Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia #1
Written by: Matt Entin & Edward Kuehnel
Art by: Dan Schkade
Colored by: Marissa Louise
Remember that time in your life when something ruled your world? It was usually in your childhood. Maybe it was Star Wars, The Legend of Zelda, Kiss, Strawberry Shortcake, or The Chicago Bulls. For some people, it was, and still is, wrestling, aka, wraslin’. I certainly had that phase, so it is my pleasure to introduce you to issue 1 of Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia.
There are 2 things that I value in my fiction: the highlighting/praise of traditional American norms and weirdness. IFPW falls into the latter category, which only lightly touches on the weird in this issue, but promises more to come. The premise is as such: a proud, hot shot wrestling star in the 1980’s, walks out on an event, which destroys his career and turns him into a washed-up has-been that burns all bridges in the amateur wresting circuit, until an alien race of wrestlers picks up a promo he cut, declaring him to be the greatest wrestler in the galaxy, and sets the ball into motion.
I love this book like the creators, clearly, love the art of professional wrestling. I have to say this, and I have never backed down from this point: professional wrestling is not fake. It’s scripted, and that’s what makes it great. IFPW understands the allure of pro wrestling with colorful characters, over the top dialogue (while in character), yet correctly identifies that wrestlers are human beings, complete with emotions, rather than tools for corporations to utilize how they see fit. It comes off like a version of the wrestler than doesn’t make you want to run a straight razor down your forearms. Not that I dislike the wrestler, in fact, I love it, but it is so depressing. IFPW gives a brief glimpse into the dark side of life after fame, but promises a nice fantastical twist, that we want. A bit of depressing reality, followed by some whimsical, uplifting fantasy.
Although I haven’t watched wrestling in decades, I still look, fondly, on that time when I had the moral dilemma of watching either WCW Nitro or WWF Raw on Monday nights. The first issue of Invasion From planet Wrestletopia offers a promising story of redemption, but it does it through the veil of pro wrestling. The characters are multi dimensional, and the colors are vibrant, which is reflective of the era, world in which it’s based. It’s a great read for wrestling fans, and people who want something that is weird, but has heart, and is for a more adult audience. It’s not violent or sexual, but it’s adult in it’s narrative. It’s the Larry Sanders Show of Wrestling with Aliens. I’m captivated and ready for more. You better believe it, brother!