It’s Mania Week! WrestleMania 34 is this Sunday, and the festivities are already commencing in New Orleans! In celebration of “The Show of Shows,” Boom! Studios released WWE WrestleMania 2018 Special #1.
Like the previous “big four” pay per view anthologies, this book includes four stories of Manias of the past. We spend time reminiscing with Superstars of past and present, giving a little extra story to what you already saw on TV. Again, each is individually written and illustrated, which adds a nice assortment to the compilation.
“You Can Hate Me Now” lets us into the mind of The Miz, one of the most conceited Superstars on the WWE roster today. We look back at WrestleMania 27, where he battled John Cena for the WWE Championship. Julian May’s story takes us through the main event, complete with The Rock‘s interference. The artwork of Michel Mulipola is action-packed, and he captures The Miz’s egotistical smirk perfectly.
Writer Ryan Ferrier and artist Kendall Goode team up again to take us on another whirlwind adventure with Macho Man Randy Savage in “When a Macho Man Loves a Woman.” After losing the retirement match from WrestleMania 7, we go on a fast-paced adventure through an amusement park with Macho Man and his reunited Miss Elizabeth, all while Sensational Sherri tries to sabotage their perfect day. The retro art is apropos, and the diagonal panels give the flow a playful pace.
We get another Macho Man story in “Iron Sharpens Iron.” This time, Lan Pitts takes us back to Wrestlemania III and we meet Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and George “The Animal” Steele. Their story is fun, but I wanted a little more between the competitors’ valets, as “The Animal” had developed a crush on Miss Elizabeth, and this wasn’t touched on in this story. Jake Elphick and Doug Garbark’s artwork and colors are chunky and bright, giving an effervescent approach to the match.
The perfect person to write about the most powerful woman in the WWE is Tini Howard. Known for writing bad-ass, dominant women, she captures the sass and sophistication of Stephanie McMahon in “The Authority Wears Prada.” Rodrigo Lorenzo’s artwork also conveys the sexiness, strength, and intimidation that Stephanie radiates. I was crazy excited for her to get her own story, as this year we’ll see Stephanie get into the ring with her husband Triple H to compete against Kurt Angle and the much-anticipated debut of Ronda Rousey.
This is another great collection of stories from the world of the WWE. While the Stephanie McMahon story was my favorite of any of the compilations thus far, I was disappointed with the lack of variety in the talent that they chose to feature. The WWE is full of amazing characters both past and present. It’s time to let them shine in the glossy pages of the comic world as well.