. Michel Mulipola nails the art in this chapter, from an iconic eyebrow to a certain redneck swagger.
The Three Faces of Foley throws a spotlight at the hardest worker of the era, Mick Foley. Mama Foley’s baby boy always gave everything he had to the business he obviously loves. Kevin Panetta uses one of the WWE’s current programming platforms as a vehicle to bring three of Mick’s alter egos into the same room. The dialogue works well for two of the characters, but one seems a little chattier than I remember. Domo Stanton’s linework is a little caricatured for some of the ultraviolence, but that plays into the brilliantly multifaceted nature of Mick’s characters.
Women’s wrestling has gone through some interesting stages over the past several decades. The feud between Lita and Trish Stratus is a milestone that arguably paved the way for the current Women’s Evolution in the WWE. In Trish vs. Lita, Julian May and Hyeonjin Kim do a fantastic job bringing some of the key television moments leading up to Lita’s upset title victory on RAW, but don’t add a whole lot of depth to what we’ve already seen.
Behind Enemy Lines nods at the fallout of the infamous Curtain Call. The Kliq was a backstage group in the WWE that consisted of Scott Hall/Razor Ramon, Kevin Nash/Diesel, Shawn Michaels, Sean Waltman/Syxx/X Pac, and Triple H. Notorious for breaking kayfabe at MSG in May 1996, right before Hall and Nash defected to rival WCW, the scattered pieces of The Kliq would go on to form two of the best drawing stables in either company, WWE’s Degeneration X and WCW’s New World Order.
DX was basically Vince McMahon’s answer to the insanely popular nWo, at a time when both companies were liberally stealing storylines, gimmicks, and workers from each other. Ryan Ferrier and Kendall Goode take the nWo Invasion angle and mash it up with the DX copycat invasion to reunite the Kliq for a tense moment that could just as easily evolve into a brawl as a group hug. I don’t know how I feel about this one. These fellas were still close friends at the time, so they probably would have had interactions away from the cameras at some point, but this one blurs the line between kayfabe and reality in an odd way.
Boom’s official description said something about a piece on The Brothers of Destruction, but apparently that chapter didn’t make the cut. My guess is it was bumped for the Trish/Lita piece. Fair enough. The four pieces that made it are solidly fun and nostalgic, even if there isn’t a whole lot of new ground being covered here. The look and feel of the Attitude Era is well represented.
WWE: Attitude Era 2018 Special #1, published by Boom! Studios, released 01 August 2018. Written by Aaron Gillespie, Kevin Panetta, Julian May, and Ryan Ferrier, illustrated by Michel Mulipola, Dominike “Domo” Stanton, Hyeonjin Kim, and Kendall Goode, color by Doug Garbark and Jeremy Larson, covers available by Rahzzah, Will Robson, and David Nakayama.