SummerSlam Memories & Nightmares – Review
Writers: Box Brown, Ryan Ferrier, Aaron Gillespie
Artists: Derek Fridolfs, Kendall Goode
Published by Boom! Studios
Next to Wrestlemania, SummerSlam has been the WWF/WWE’s top showcase. Some epic battles have happened over the years at the event. Hulk Hogan & the Macho Man Vs. Ted DiBiase and Andre the Giant. Bret Hart Vs. The British Bulldog. And who can forget when the Undertaker fought the Undertaker?!
The annual summer match-up is just a couple of weeks away. This year’s going to be a big one as it’s the 30th anniversary. In celebration of the event Boom! Studios has teamed with the WWE to bring fans the 2017 Summer Slam.
The special gives background ‘stories’ to some of fans most beloved wrestling team-ups. Andre the Giant biographer Box Brown chronicles the class struggle between the American Dream Dusty Rhodes and elitist Macho King Randy Savage. D4VE’s Ryan Ferrier examines the twisted psyche of Mick Foley right before a match with the Undertaker. Looney Tunes’ Derek Fridolfs brings back those insane Australian wrestlers, the Bushwhackers. Then modern era grappler, Seth Rollins, in given nightmares by Lady Death’s Aaron Gillespie.
Overall, these stories weren’t bad. The Mankind/Mick Foley story was a bit spastic but so is Mick Foley. I didn’t quite understand everything going on with the Seth Rollins story. But that’s because I don’t really keep up with wrestling that much any more. But the stories set during the 80s and 90s were fun trips inside a scrapbook of SummerSlam memories.
The artwork was pretty decent. Daniel Bayless, Rob Guillory, Fridolds, and others do some amazing work making these wrestling legends come to life. I only wish that Box Brown was allowed to give Dusty Rhodes and the Macho Man story his distinctive artistic touch. But hey, only getting the story by Box Brown is better than no Box Brown at all.
A Pessimistic New Day
There was one story that I absolutely hated. Titled ‘The New Day’s Optimistic Odyssey’, it features the trio of wrestlers call ‘The New Day.’ My reasons were multiple. First of, all this was part 5 of a series. Okay, I get that but where are the other 4 parts to be found? So, right away, I didn’t understand anything that was going on. Why are there unicorns and marshmallow cereal everywhere?
Secondly, and this is coming from my godson- the New Day’s gimmick is considered incredibly racist. My godson is African American and he’s told me that he and his friends had to stop watching WWE due to the New Day. He says it’s because of how the WWE portrays this stable of black gospel singing wrestlers as ‘stupid and dumb.’ I think the word he was going for was ‘stereotypes.’ But if it’s a good enough reason for my godson to not like, it’s good enough for me too!
Lastly, let’s talk price. The book retails for $7.99. In the past couple of years, I have shelled out eight bucks for holiday specials. But not for only 42-pages of material!!! It’s a special, I get it. So I could maybe pay $5.99. But eight bucks? If this was a 64-page or 72-pager, I could do it. But this price is just way too steep for me.
I suspect this one is going to wind up in bargain bins pretty soon and that’s a shame. It’s a decent collection of wrestling themed stories. But that price tag is going to put quite a few fans off of getting it.
Stories: 3 out of 5 stars.
Art: 5 out of 5 stars.
Covers: 4 out of 5 stars.
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars.