Seth Rollins has done the unthinkable: He cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase during the main event of WrestleMania to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion. In doing so, however, he pissed off an already very angry beast, as well as a certain Big Dog he once called his brother. BOOM! Studios’ WWE returns this week with issue #2—is it good?
WWE #2 (BOOM! Studios)
Seth Rollins’ story arc from so-called architect of The Shield to WWE Champion is one of the most interesting and well done in the company since the CM Punk/Daniel Bryan days, making it the perfect angle to base a comic arc on. And as a weird coincidence, I have personally been present at every event this comic has depicted going into this issue. I live in Boston, so I was there for Money in the Bank 2014 when Rollins won the briefcase. I was also in Santa Clara for WrestleMania 31, where he cashed said briefcase in and won the title, as well as the Raw after for the fallout. It’s interesting reliving an angle I was heavily invested in at the time, in comic form.
And this comic delivers more of the tendons that keep the story more fleshed out and connected than what you see on Raw alone can provide.
Much like the first issue, it’s the little things that really get me in this series. Keen eyes will spot funny details, such as Triple H’s private boat being named “The Sea-Rebal Assassin,” possibly the best WWE-based dad joke I’ve ever heard. Seth’s match preparation regimen, as well, is a little unexpected—a huge dinner and 12 hours of sleep, eh man? Maybe I can be a WWE Champion after all. And why DID he let the blond patch in his hair grow in?! These little tidbits make me feel like Dennis Hopeless is having fun writing this series, and it shows.
I also loved the Undertaker’s involvement being explained as an Authority scheme rather than completely random. I may sound like a broken record, but it’s these very small tweaks that could take WWE TV from frustrating to captivating. I’m glad to see it happen in any medium, however.
There are some minor things that I took umbrage with. And what kind of hardcore wrestling fan would I be if I didn’t nitpick minor details to death? The montage page of Rollins losing at two consecutive PPVs feels a little incongruent with the story the comic is telling. Yes, that’s what actually happened, but…well, it didn’t make a lot of sense on TV, either. I think it would have behooved Rollins’ character a bit more if his defenses between WrestleMania and Battleground was just left in the dark. And also, the sound Undertaker’s music hits is so *GONG*, not “Krakoooom”!
Okay, enough bitching. Overall WWE #2 was, much like its predecessors, a huge amount of fun as a wrestling fan. A prime example of said fun: There’s an Ultimate Warrior origin story of sorts at the end of the issue, lasting just a couple pages, but it’s so ridiculously awesome it might be worth the price of admission alone.
The artwork continues to be expressive and clear as well. Wrestlers look like their real-life counterparts and the action, of which there is a lot in this issue, is easy to follow.
It It Good?
This series is a must-buy for WWE fans. I’m not sure how much people who aren’t fans of the squared circle will get out of it, but there is enough intrigue in Seth Rollins’ story to keep most going.