SummerSlam 2017 Comic Book
From the moment I saw this comic book on sale, not only did I know that I needed to own it, but I also knew that I'd have to write an article about it for Wrestling Merchandise and Memories
That in itself isn't unusual: I'd say I have similar thoughts with about 98 % of the wrestling merch I pick up or merely eyeball these days. And yet, this comic was somehow different.
I mean, just LOOK at the cover art. You've got a split-screen face of The Undertaker and Mankind; Finn Balor in full Demon regalia; Lex Luger bodyslamming Yokozuna; The Bushwhackers and The Natural Disasters; and the WWF-era face of Dusty Rhodes.
I can't emphasize enough how fantastic this art is. It deserves to be hung in a gallery somewhere, or possibly the wall of my man cave. Does it personify SummerSlam? Probably not (needs a little Stone Cold, Hulk Hogan and John Cena for that), but hey.... it definitely paints a vivid picture for the reader, so no complaints.
The first comic, "I wined and dined with kings and queens," details the SummerSlam 1990 match between Dusty Rhodes and Randy Savage. But instead of focusing on what actually happened, it tells the tale of a Dusty fan who turned against him, accepting a job hoisting the throne of the "Macho King," only to abandon him come match time.
The next story, "In The Mandible Of Madness," is about the SummerSlam 1996 Boiler Room Brawl match between The Undertaker and Mankind.
Not only does this comic have a much darker tone (to match the brutal rivalry these had at the time), but it actually outlines the rationale behind The Dead Man's manager Paul Bearer dumping him in favor of Mankind. This actually would have been a tremendous help to boost their storyline at the time.
We go from fairly realistic artwork to whatever they were doing in "The New Day's Fantastic Odyssey (Part Five)". To put it mildly, I'm not a big fan of this particular story.
Perhaps it's just because I've missed the first four episodes of the story arc, but this just seems silly and truly has nothing to do with the SummerSlam theme. It reminds me of something from a Muppet Show comic book, honestly.
The next story is simply called "The Bushwhackers vs. The Natural Disasters," following their match at SummerSlam 1991.
While the finish of the match was the same (Earthquake and Typhoon won the bout easily), we're then treated to a post-match smorgasbord hosted by Jimmy Hart's First Family. It ends, predictably, with a Bushwhacker biting Typhoon on the butt, getting their revenge.
The final comic, "Give The Demon His Due," focuses on the Finn Balor-Seth Rollins Universal Championship match from SummerSlam 2016, and is easily my favorite story of the bunch.
Over a highly detailed series of panels, Rollins discusses how The Demon is attempting to get into his head and even his nightmares. But between psyching himself up and exchanging harsh words with Bray Wyatt, Rollins is prepared to take on Balor.
For some reason, there's no Lex Luger vs. Yokozuna (SummerSlam 1993) storyline, despite their match appearing on the front cover. But still, that hardly detracts from my enjoyment over what was a really well-illustrated and thought out comic.
What a long way WWE has come from their Battlemania days...