ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Over the Ropes,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Over the Ropes #1 is the start to a five-issue miniseries published by Mad Cave Studios, written by Jay Sandlin, with art by Antonello Cosentino, colors by Francesco Segala, and letters by Justin Birch. The series explores the world of indie wrestling in the 1990s. It follows Jason Lynn, a struggling wrestler trying to make a name in a world all about who you know, and unfortunately, he doesn’t know anyone.

Jason, whose wrestling name is Phoenix, knows that even though that matches take both people to perfect, the audience only ever remembers the guy with his hand raised at the end. And while he has a love and passion for the sport that is nearly unmatched, making a name for himself when the odds, and the story, are literally stacked against him seem nearly impossible. Especially considering Mr. Radison’s son, Billy Radison, is destined to be the best in the league considering he is the son of the owner. However, when a chance at the title is given to him, Jason does everything in his power not to screw it up.

Jason is an underdog. In his job and on his first date with a girl, he treats like absolute garbage. The series makes a specific notion to remind us that wrestlers aren’t treated with respect and their livelihood isn’t taken seriously, particularly when they are trying to date.

Jason acts entitled. He doesn’t come off like an underdog. He comes off like a man who refuses to understand the majority of humanity also has the world stacked against them. And while his date does come back, much to his surprise, and gives him a second chance, clearly seeing something in him that I don’t, it shocks me that a comic about wrestling, a sport that has a growing female audience, doesn’t address women in a more positive way.

According to Yahoo Finance, the future of WWE, and wrestling as a whole, is dependent on women. Forty percent of WWE’s audience is female and female wrestling is at an all-time high in popularity. Needless to say, it is incredibly disheartening for this comic to treat a female love interest so negatively. Jason dismisses her very quickly and while I understand the comic takes place in the 1990s when wrestling didn’t necessarily have the following it does now, the scene still feel unnecessary.

I will be honest, I do not watch wrestling often but Becky Lynch empowers the hell out of me so I was open to reading this comic. However, Jason is just not a likable main character. However, Cosentino’s art is lovely and Segala’s colors are brilliant. If you are a big wrestling fan you will more than likely enjoy this comic just because of the history it explores, but if you are like me and a more casual fan maybe pick up BOOM! Studios’ WWE series instead.

Over the Ropes is set to launch this December.

Over the Ropes #1
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TL;DR

I will be honest, I do not watch wrestling often but Becky Lynch empowers the hell out of me so I was open to reading this comic. However, Jason is just not a likable main character. However, Cosentino’s art is lovely and Segala’s colors are brilliant.