Liam Hoofe reviews WWE #20…
The WWE’s handling of Shane McMahon’s feud with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn at the end of 2017 was one of the biggest missed opportunities in recent memory.
Starting off as one of the hottest feuds on SmackDown, the feud went on for far too long and became far too muddled, dominating SmackDown for months on ends and boring fans to tears. What a shame it is then, that Boom! Studios and WWE #20 writer, Dennis Hopeless, didn’t have any sort of control over the feud.
WWE #20 picks up exactly where the last issue finished, with Shane McMahon firing Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. On the first panel of this edition, Daniel Bryan, the SmackDown general manager makes his way to the ring and interrupts McMahon, convincing him to keep Owens and Zayn on the roster but to fight to keep their jobs.
From here, the comic documents Bryan putting the duo through an increasingly difficult series of matches to prove their worth, culminating in Sami Zayn turning on Kevin Owens at Fastlane.
The comic has two advantages over the real-life storyline here. Not only does it have the advantage of being able to get through six months in the space of two or three pages, but it also gets to add some much-needed depth to Sami Zayn’s character. On television, Zayn was booked as out and out cowardly heel, whereas here, Hopeless decides to flesh him out by exploring the moral quandary he is going through.
The exchanges between Bryan and Zayn are excellently played out, and the idea of Zayn wanting to be the next Daniel Bryan is an excellent touch. Needless to say, series regular, Serg Acuna is on fine form here, and he is clearly incredibly comfortable bringing these stars to life by this point. This is also the first issue where we see Shane McMahon’s face, with the commissioner’s head being kept out of panels in previous issues.
The accompanying story here, Glorious, feels a tad pointless but returning artist, Rodrigo Lorenzo, does a good job with the piece nonetheless.
WWE #20 takes one of the company’s most mismanaged storylines and turns it into an effective story, adding some much-needed depth to characters and boasting some fine art-work.
Liam Hoofe – @liamhoofe