It’s Paige’s House In WWE: NXT Takeover – Into the Fire #1

by Brendan M. Allen

The third week of this epic event sees The Empress of Tomorrow, Asuka, beginning her rise to the NXT Women’s Championship, and Full Sail becoming Glorious thanks to Bobby Roode…

In WWE: NXT Takeover – Into The Fire #1, Paige is planning her big comeback after nearly a year on the disabled list due to neck injury. Realizing the climate has changed dramatically in her absence, she’s scouting the deep pool of female talent in NXT, hoping to recruit a couple thirsty up-and-comers to watch her back on the main roster.

Paige’s top two choices, Asuka and Ember Moon, are enjoying way too much success on their own to even consider a team-up at this point in their respective careers. The second round of picks decide they work better without her, but Paige finally hits paydirt with a couple strong contenders she already has rapport with from her stint as a Tough Enough mentor.

Dennis Hopeless, who also writes the WWE ongoing, continues to bring a nuanced understanding of professional wrestling, the structure of the WWE, and the motivation that drives these performers. Dialogue flows really well, and fits the individual voices of each character. Hopeless expertly fills in the WWE programming gaps without breaking continuity.

Hyeonjin Kim pulls art duties on this chapter, using the same style as the Asuka shorts in WWE #13-17. The likenesses aren’t perfect, but they’re close enough to quickly figure out. Ring gear and context helps. One of the best action sequences features Ember Moon hitting her finisher, a corkscrew stunner off the top rope. Even if you haven’t seen how spectacular Total Eclipse is, Kim sells it with a well planned sequence, torqued panels, and intense facial expressions. (If you seriously haven’t seen this move, though, head over to YouTube RIGHT NOW.)

Boom! Studios has been killing it with the WWE titles, especially the ongoing monthly. Dennis Hopeless’ writing is spectacular, and it doesn’t seem to matter much who BOOM! pairs him with. The end product is highly entertaining, and synched beautifully with WWE live action programming.

WWE: NXT Takeover – Into The Fire #1, Boom! Studios, released 19 September 2018. Written by Dennis Hopeless, illustrated by Hyeonjin Kim, colored by Wesllei Manoel, letters by Jim Campbell, cover by David Nakayama, alternate cover by Marco D’Alfonso.

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