Well, despite being curious about something related to the issue’s Brobdingnagian last page reveal when creator Daniel Warren Johnson set it up last issue… I can’t remember the last time I’ve been as surprised by a comic. It’s a perfectly solid narrative choice but also entirely unexpected. Johnson started Powerbomb last issue doing one comic, then changed to another, then another. So now he’s on to a fourth–or at least a three and a half.
It’s still about Lona Steelrose teaming up with an inter-dimensional necromancer (named Necro), who loves pro-wrestling and wants to stage his own tournament, but the tournament is just a MacGuffin. The reveal this issue promises so much character development and such wide arc swings, Lona will be lucky if they don’t decapitate her.
Necro gives Lona the backstory in the opening. He tried taking over the galaxy, got busted, and exiled to an island where he discovered the earthly joy of television. So what’s his favorite show? Pro-wrestling, of course. But fighting to the death is passé (and why would anyone do it) unless there’s some fantastic prize.
He’s a necromancer, after all, so why not have the prize be resurrecting a person of the winner’s choice.
Now, presumably, Necro could just resurrect someone without the whole wrestling tournament, but why wouldn’t he combine the two?
Lona’s not only got to decide if she wants to do an inter-dimensional death match to potentially resurrect her mom but she’s also got to find herself a partner because Necro’s throwing a tag team tournament.
In her search for a partner, she sees a particularly brutal wrestling match, which also gives Johnson the opportunity for some action. The issue’s very visual talking heads for most of it—including Lona’s decisive call home to dad to say goodbye—but the wrestling’s gruesome.
In a good way, both in terms of artistic skill and narrative import. I can’t imagine next issue will have another big reveal—Johnson’s got to start the story sooner than later; he’s only got five more issues—but there’s so much material he’s already got to work through.