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

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Over the Ropes #1

Over the Ropes #1 is the first issue of a new volume published by Mad Cave Studios, written by Jay Sandlin, with art by Antonello Cosentino, colors by Francesco Segala, and letters by Justin Birch. After claiming the SFW wrestling title, Phoenix now celebrates the success while defending his prize. But not all is perfect, and there will always be those looking to dethrone him.

This issue’s plot is very different from the start of the last volume. Phoenix wasn’t even born at the stage; he was just a jobber striving for any ring time. Now, the story begins at its peak. This means there is only one way to go, down. The structure is cleverly designed by Sandlin, bookmarking the beginning and end with matches but with very different emotions circulating them. One embraces the champion’s new legacy, while the other sets on bringing him down. But even in the first, there are flickers of the notion that things are going wrong. From there, there are many surprising twists. One of them is more personal, splitting a relationship and raising tension for the rest of the issue. The story sticks to a wrestling theme, with character returns feeling like classic storylines.

Some time has passed since the end of the last volume, but the characters still have their recognizable personalities. All three of the wrestling team are in a relationship, with their partners matching their in-ring identity. For some, this is where some of the drama stems from. Phoenix and Scorn, or Jason and Courtney, have been a couple and wrestling in the ring together for a short time now. But their goal and their dreams may not be as entwined. Courtney has had desires outside of wrestling, not entirely comfortable within the industry. Phoenix is wallowing in the spotlight, and nothing can tear him away. Exploring this side of the sport is fascinating, and the script is excellent. Many of the heels have returned but with different identities, while some of the new villains introduced will certainly shake things up.

Over The Ropes #1 has awesome art that brilliantly encapsulates the spectacle of wrestling. Inside the ring, the shows are brilliantly depicted. The costumes themselves are not just superbly designed by Consentino, but they carry such personalities within themselves. Every wrestler has a distinct look, representing the various varieties of styles that can be found in the ring. And the moves are stunning as the expectation of what is about to happen occurs more often than the actual impact. Outside of the ring, the comic remains investing artistically. The art style allows for some expressive emotions on the characters, and all the huge arenas are recreated in immaculate detail.

The colors are also incredible. There is an awesome understanding of lighting, with Seglaa placing the spotlight and the shadows exactly where they need to be. The tones on the costumes are bright and are often the most vibrant thing in the room. Similarly, Courtney’s red dress instantly draws the eyes to her as the rest of the panel is in shadow. The lettering is crucial to the story, especially as that is how the crowd is represented. Their cheers are shown as sound effects, without a balloon or direction to show who said them. It is an amazing way of illustrating the mood of the room as well as the general noise inside the arena.

Over The Ropes #1 is a brilliant comic that perfectly embodies the world it lives in. It is also a fantastic continuation of the Over the Ropes story. It keeps the characters authentic, but it takes all of them to a different stage of their career. But it also does much more to embrace the personal lives of the characters. Courtney has so much more character development in this one issue than in the whole previous volume. Striving to claim the title was the goal before. But now, there is much more time that could be allocated to the lives of the characters. The matches still remain extremely fun to see, superbly bringing wrestling to the page.

Over The Ropes #1 is available on June 29th wherever comics are sold.

 


Over the Ropes #1
5

TL;DR

Over The Ropes #1 is a brilliant comic that perfectly embodies the world it lives in. It is also a fantastic continuation of the Over the Ropes story. It keeps the characters authentic, but it takes all of them to a different stage of their career. But it also does much more to embrace the personal lives of the characters.