Writer, Artist, Creator: Daniel Warren Johnson
Colourist: Mike Spicer
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Variant Cover Artist: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz
Publisher: Image

The story of a subpar professional wrestler entering into a magical necro-tourney, the boon of which may bring her dead mother back from the grave, continues in Do A Powerbomb #2. The first issue was reviewed by Bigger Than Capes collectively in our June Round-Up episode so go give that a listen if you haven’t already.

I enjoyed this title a lot despite not being a pro wrestling fan, so I do not have any pre-existing love for the world of wrestling or its accoutrement. I think this is an important factor when considering this comic as I believe a portion of the expected audience may be put off by the surface level theme, however, I’m here to tell you that knowing your Undertakers from your Cactus Jacks or your Suplex’s from your People’s Elbow, is not required for entry. The true draw for this comic is firstly the absolutely stunning art, but I assume if you are reading this you are probably aware of Daniel Warren Johnson’s artistic talents.

What provides the genuine hook to this series so far is the family dynamic, the first issue shows us the death of Lona’s mother, Yua Steel Rose, and the rift that this has caused between her and her father. Lona wants nothing more than to follow in her mother’s footsteps but is consistently held back by her father who has dissuaded any trainers from taking Lona up. This drives an even deeper wedge between the two, who are clearly experiencing the same grief but cannot share it with each other to reduce the burden.

This dynamic provides the backbone for the main story so far. Lona is brought to a mystical land to take part in a supernatural wrestling tournament hosted by Necromancer Willard Necroton. If she can succeed and win the tournament her prize will be the resurrection of her mother. This issue gives us a bit more detail of the supernatural side of this comic, how and why this otherworldly fighting ring exists, and sets up the next immediate task for Lona. She must find a tag team partner to compete with her in the tournament but due to her mother’s reputation and her father keeping trainers away, Lona has effectively been blacklisted in the pro wrestling community. The only option left for Lona is Cobrasun, who is still wrestling but due to their own guilt surrounding the death of Yua, is only competing in low-rent underground wrestling matches where he is evidently cast as the villain of each match and is pummelled by cheap gimmicks such as barbwire covered chairs and fluorescent tube bulbs. All of this makes them the perfect, not to mention only, choice for a tag partner. This eventually leads to one of the most compelling final-page-reveals I have seen for some time. I’m not going to say any more about it here as you need to see it for yourselves.

As I have mentioned above, the art continues to be top tier. The cartooning during wrestling matches particularly stands out. The elasticity of the fighter’s flesh makes each hit feel like it is backed by a ton of bricks and the use of forced perspectives make the fights dynamic and well paced. The movement between panels is smooth and I never felt lost in the action, these moments feel choreographed akin to a great movie action scene, no panel is wasted and each detail is important. Outside of the action scenes the art also conveys the emotional weight of Lona’s journey, with much of the story being told in facial expressions or body language. This means that the dialogue doesn’t have to do heavy exposition when a poignant moment can be punctuated so much more effectively in silence, reading the characters thoughts through their faces.

While backgrounds are often left out in favour of blocks of colour, when they are included they look amazing, whether these are depicting the real world Japan or the Necro dimension, the detail involved creates an extra depth of believability for both of the distinct settings of the story. Anyone who has listened to the Bigger Than Capes podcast will know that a lack of backgrounds is a usual bugbear for me, but I must admit, in this case the detail and expression of the character models more than makes up for what I often feel is a negative in a comic.

Like most comics of this calibre, I am very much looking forward to the trade and to see how this tale develops throughout a full narrative arc. I am invested despite my lack of a pro-wrestling background and I would implore readers to check this comic out whether you are into the subject matter or not.

5 Piledrivers out of 5.

You can get your very own grubby mitts of a copy of Do A Powerbomb #” from any of these lovely vendors:

Image Comics


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