blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Do a Powerbomb (2022) #1

Dab1There’s something about the comics form and wrestling. The way an artist can choreograph the fight to emphasize the danger and drama. Because of the ring, much like boxing, the attention can better focus on the action. Unlike boxing, there are flamboyant outfits and a range of moves, though Powerbomb creator Daniel Warren Johnson doesn’t seem to be creating any new wrestling moves here, at most amplifying existing ones. Well, so the commentators imply. And no comic creator seems to do a wrestling bit without loving the potential of the “sport.”

Quotations because it’s still pro-wrestling. Johnson mentions the physical risks for entertainment in the back matter, which is the first time I can remember ever seeing it put so plainly. They’re (bad) actors, (sometimes good) athletes, but they’re actually risking their lives to put on this show.

Powerbomb #1 is the series setup. It opens with champion Yua Steelrose defending her title against Cobrasun. Yua’s successfully fended off nine previous challenges, so she’s ready for this next one. Unlike the seemingly rowdy and callous Cobrasun, Yua’s all about family, whether it’s daughter Lona or just the fans. The fans are family too. Except then it turns out Cobrasun’s bringing more to the ring than just trash talk, and Yua’s in for a devastating match.

When the fight and immediate fallout are done, the action jumps ahead ten years. Lona’s desperate to become a pro-wrestler herself, except she can’t find a trainer. In addition, her family’s unwilling to support her, and she can’t do it alone.

Enter a creepy punk with a lightning grip with an offer.

Now, the creepy punk was actually in the comic before—and his creepy lair (oh, it’s a lair) is the first-panel establishing shot—but Yua and Lona’s story is so compelling he doesn’t make as much of an impression as he would otherwise. The final reveal promises one hell of a comic, though it could probably get away with just being seven different wrestling matches visualized by Johnson. The art’s controlled frantic, bursting with energy, and the writing’s full of heart.

It’s an outstanding comic, both in terms of art, writing (Johnson’s dialogue’s just okay sometimes, but his pacing’s phenomenal), and setup.

Can’t wait for more.

One response to “Do a Powerbomb (2022) #1”

  1. Vernon W

    Gosh, even if you’re completely ignorant of wrestling, this comic is for everyone!

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