Writer: Jay Sandlin
Art: Antonello Cosentino
Colours: Francesco Segala
Letters: Justin Birch
Publisher: Mad Cave Studios
Reviewed By: Dean Asquith
My Rating: 🏹🏹🏹🏹
Step Over the Ropes and into 1990s wrestling. Set in a fictional world, Over the Ropes dives into sports entertainment’s biggest era. A young high-flyer named Jason Lynn goes off-script in a match to win the world title and sets the southern territory on fire as the face-painted wrestler, Phoenix. Jason’s battles between the ropes are only outperformed by his struggles outside the ring. First dates. Crooked promoters. Cage matches. Factions and families. No matter what problems smack him with a steel chair, Collects issues #1-5.
I will start by saying I'm not a big wrestling fan but that in no way shape or form affected my enjoyment of this comic. Please, don’t be put off by the wrestling basis, this is a story of triumph, courage, family and well… wrestling! A true to life wrestling tale of company vs company, athlete vs athlete…Any wrestling fans will also love this comic for the awesome wrestling based action.
I am a big fan of Jay Sandlin and going back to read this collection, partly at his recommendation, was a decision I don’t regret at all. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story, it is so different from the fantastical comics I am used to. It's more real to life that has touches of the wrestling shows I remember from my childhood, back when I was a big fan of shows like Raw and Smackdown! I really enjoyed how each issue was a ‘round’ and not just a new chapter, it was a set up of a new fight. It’s a unique way of mapping out each issue and I found myself saying that I was “looking forward to reading the next round”.
Phoenix is an excellent character that has a brilliant background story and a gripping story throughout the events of the comic. I was hooked and thankfully because I was reading the TPB, I didn't have to wait for any issues! All the supporting cast do a phenomenal job also, the ‘villains’ are deliciously manipulative and scheming. The ‘heroes’ are courageous and strong. Everyone has a part to play in the story and Jay has done an excellent job of including everyone and ensuring ample character development are every one of them.
The artistic team do a phenomenal job of capturing the story and really bring the action sequences to life, you feel every slam and wince at every hit. The visual storytelling is as brilliant as the writing which makes for a really strong comic.
Over the ropes is your classic underdog story filled with heart, excellent storytelling and slamming visuals! A must own for any wrestling fan and non wrestling fans alike. If wrestling isn’t your thing then read for the story, the emotions, and the triumph!
“You call wrestling fake--I call it telling a story. Stories come from everywhere. Even music. I got my first wrestling name from a grunge album I bought in Mexico City.” - Phoenix