NOTE: Review copy supplied by publisher.
Title: Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia (Issues 1 and 2)
Author/Artist: Matt Entin and Ed Kiehnel
Artist: Dan Schkade
Publisher: Suspicious Behaviour Production
Genre: Action / Comedy
Released: May 19th 2018
When a disgruntled professional wrestler declares himself “Galactic Champion of the Universe,” Earth is invaded by a planet of wrestling aliens who view it as an act of war!
If the premise doesn’t make things clear, this is an at times pretty bonkers comic. If I were to make an immediate comparison, it would be like what would happen if the intergalactic wrestling arc of the Archie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics were transplanted into the territories era of pro wrestling.
And that second part is really quite important. The set up for the 1980’s section of the story is actually a decent depiction of what wrestling was once like. Some of the characters on display are as overblown as what was then the WWF, but the feel of how things are running is actually more akin to something like the AWA or Mid-South Wrestling. In fact, I would say that if you’re a fan of the 80’s-90’s era of wrestling, you’ll likely recognize little snippets of characters from the real world in there. I can’t help but feel like at least some of it an intentional homage. Case in point, our sort-of hero Rory Landell did make me think a little of the sadly deceased Buddy Landel, with some little shout-outs to others thrown in there with his dialogue.
The backstage politics are well handled, providing a decent look at what can happen in the business, and Rory Landell’s quick decline after taking matters into his own hands is a story that reflects the journey of many wrestlers that didn’t reach the top. Meanwhile, when the intergalactic action starts, everything is suitably overblown so as to not feel tonally too serious for the concept. Everybody is walking, talking caricature, and it works really well with the story. Matt Entin and Ed Kiehnel (who both worked on the Valiant Hearts video game) have done a great job here, and are deserving of some praise. Meanwhile, Dan Schkade (Battlestar Galactica) handles the art duties well. His facial expressions are great, and the action scenes have good sense of motion. The overall feel is pretty cartoony, but that fits well with the storyline.
In terms of content, the story certainly works as a comedy for most ages, though I’m sure some may view the occasional scenes of alcohol use and the odd reference to ‘making out’ as less suitable for younger children.
In all, the first two issues of Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia are easy reads. They’re fast, fun, and full of a healthy mix of wrestling references and silly comedy. This is an easy recommend for the those looking for something fun to unwind with. 4 out of 5.