The IWC: Wrestlemania Comics

3MB wants to Highlight The IWC; No Not that IWC. The Illustrated Wrestling Community

Wrestlemania is wrestling’s big event as, each year, the Superstars of the WWE hope to earn a place in wrestling immortality next of legends like Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage. Wrestlemania has the ability to turn men and women into stuff of legend; they become the hero of the day and their accomplishments are on par with those of Superman. Last year, artist Erle Tompkins astutely compared the feats of Wrestlemania 29 opponents The Ryback and Mark Henry to movie monsters. Their battle had Godzilla-level implications; Tompkins made a fitting tribute:

3MB_ErleTompkins_HenryRyback

Going into Wrestlemania 30, Tompkins has been examining the wrestling / comic correlation, depicting Wrestlemania moments in action comic format. Th moments capture emotions were at their highest and time seemingly stood still, like atWrestlemania 18 when Hulk Hogan kicked out of the Rock’s Rockbottom unexpectedly:

3MB_ErleTompkins_RockHoganWM18Between the expression on The Rock’s face and Jim Ross’ commentary, Tompkins captured the moment of amazement and bewilderment that caused the Toronto Skydome to erupt into cheers.

Sometimes Wrestlemania moments have a tinge of sadness to them. That was the case for Wrestlemania 24 when Shawn Michaels had to – begrudgingly – deliver a final Superkick to Ric Flair, forcing him into retirement:

3MB_ErleTompkins_FlairHBK_WM24Tompkins captures Michaels’ last words to Flair added them to the panel, the same way Marvel would include the iconic phrase, “with great power comes great responsibility” in Spider-man comics. It’s a reminder that, even at Wrestlemania, hard choices have to be made.

Michaels has also been on the other end of a Wrestlemania moment. His next Wrestlemania appearance was against The Undertaker, who had maintained an undefeated streak of 16 – 0 at the time. In overcoming a streak that large, your hardest task is breaking down the mental game of The Undertaker. And, for one moment, Michaels managed to do just that:

3MB_ErleTompkins_TakerHBKWM25

Michaels may have lost but he made a believer out of us not only that night, not only again at Wrestlemania 26 but for anyone who thinks that only the winners are immortalized at Wrestlemania.

At Wrestlemania 30, all signs of the next moment come from extended fingers pointing skyward. If Daniel Bryan, the WWE’s embodiment of YES!, can defeat Triple H, he earns the opportunity to face Randy Orton and Batista in a Triple Threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship later that night. Two victories – two Wrestlemania victories – would cause the Mercedez Benz Superdome to turn into a sea of YES! chants as Tompkins may or may not be prophesying below:

3MB_ErleTompkins_DanielBryan

Here’s hoping that pictures are worth 1000 Wrestlemania moments. You can see more of Erle’s fantastic work on his Tumblr page and please send him a Tweet or two about his work. You can also pick up these prints (and more!) at his brand NEW Society6 store.

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