Ringside Vol. 1 – Kayfabe

Ringside Vol. 1 - Kayfabe

Ringside Vol. 1 – Kayfabe

Retired wrestler Dan “The Minotaur” Knossos receives a call from an ex-boyfriend in trouble.  Flying back to the US from Japan, Dan soon learns that Teddy is in deeper than expected and Knossos may have to sacrifice everything just to pull him out.

Ringside combines two of my favorite things: professional wrestling and crime fiction/noir.  How could I not love this?  Truth be told, while I feel like this series has a lot of potential going forward, I felt like the first volume could have been a lot better.  I enjoyed the bits with the newcomer riding the road with the old-timer as the grizzled veteran dishes out wisdom to the rookie.  Writer Joe Keatinge gets a lot right and nails how past-their-prime-performers deal with the fading spotlight but it came across a little like fluff when compared to the seriousness of the main story.

I’m hoping the series can find its legs by the time the second volume is released now that I have good sense of who these characters are.  The art is a bit lacking – it looks like a sloppier version of David Aja’s work on Hawkeye – although some of the splash pages are pretty cool (watch for Dan’s first exposure to pro-wrestling in a flashback).

Kudos to Keatinge for putting out a comic book about professional wrestling – an industry that is dominated by macho men (pardon the pun) – and showcasing gay characters at its core.  I believe this series has a lot to offer and although I was a little underwhelmed by “Kayfabe”, I’m interested to see what’s coming next.

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