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WWE #3: Redesign, Rebuild, Reclaim

Written by Ashley Leckwold on Wednesday, March 22 2017 and posted in Reviews

WWE #3: Redesign, Rebuild, Reclaim

In the best issue of the WWE comic yet, we come back to a familiar place.

Source: Boom! Studios

Writing by: Dennis Hopeless and Tini Howard

Art by: Serg Acuña

Colors by: Doug Garbark

Letters by: Jim Campbell

A year later and we're back at a similar spot for Seth Rollins. With the hold harmless agreement looming for next week's Raw, coming back to this point in his career is rather unsettling.

Most of the issue takes place during Rollins' time away from WWE while he recouped from his knee injury from November 2015 to May 2016. While more of the reality is known to us thanks to the WWE 24 special they did on Rollins after his return, Dennis Hopeless and Serg Acuña get to play around a little more with the kayfabe aspects of his recovery. From Rollins' initial depression over getting injured and his former brother-in-arms Roman Reigns taking the top spot to the point he destroys a video game drumset to his own self-revitalization in rehab and creating his own ring gear in a clever Spider-Man reference. And it's all thanks to the best cameo in the comic so far. Seriously, I don't want to spoil it, but I shrieked with laughter when it came up. Talk about a swerve and a loyal crew.

Acuña's art has been getting better with each issue the more we sink into Rollins' story. While Hopeless has been making Rollins' recovery both relatable and somewhat over-the-top in the writing, Acuña's animated art style has really been driving it home. The way he draws Rollins angry is especially impressive and palpable, especially compared to the real thing.


Speaking of Acuña, he pulls double duty in this issue with the backup story titled "The Beast and the Brawler," which is focused on another injured superstar whose Mania plans are unknown: Finn Bálor. The story is written by Tini Howard of The Skeptics and is done in the style of an Irish ballad. Now, I'm admittedly very biased towards the subject and the writer, but this is easily my favorite of the backup stories in WWE so far. Wrestling is very much a myth-laden way of telling story, much like Irish myth of yore and superhero comics of now. The stories change a little with each retelling, but the archetypes remain the same. To dig into the myth of Bálor, the king of the Fomorians to tell how Finn Bálor became the Demon King is nothing short of sublime and Howard is immediately on the top of my list for writing a full series about Bálor, both wrestler and myth. We also get to see Acuña stretch his wings in this story, showing a darker, more monstrous style compared to the main Rollins story. As it should be.

While the timing may not have been planned, WWE #3 is easily the best issue of the series so far. Hopeless and Acuña have found their groove as a team as they tell the story of Rollins building himself back up from the bottom. Just in time for Mania too. However, you also can't discount Howard and Acuña for injecting the series with a much needed supernatural jolt in their backup story that I would pay good money to have Bálor read aloud. If you're a wrestling fan who hasn't been reading this series, now is a damn good time to start.


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About the Author - Ashley Leckwold

Ashley Leckwold is a writer based out of Atlanta who is the cross-section of a magical girl and a demon queen. She has done a whole other host of weirdness, including work at Steampunk Chronicle, Nerdophiles, the Ratchet Retrocast, The Rainbow Hub, PopOptiq and the Killer Queen and 27 anthologies published through Red Stylo Media. Most of her current work is non-fictional and found at her blog as well as Graphic Policy. She can often be found on Twitter at @misskittyf crying about comics, TV, pro-wrestling and music.

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