WWE Then. Now. Forever. #1
Writers: Dennis Hopeless, Ross Thibodeaux, Rob Schamberger, Derek Fridolfs
Art: Dan Mora, Rob Guillory, Rob Schamberger, Daniel Bayliss, Derek Fridolfs
Reviewed By: Gregory Brothers
Can you SMELLLLLLLLLLLLLL what Boom! Studios is cooking? Back in July it was announced that Boom! was becoming the home of WWE franchised comics and graphic novels. WWE has a long tradition of branching out into other mediums in order to help and promote their products and the addition of comics by Boom! just adds to that history. While no other projects have been officially announced WWE Then. Now. Forever. #1 officially kicks off the first monthly comic, simply titled WWE that starts in January.
WWE Then. Now. Forever. #1’s main story is written by Dennis Hopeless and focuses on one of the most shocking WWE moments in the last few years, being that of Seth Rollins turning on The Shield. Anyone who is a fan of wrestling will tell you that in many way pro wrestling is very much like a macho version of a soap opera, with the storylines being sometimes just as ridiculous. Hopeless embraces that idea as he weaves the story of cookouts gone wrong, secret meetings at yacht clubs, and parking lot fights with a family of swamp people all leading to the end of The Shield. The use of over the top conflicts and disagreements in the backstage area are used to move the story forward while giving the reader underlying reasons for the split. Hopeless’s use inner monologue from the perspective of Seth Rollins to give you his thoughts on the conflict that he is grappling with provides the reader with great insight that they would otherwise not be privy to. Mora shows restraint in WWE Then. Now. Forever #1 by choosing an art style that is much more grounded in reality with hints of cartoon violence and action sequences sprinkled in throughout. By doing so it helps to remind you that the events that are happening here are based on actual storylines rather than mystical and fantastical stories.
The second story within WWE Then. Now. Forever. #1 focuses on The New Day running a kids summer camp and teaching the importance of not being booty. “The New Day’s Optimistic Odyssey” is based more on fantastical adventures then reality, as The New Day travel back in time to help save the Power of Positivity. The art in this short matches the over the top and imaginative story as bright colors, stylized characters, and dinosaurs all fill the pages. In addition to the backup story featuring The New Day, several one-page teasers feature various WWE superstars from the past and the present. If the reader picking up WWE Then. Now. Forever. #1 has a very limited knowledge of the WWE Universe these are a nice way to get the general idea of these characters background and attitude.
Buy! If you are a fan of the WWE then getting a chance to see “behind the curtain” could be interesting and may provide some insight as to what is going on in your favorite story line. Moving forward, the WWE could work with Boom! to advance the conflicts in their shows by tying live action events to what happens in the pages of future issues. WWE The. Now. Forever. #1 also provides enough context that even if you do not follow the current product you can catch up with who these people are quickly and understand the conflict that is going on. The stories are rich with characters and intrigue for readers of all ages and provide a fun and entertaining read.