Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Drinking Game Rules For Reading WWE Heroes

I’m not a big fan of wrestling, I’m just not. I can remember a few of the 80s legends, and they do still make me smile, but I’ll never be a wrestling fan. Nevertheless, when Titan offered me a free copy of WWE Heroes: Rise of the Firstborn who was I to say no? So, after reading the book I have realised that while it’s not that good it does still have a use in this world. It would make the basis for a great drinking game. A kick-ass drinking game, in fact, so hit the jump to see my top ten rules on when to drink and why.

Now, as a preface, it must sound strange offering up the reading experience of a comic as a drinking game. Games to get drunk to are an institution of the social, groups of more than one, and yet the act of reading a comic is usually so individual and would possibly be hard to do as a group. That’s okay because I figure anyone wanting to read a wrestling comic won’t have a group larger than one and they’d probably want to get pretty drunk so this way they can race right through it.

Alright, that last bit was mean, I apologise. Just because I haven’t gotten drunk on my own reading a comic doesn’t mean it isn’t a rewarding experience. Sure, I did it while reading a National Geographic once but it’s not what it sounds like, it was my birthday and the issue was all about D-Day…anyway, let’s move on with my ten drinking rules guaranteed to get you enjoying this comic even more.

*NOTE: Guarantee is only for enjoying WWE Heroes: Rise of the Firstborn, and only extends that enjoyment within seven calculable measurements.

To give you a heads up, here’s the story in a nutshell. Two entities, good and bad, have fought eternally. Throughout the ages, they engage in human wars with the good one always winning. He was Arthur at the Round Table, he fought in the American Civil and World War II. Now, to find the greatest domain of battle in which to reside, he has become a wrestler for the WWE. The bad guy has tracked him thus far, to Wrestlemania and a packed house, and so the rumble begins.

1 - See A Wrestling Move

This comic is full of all sorts of wrestling moves. People jump, flip, kick, cavort, slap, punch, grapple, hold, and generally rub up against each other in ways to inflict pain. If every time someone gets hit you take one drink then you’re going to start off having a very good time. There’s a punch on the first page and one on the last. Wrestlers don’t settle their problems with words, or hugs, they settle things with fists to teeth and feet to groins. This comic doesn’t really relent with the violence and it’s all pretty meaningless with nary a man, or woman, showing any sign of pain. It pretty much makes me think this comic is a good representation of what happens each week in real life wrestling.

Sometimes, these operatic moments of violence are even artistically rendered in such a realistic manner that you can actually pin point what specific wrestling move is being executed. If you can recognise and name the move, you deserve to take two drinks. I looked and didn’t see the Figure Four Leg Lock (the only real hold I can recognise, and deliver) so perhaps you’ll get drunker than I.

2 - Abs, Abs Everywhere, But Not A Shirt To Wear

Wrestlers are pretty buff guys, I get it. And they generally don’t wear much. It’s true. This story takes place in the middle of Wrestlemania, of course, so it makes sense that no one would be wearing a shirt. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Rippling abs and veiny pecs are the order of the day and I can only imagine the dedication Andy Smith and Tom Nguyen had to show to get this many panels of sweaty, buff guys into each page. I’d hate to put their hard work to waste so this one might be a great way to get your party started.

The abs are plentiful, but whenever you are graced with a panel that includes three sets of abs, or more, in it then you deserve a nice long drink. This one is good because it’ll keep you on your toes, and while reading this book you’ll want to keep your brain active. Remember, two sets of abs in a panel, nothing special, three or more and it’s bottoms up time.

3 - Bludgeoning

I’m not sure if it’s in their contract but wrestlers seem to use bludgeons a lot. Usually it’s just those folding chairs that they insist on keeping around the ring. Sometimes it’s another person. Once I saw someone use a surfboard…I think. But no matter what, wrestlers get bored of stomping their opponent with their fists and feet so they grab something else. When they do this, I want you to take a drink.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of chances for it as rocks are used to smash in faces. The ubiquitous chairs definitely get a run, a gun is used, as is another wrestler. A sledgehammer gets smashed into someone’s back, which just seems like a dangerous example to show the kids, and even the ring that announces the rounds gets a chance to be held like a weapon. This book does nothing if not offer variety to the usual chair smashing. Hell, for extra drinks use this book itself to slap someone. I’m sure that sort of thing can’t go wrong, right?

4 - Turncoat Wrestlers

One thing about wrestlers became abundantly clear within a few minutes of reading this book and that was the fact they are a cowardly (possibly superstitious) lot. Any chance they get to roll over on a fellow man, even with the threat of death to those who are defeated, and they jump at the opportunity. There is no honour among these men, and women, and it’s somewhat sad to see them sell each other out so quickly.

If you spot a moment where one wrestler turns on another without a second thought for the severity of the situation or the ramifications of their actions then you need to drink. You’d be surprised how many times you’ll have to imbibe, these hulks of men must really hate each other, or be seriously cowardly, because there’s more turning and rolling in this comic than a Cirque de Soleil routine or Alan Moore in his freshly dug, and velvet lined, grave thinking about this as the new state of comics.

5 - Smart Ass Cop

The characters in this comic all sound alike, at least to me they do. They all look the same, sound the same, and probably share the same entrance music. But one man stands out from the crowd in this comic as a beacon of hope and that man is “nameless cop on the scene outside Wrestlemania”. This guy owns every scene he is in and his opening bon mot made me laugh out loud. To set the scene, Rowdy Roddy Piper has just wandered by, because we all know he spends his nights lurking outside of big time wrestling arenas just waiting to be made of use if someone’s RV pops a tire or a man at a BBQ need to drain the snake and Roddy gets stuck on tong duty in a sausagefest. Rowdy wanders straight up to the cops and asks if he can help, ol’ nameless gives him what for:

“I can think of a couple of things you can do to help, Hot Rod. One: this is the real world, so stay out of our way…”
And this guy has a million of them. He’s funny because he just seems to instantly hate on Roddy but he’s also just so different in tone to the rest of the book. It’s a gas whenever he’s in panel so whenever he zings someone, and it’s usually poor Roddy, take two drinks. Once you’ve stopped laughing, that is.

6 - Get Your MST3K On

This is where the comic and game become truly interactive because this one’s all on you. The comic provides its own slanted view on things and my drinking game rules might help facilitate enjoyment of the reading experience but I want you to have some ownership as well. I think you’ll all do really well on this rule.

The rule is simple; if you come up with something funny to say during the reading of this book then you get to have a drink. You might have a witty reply to a character, or some commentary on what is occurring, or just a random interjection or in-joke that will make you laugh. Throw any of these out verbally and you’ve earned yourself some beverage. If someone around you laughs because of what you said then take two drinks.

7 - Religious Waffle

Villains always have some kind of schtick. If it’s not a limp then its charred skin or a congenital condition or halitosis or eyes with different colours. The bad guy must always transcend the usual hoi polloi, so we know he’s someone that us normal readers could never be, and this book sticks to that rule like black against the inside of your eyelids. The main bad guy has half his face melted off but it’s actually his lackey I’m interested in here because he’s just so annoying. This rule is the first of two to concern Reverend Josiah, the preacher with more piercings than disciples.

Josiah has a habit of taking control of the captioned narrative far too often, and when he does there’s plenty of flowery religious text to chew through. Whenever you find yourself reaching the end of any of these turgid slabs of religious prattle you deserve a drink. Take one. If you’ve heard the words/passage before then you get to have two drinks.

8 - Josiah’s Five Fingers Talk To Some Face

Josiah manages to capture and abuse a stadium of wrestlers even though his size and level of intimidation are comparable to a brown paper bag left in a fierce storm. It barely makes sense and yet it is dialled up to eleven when Josiah gets confrontational. It’s bad enough the little man gets into the faces of a few wrestlers and yells at them without having his arms ripped off like his favourite newspaper boat just went down the drain but then he actually gets violent with them. It’s a disgraceful showing but drinking will help you get through it.

Perhaps it’s a sign of further disrespect but Josiah only ever hits his marks with an open palm. He’s not even man enough to punch these muscle clad fools who talk big but rarely act it. Josiah gets to slap a few of your favourites and each time he does you need to take two drinks; one to dull the pain, then another to dull the pain.

9 -  Whenever You Laugh

This one is really simple. While reading the book, whenever you laugh you get to take a drink. You might be laughing because of a line of dialogue, or a funny looking costume, or because you remembered something funny Rowdy Roddy Piper did in his illustrious cinematic career. No matter what, if you laugh, you drink.

You’ll find this rule can exponentially cause liver damage.

10 - You Finish The Book

This volume collects issues #0-6 and that means there are a lot of pages to get through. You’ll see wrestlers fight, a crowd of fanatics not really panic when their lives and liberties are threatened, pecs that look like snap on like Lego pieces, and not a whole lot of Vince McMahon. There are dizzying highs and skull compacting lows and if you get through it all you deserve a tall boy of your favourite tipple. This book is a big investment of your time and so downing the entirety of your final beverage might help you forget about it all.


WWE Heroes might not be the greatest book but if you follow my easy rules you can turn it into the greatest night of your life. The plot holes are gargantuan, the art is dire, and the overall premise is laughable, but those things can be thrown into the ropes and then knocked down to your advantage. Give this book a bionic elbow to the solar plexus and have fun, kids.

NOTE: The Weekly Crisis encourages drinking in a responsible fashion. We also think comic reading should be done in a similar fashion.

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Schubert said...

There's always room for ways to appreciate bad comics. I'd have loved to see the Bendis version (heroes acting out of character, speech bubble bigger than the universe, lame puns and so forth), although such a game might actually wreck your health...

Jeremiah Allan said...

Dear Titan,

Wrestling comics have had a long history of being over-the-top science fiction with only an impossibly tenuous connection to the brand of entertainment they supposedly represent, and it's for this reason why even WWE fans cannot bring themselves to buy these books. Sci-fi wrestling comics weren't very good in the '90s when Kevin Nash was the crusading cybernetic hero of a nebulous, post-apocalyptic landscape and they're not what fans are looking for now. Dance with the girl that brought you. There's merit in the way wrestling is presented on TV; please present it that way in comics, too.


Author of "Squared Circle" on Wowio

Dracula said...

@Jeremiah, I'm guessing they can't go for a more grounded wrestling based approach because it might interfere with the "real fiction" they present on TV. You can't have a match in the comic book and have it come out any different than it did/would in the real world because it would cause problems with canon. And then why bother reading it at all?

Anonymous said...

WTF?! What happened to reviewing new comic books each week? Is this really what you're doing in your spare time? If I want to read about wrestling, I'll watch Smackdown with the closed captioning on. Get back to the regular reviews, or I'm out.

Matt Duarte said...

@Anon: Two things. Ryan Lindsay doesn't normally review single issues comic, that's our other Ryan. Easy to get confused, I know, but this article did in no way clash with our weekly reviews.

And there's a pretty big portion of comic readers that enjoy wrestling. No idea why, but it just happens (I'm one of those that don't) and Ryan was interested in writing this.

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