You might not know this about me, but I’m a fairly big comic book fan, or “graphic novel” if you prefer. I’m not a comic expert by any means, but I enjoy perusing my local comic shops when I get a chance (especially on Free Comic Book Day!).
Now, I enjoy wrestling too. But as well documented on this website, wrestling and comics don’t mix. They just never do because the writing isn’t particularly engrossing or heavy on social commentary like other well-known comics. There’s plenty of “action” but the characters are mostly one dimensional and the stories are cookie cutter. I’m not sure if the writers for comics are wrestling fans or not, but it seems they watched a tape or two of the characters in action and wrote down what they saw and heard, then applied it to stories meant for other comic book characters.
In the late 90s, Chaos!Comics obtained the license to create WWF comics based on the “Attitude Era” characters such as The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Chyna, Mankind, and the subject of today’s induction, The Rock.
Out of all those names, I really thought The Rock would be the best character for a comic series. He has the kind of charisma and personality that would translate perfectly to a comic, at least in theory, in the hands of a competent writer. As you’ll see today, Chaos missed the mark.
The story takes place in Miami, where The Rock shoots the breeze in a casino where he’s tailed by two clearly not bad guys. We can tell they’re trouble because they both have facial hair and one of them looks like Al Snow.
(Note from RD: Did I ever tell you about the time Al Snow chased me and Blade around a legends show with a fake turd? No? Lucky you.)
The Rock confronts the two men while taking the time to spout off a couple of his well-known catchphrases in a short timespan.
If you NEVER EVER tire of The Rock’s catch-phrases, then this is the comic for you cause they’re ALL here. More “roody poos”, “it doesn’t matter what you think”, “know your role” and “monkey crap” than you can shake a stick at.
The two guys tell The Rock to throw his next fight and threaten him by pulling a gun on him. The Rock doesn’t take kindly to this threat and effortlessly takes on the two thugs and mops the floor with them. Who does he think he is? John Cena?
And that’s another thing about wrestling-related comics. Seeing wrestling moves performed anywhere other than a ring, does look rather silly.
After all, how many bar fights have you seen in which one of the guys whipped out a People’s Elbow?
One of the guys tells him that their “boss” is an underground fighting ring booker and that a rival female manager/promoter has been bragging that The Rock is going to beat the boss’s stable of fighters. Oh great, the one time there’s an actual female manager, AND SHE’S A FICTIONAL CHARACTER IN A COMIC BOOK!
(Note from RD: I think the last true female manager I remember is Shaniqua. With that in mind, I am not sad that they’re not in mass quantities these days.
SPEAKING OF SHANIQUA…please get to work on a Shaniqua/Bondage Bashams induction. Way overdue that one!)
With no explanation other than a woman is brought into the mix, The Rock changes his mind and decides that this underground fighting could use him because “Youtube” and “Kimbo Slice” aren’t around yet.
Later on, Al Snow meets Evil “Behind the Desk That’s Used for Intimidating Appearances” Boss who isn’t pleased by the turn of events so he has his henchman put his fist through Al’s chest.
Man, even in comic books Al Snow can’t catch a break.
(Note from RD: Guys who run around waving plastic feces at unsuspecting wrestling webmasters and hobos don’t deserve a break.)
We then meet up with the female manager/promoter named “Ashley”, who apparently hasn’t eaten a meal since the Reagan administration but is refreshingly non-Liefeld-like without a size ZZZ bust and size -78 waist.
On the plus side, she does give us some stellar dialogue in “YAAA!!!”
Whatever that means.
We find she’s the daughter of an underground fight promoter who left his legacy to her. It’s sorta like Vince McMahon and Stephanie, only if they ran “Fight Club” and broke the first and second rules by talking about it all the time. Anyways, The Rock breaks down to door to her training facility….even though the door isn’t locked or barred. I really hope he has a gets a friends & family discount at Home Depot, or he’s really going to tick some people off.
Oh, and he confronts her for running her mouth.
(Note from RD: Just like a man should! Booya!)
This doesn’t sit well with a Rock impersonator, who immediately comes to her defense. Wrestling has had Fake Stings, Fake Razors, Fake Diesels, how has there not been a Fake Rock up til now? Why not?
Well, because that’s a really stupid idea. Actually any fake angle is a bad idea, come to think of it. That’s why.
Despite giving her a hard time, The Rock says he’ll take on the competition while cutting a promo that ends in another catchphrase.
The next day, The Rock recruits the surviving baddie (who disappeared and reappeared out of nowhere) to be his informant over breakfast in a diner. The Rock then takes time to talk about pies, which the waitress either doesn’t get or she’s amused by being sexually harassed by the customers.
(Note from RD: You know, I can’t really just move forward without finally getting something I’ve always wanted to write about on this site, but could never stretch it out to a full induction. And that would be Rock singing a song called, oh yes, Pie (on WWF The Music Vol. 5, for those keeping track).
It’s seriously the worst thing Rock has ever been involved with.
And I’ve seen Tooth Fairy.
Ok, that’s a lie. I couldn’t even get through the trailer for that thing.
But how could it be worse than this? After all, in the span of less than four minutes, Rock becomes the most flaming of flamers who’s ever flamed and then impersonates an elderly Chinese woman for an encore.
Rock is great and all (easily my favorite wrestler since the heyday of Bret Hart), but man has he done some horrible junk over the years.
Ok, back to you, Kelly…)
We cut back to Ashley when she decides that despite having the real Rock to fight for her, she’s going to go with the fake one. This makes no sense other to make it easier for her impending heel turn.
Oops, I probably should have added “SPOILER ALERT!!!” to that sentence.
“Evil Boss Being Driven in Limo” sends his henchman out so The Rock could hijack the limo and cut a promo on Evil Boss. As the Fake Rock is throwing guys around, the Real Rock comes crashing through the….shed(?!) that’s supposed to be the fight arena, I guess. Evil Boss concludes that The Rock is kinda nuts. FINALLY someone takes notice of the guy that cuts promos on random people and has an arsenal of catch-phrases for “real life” situations.
Like he’s a professional wrestler or something.
The Rock says that the underground fighting establishment is low rent indie crap, causing Ashley to complete her full heel turn and sic her group of fighters on him which, despite being vastly outnumbered, he defeats in record time like he’s Bruce Lee in Fists of Fury.
I’m surprised he didn’t shout, “I AM A MAN!” *PUNCH!* (TM-Linkara)
The Fake Rock temporarily overpowers him with a camel clutch but the “Rockeee! Rockeee!” chants get him to “Rock Up”.
BTW, is it just me or does The Rock have quite a bit of free time on his hands? I thought the WWF road schedule was supposed to be mercilessly time-consuming with no days off.
Then the henchman that PUT HIS FIST THROUGH AL SNOW’S CHEST is easily disarmed and defeated with a People’s Elbow.
Alright – here’s the barfight with the People’s Elbow!
*sigh* I get that he’s booked to be Superman but the logic in easily defeating a guy that could rip out your intestines with his bare hands but having a difficult time with a regular guy that simply looks like you is a bit of a stretch.
Finally, The Rock cuts a promo on Evil Boss and Ashley, telling them to return the money they took from the fans that paid expecting to see him fight, despite the fact they just DID see him fight!, and asks them if they smell what he’s cooking. While they ask themselves what the Hell that means, The Rock leaves and the comic thankfully ends.
A real missed opportunity here. The artwork was fine and adequate, no holdovers from the Rob Liefeld era. But it was a real piece of wasted potential. This was the first and only comic with “The Rock” because Chaos! Comics would be bankrupted in less than a year, and with writing like this, it’s not hard to see why. Be on the lookout for more wrestling comic inductions in the near future, as I’m dying to tear into the WWE Heroes series.
It can’t be worse than that Nash comic, right?