Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia #1
Written by: Ed Kuehnel and Matt Entin
Art by: Dan Schkade
Colors by: Marissa Louise
Lettering by: A Larger World Studios
Edited by: Mariah Huehner
Design by: Fred Chao
Published by: Suspicious Behavior Productions
I haven’t watched anything wrestling related in quite some time. Well, that’s not true. I do occasionally catch an episode of Total Divas because my stepmom watches it for reasons I can’t really explain because I don’t know why she does. And when I do, I have no idea who any of these women are because the last time I watched wrestling, Justin Timberlake still rocked cornrows.
My favorite era of wrestling was around the 80s to mid-90s. That’s when I saw my first taping of Monday Night Raw. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Rock fought in the main event. It was great. I was wearing my Stone Cold shirt. My little brother was wearing his “Do you smell what’s cooking?” shirt. We fought the whole time. I tried to Stone Cold Stunner my brother and he tried to Rock Bottom me. We didn’t even get in trouble. My mom refereed the match. She was a big fan too. I have memories of from my early childhood of Randy “the Macho Man” Savage, “the Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, The Million Dollar Man, and Rick Flare, because my mother would watch it every Saturday before our weekly marathon of old Bruce Lee Movies.
So it’s safe to say that there certain time period of Sports Entertainment that I feel a really strong connection to. And Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia captures that Golden Age of Wrestling perfectly and throws in a little throwback to Flash Gordon and The Last Starfighter to turn up the nostalgia up to 11.
IFPW follows “Rock n’ Roll” Randy Landell. Randy reminds me of “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski. He’s a wrestler that’s over the hill, still trying to recapture that magic from his peak, a time where he was almost the Champ. But it’s fine, Randy is the self-proclaimed “Champion of the Galaxy.” And that little statement has gotten him and possibly the world into trouble. The first issue is mostly Randy’s backstory, ending with the introduction of the main antagonist of this story, Manifest Destiny. And that’s when I was sold.
Ed Kuehnel and Matt Entin, the writers of IFPW do a good job of capturing everything I have ever loved about wrestling. The characters are grandiose and embody the wrestling tropes that any fan of Sports Entertainment would enjoy. Dan Schkade’s illustrations sell the setting and remind me of Bronze Age comic and Marissa Louise’s use of color helps with pushing that aesthetic. Plus the bad guy’s name is Manifest Destiny. And that is just amazing. I laughed audibly.
I enjoy that IFPW lovely hits my nostalgia bone and brings me back to my childhood. I love the premise. And I enjoy the diverse cast of characters. But I think it’s only negative point is that it might be hard for someone outside of the wrestling fandom to get into this book. It’s good. It’s something fun and entertaining.