Comic Book Review: WWE #4
All great wrestling sagas come to and end and this week we reach the end of Seth Rollins’ return from injury in “WWE” #4. In the grand tradition of all wrestling sagas, there is plenty of fighting and lots of bold declarations. “WWE” #4 is another strong issue for a series that has proven to be better than anyone expected given the track record of WWE branded comic books.
“WWE” #4 picks things up with Seth Rollins working to be cleared to return to ring action. Through hard work and determination, Seth gets that but he’s stopped by Triple H, who doesn’t want him anywhere near the WWE. Seth Rollins, being the determined person that he is, makes it happen anyway because nothing will stop him.
The thing about “WWE” has been its ability to blend the ridiculousness of wrestling with a really human story. That’s exactly what wrestling is at its core. Professional wrestling is athletic feats set within emotional stories with larger than life characters. “WWE” has really been able to capture that. Think of any major athlete who’s ever been injured. Their comeback story is always one of courage and determination and that’s what you get with Seth Rollins in this issue. He just wants to follow his dreams and be the top guy again. This is a story full of human emotion and it is wrestling as its best. Hopeless’ has been so good at giving Seth Rollins a voice here and always firmly keeps him as sneaky and selfish. Rollins is a fan favorite but he’s not your typical hero. He’s kind of whiny and is willing to do whatever he has to but you still cheer for him to reach his goals. In this storyline finale, we see the second phase of solo Rollins rise. The one who realizes that he was used by the boss; the one who realizes he maybe shouldn’t have betrayed his brothers. Hopeless does amazing work with the dialogue between all these characters and it’s very easy to hear Seth’s voice in your head as you read these pages.
Serg Acuna’s art is very strong for the most part. He excels at creating big expressions and really captures the over the top, dramatic sensibility of professional wrestling. His Seth Rollins is incredibly energetic in every page and panel which is a subtle character trait that isn’t really something you can reflect in the writing. Rollins is always in a rush to do everything because he’s a very “I need it now” character and Acuna channels this in how he gets through rehab and in his getting to the arena. Acuna makes good use of speed lines and infuses some fun visual comedy in this art. The only place he falters a bit in is when other wrestlers come into the picture. There is a sequence where Seth is running to the ring and he’s stopped by other WWE superstars and they come off a little too posed and cold. Garbark’s colors continue to be wonderfully bright and he does great work at capturing the way WWE television looks. It’s bright and so heavily produced and he evokes that in his colors. It feels like an extension of the TV product through his colors.
“WWE” has been a real surprise given how bad previous WWE comics have been. “WWE” #4 ends the first storyline of this series and it was a blast from start to finish. I’m excited to see what this series has to offer going forward.