Ryan Thomason

Graphic Novel Review: WWE, Rise of the Firstborn

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From the Back Cover: Since the dawn of time the powers of good and evil have been locked in unending battle and the firstborn children of light and darkness have been reincarnated time and again. In each new generation these children are amongst the mightiest warriors of the age, one destined to protect and the other destined to destroy. Now, in the present day, where else would these champions be found than within the ranks of the WWE? Battle lines will be drawn as the best (and worst) in sports entertainment fight for the biggest prize of all the future of the human race!
Publisher: Titan Books
Writer: Keith Champagne
Artists: Andy Smith, Tom Nguyen
Cover: Gary Erskine

I have to say, I was extremely curious when I talked to the people at Titan Publishing about reviewing this book. I was really into the whole WWF and WCW when I was in high school. Since then, WWF bought out WCW, had a bunch of wrestlers leave, and was forced to change their name to WWE. So, now that the least confusing part is out of the way, lets get down to the graphic novel.

I read graphic novels twice. First, I flip through the book and just look at the artwork without reading anything. Yeah, I’m kind of giving things away but, it’s just how I’ve always approached graphic novels. The things that popped out in my head at first was that someone told the artists that the wrestlers didn’t have enough veins showing. Then, when they gave that jackass enough veins popping out of every wrestlers arms and chest it was decided that no more veins were needed. Beyond that vein quota being hit early (which was a good thing) the artwork actually is pretty good. Even though I’ve only seen most of the guys depicted in the book briefly on TV, I knew who a couple of the guys were, but for some reason most of them seemed to look the same. I’m not sure if it’s because EVERYONE now is some musclehead or something but I had a hard time picking people apart. Undertaker was the only one who really stood out for me, but he seemed to be missing his arm tattoos. For shame. The final battle with the demon at the end was nicely done at least, and that includes the coloring.

Now, we’re on the second reading, where I actually you know, read it too. I’m not going to say that the writing was bad. Um. Let’s see. The writing was. Ok, I didn’t really like it. It just seemed so cliché and when the wrestlers were speaking, it seemed worse than watching it on live TV. Now, I’m sure a lot of it went over my head because I don’t care about the sport anymore, and it may have been spot on with what fans expect. For someone who is a casual reader though, it was over the top to say the least. Given the subject, that’s a lot. The oh so obvious tie in at the end for the Undertaker Spin off that once you saw unfolding in the end, you knew another graphic novel was in the works before this one was even finished.

Isn’t the Undertaker near wrestling retirement age by now? I remember watching him back in the 90’s with that short fat weird guy that was his manager. He was pretty bad ass back then, and according to this book, still kicks some ass and takes names. That. I’m cool with. If you are a WWE fan, you’ll love this book. If you aren’t , save your money and buy the Jim Lee DC artwork book called ICONS that Titan Publishing puts out instead.

SCORE: $4.99/$14.95
Buy this directly from Titan Publishing HERE

Here is what I suggest you buy from Titan instead, because this book will not only give you geek cred, but make you look like a bad ass with it on your coffee table in your living room.

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