This is the worst comic I have read all year.
It's the worst comic I've ever had to review for CBR.
I'm sure I could sling other insults at "WWE Heroes" #1, but I'm not here to insult it. I'm just here to respond to what I read in the first issue, and explain why it's just so pathetically bad.
The art is part of the problem. Andy Smith, from what I recall, has spent pretty much his whole career doing a Bart Sears imitation. Here, he doesn't do that. Instead of Sears-esque square-jaws and fluid muscularity, he draws stiffly-posed characters in awkward action. Maybe this is a different "Andy Smith." It's as if he based these WWE "heroes" not on the actual human beings who play these characters on TV and in the ring, but on the action figure versions. Their faces look plastic. Their muscles look inhuman. I don't know all that much about wrestling, but my nine-year-old son has tried to teach me a few things about the WWE in recent months, and I even took him to a pro-wrestling event over the winter. I know how these guys look. They don't look like this.
This thing looks like a He-Man meets "Rock 'n' Wrestling" promo comic. Garishly colored, as if the yellows and oranges needed to be seared into our brains to get us to buy whatever product they're selling.
I guess they're selling wrestling? I don't really know.
Because in addition to being a hideously ugly comic, this first issue doesn't even try to tell a story. It hints at one. It implies that perhaps a story is coming. It establishes a conflict. But it does all those things poorly. It's more of a trailer -- flashes of images and cliché-ridden words -- than an actual first issue.
And what is the trailer we get? It's one of a bitter feud throughout the ages, from volcanic Eternia to the middle ages to the Civil War to some burning church thing to the WWE wrestling ring. It has ambition, I'll give it that. But it's an ambition dripped in foolishness. It takes the already absurd WWE bombast and turns it into Beowulf with special guest stars Cain and Able as if they were trapped inside an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, but with, you know, wrestlers.
As a comic book reader with a vague interest in professional wrestling, I didn't like this issue at all. But I wondered if my son might like it. Its eye-piercing imagery could possibly appeal to a nine-year-old, and surely he, a boy who wears a John Cena hat to school, would at least enjoy it because the WWE characters pop up in the issue.
No, he despised the comic, saying that it was the worst thing he's ever read in his life.
He's read a lot less comics than I have, but he's read enough to make that statement meaningful. I said I wasn't going to insult this comic anymore, but it's hard to resist.
And you know what might make it even worse? Those zombies and jaguar men on the cover? They don't even appear in this comic. They knew enough to stay away.