Ringside #1 (Image Comics), The Violence Goes Beyond The Ropes

Wrestling. There’s not much I can say about it these days. I grew up watching it during the ‘80s, and a later during the mid-90s for a while, but eventually I grew out of it. It no longer had that unique fun to it that I remember staying up on school nights watching matches to see the outcome of. Now this isn’t a dig on wrestling today, or the fans that enjoy it. I just don’t have an interest in modern-day wrestling is all.

So when I first glanced at the new series from Image Comics titled, Ringside, I wasn’t too sure. A comic series based within the world of professional wrestling? Where was this going to go? Could I find enjoyment in a series that will, “explore the relationship between art and industry from the view of the wrestlers themselves,” on a monthly basis?

Well if they are going to be like Ringside #1, then answer is a resounding, yes!

The series is written by Joe Keatinge (Shutter, Glory, Tech Jacket) with art by (newcomer?) Nick Barber and Simon Gough (G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes, Stray) and it starts things off with the right amount of mystery and character to draw you into this world. This felt more like a crime novel than a wrestling story, which you will quickly learn is just backdrop.

In this first issue we are following along with Dan Knossos, a.k.a. The Minotaur, a washed up ex-wrestler. Think of Mickey Rourke’s character in The Wrestler (2008). As the story progresses we learn that he is more than this, as he gets a mysterious call in the middle of the night from a friend that needs his help.

The backdrop of wrestling was fun to see as it reminded me of when I used to watch the shows on TV. The characters, at least the ex-wrestlers spoke of a time that was very much like when I watched. I see this easily being a story that Ed Brubaker could have created in his world of crime noir fiction and I mean this as the biggest complement too. By the end of the first issue I was left wanting to read more about Dan Knossos and the world he resides in.

The Good: A different setting for mystery/crime type story. So far, very intriguing.

The Bad: The art was a bit too simple in some panels. I do like Barber’s style, but I don’t think it excuses for the lack of details sometimes.

Overall I recommended picking up Ringside #1. Wrestling fan or not, this has the making for some interesting characters and story.

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