WCW Comic Book Issue # 3
As part of our WCW Wednesdays section, we have been reviewing the WCW comic book series created by Marvel in the early 1990's. Here's a review of the first issue, followed by a review of the second issue.
When we last left off, Ron Simmons and Sting were worrying about the mysterious Ghoul who was haunting WCW (this mirrored the career path of The WCW Phantom on WCW television, who was quickly revealed to be Ravishing Rick Rude.)
But enough about that Ghoul crap. WCW is holding its Bruise Cruise - a chartered cruiseship event that really did exist, and WCW incorporated it into the comic book to help drum up its fledging tourism business. Remember that fact later, as it will become important.
So over on the lido deck, The Stinger is beating up some scrub who only wishes he were Big Josh, as roughly two dozen wrestling fans watch on in amazement. This could have been a Worldwide taping....
But all is not well on the Bruise Cruise. Cactus Jack, or at least a RIDICULOUSLY large rendering of Mick Foley, for some reason, is there to cause mischief on the boat, and to aid him, he's got.... The Young Pistols???
Nothing against Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong, but they weren't exactly top heels in WCW. What the hell, was Jim Cornette booking at the time?
The Young Pistols sneak into the fitness room and kidnap a bunch of cruisegoers, forcing them into giant laundry sacks. Meanwhile, Cactus Jack comandeers the ship's controls, somehow, and the leisurely cruise is forced into a state of emergency.
Sting, meanwhile, is dancing to karaoke music (?) with Missy Hyatt (??) when they both hear that there's been an emergency. Sting leaves his date, freeing her to screw... well, pretty much any other dude on the boat, and springs into action to find the dastardy heels who are compromising their lives.
Because The Stinger isn't just a patron of this cruiseship. He's also apparently John McLane in Die Hard.
After beating up The Young Pistols, whom we learn are working for The WCW Ghoul and have brought a bomb on board (!), Sting is forced to climb up a ladder to the top of the ship, uttering THE dumbest quote ever used in a comic book of any kind.
But here's a question - did Sting actually take off his suit, remove his shirt and apply his warpaint before tracking down Cactus Jack? And if so..... WHY?!?
Soon, Sting gets to the top of the structure (where, not unlike Donkey Kong, a woman is being held against her will), and comes face to face with.... Cactus Fat!
To make matters worse, Food Love is carrying a vial of some sort of liquid, rather than a bomb, per se (continuity note: the vial becomes sticks of dynamite by the next panel).
Um, a question: remember how I said WCW was trying to promote its Bruise Cruise? HOW?!? By telling you that kidnappings and bombings are the norm? How, exactly, would this entice anyone to attend said cruise?
"WCW Bruise Cruise: Our security isn't very strict."
A huge fight breaks out between The Stinger and Flabkind, with the sticks of dynamite hanging in the balance.
Of course, if Sting had the WWE Network at the time, he could have watched King Of The Ring '98 to see exactly how The Undertaker dispatched of Mrs. Fleshy's Bulky Boy when he was perched atop a high ledge. But Sting is just trying to get the bomb away from the "350 pound homicidal maniac" who honestly looks more like Yokozuna in these pictures than his real-life counterpart did at the time.
I mean, let's be honest here - he was never Rick Rude in the physique department - but he still never looked like The Big Show and Abdullah The Butcher had a child together.
Soon, Cactus Jowls is teetering off the end of the deck when Sting, of all people, offers him some assistance.
But Sting is unable to hold on to The Lardcore Legend, giving us one of the more.... um, impressive scenes in recent comic book memory.
The Icon falls off the platform himself, but not before having the presence of mind to throw the sticks of dynamite clear from the boat. Miraculously, the explosion happens without affecting anyone on the boat. But what about all those poor fish? Isn't their an expression "fishing with dynamite"?
But the two men are still plunging to their deaths when Mick Fatley decides to take a flat-back (fat back?) bump and lands in center ring, fresh as a daisy. And instead of, you know, dying on impact, Sting does a hop right onto his "big fat belly", does a somersault in mid-air, twists around backwards and leaps out of ring.
I'm not saying that spot looks a little contrived, but since I've posted this photo, three workers from Ring of Honor have come forward and said "Dude, that sequence doesn't look very realistic."
Believe it or not, Sting and Plumpmissioner Foley still have a wrestling match (this one 'for the cameras', I suppose) in which The Stinger STILL manages to get a clean victory.
Afterwards, Sting talks to the police about everything that's gone down, and he's still kind of worried that this pesky WCW Ghoul hasn't surfaced yet, despite threatening to kill him. So how does The Stinger decide to take his mind off impending death?
Apparently by trying to get laid (so "dancing the night away") with Missy Hyatt. Sting doesn't care that someone wants him killed; it's party time, dude!
Usually, I'm quite high on Marvel's WCW Comic Books; the storylines are more Marvel-esque, and the artwork is generally good. But for this one, you have to almost know what's going on in WCW to understand every little reference. And The Ghoul plot is making less and less sense around - we already know it's going to be Rick Rude. Why delay that?
Let's hope Issue # 4 ("War Games") is better than The Bruise Cruise.