Words: Patrick Hickey Jr
Art: Steve Cange
Letters: Josh Adams
Publisher: Legacy Comix
Pro wrestling and crime are more closely related than one might think. After all, the whole thing more or less got started as nothing more than a pretty elaborate con, and the rap sheets of some of the men and women who have been involved in the sport tell their own tale. Honestly, it’s a little surprising that more writers haven’t mined this particular vein, especially since it’s full of larger-than-life characters routinely putting their health on the line for the promise of what’s generally a pretty small payday.
With Patrick Hickey Jr. on story and Steve Cange on art, The Job #1 tells the story of a professional wrestler who supplements his poorly-paying dream job with a pretty impressive string of bank robberies. Going by the ring name Delicious Dan, our anti-hero seems to be right on the cusp of giving up his in-ring career. Moving back and forth between wrestling and robbery, we see Dan’s skills in both arenas. As his wrestling career finally seems to be taking off, his criminal activities might put it all in jeopardy.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Hickey’s story is that it manages to throw a lot of inside baseball at the reader without locking anyone out. There’s a clear love for pro wrestling here, but you don’t need to be a fan to understand what is going on. Still, little touches like the names of moves and the understanding that independent wrestling pays poorly do help to sell the whole comic as a work by someone who knows what he’s talking about.
A good deal of the story work is buoyed by Steve Cange’s art. The combination of thick inking and heavy shadows almost makes the figures look like posed action figures – not a benefit in something as dynamic as a cape comic, but absolutely perfect for the world of professional wrestling. There’s a sense of dynamism in the action scenes (that is, in fact, a good damn superkick), but there’s a real sense that most of what’s happening is just individual stills in the moving picture of something much bigger. Cange also does an excellent job of capturing the difference in builds between the wrestlers and those around them, helping to further make the world of the comic a little bit larger than life.
The Job #1 is a good appetizer for what seems like a much larger story. The two halves of the tale go together well, just like the art and story. Hopefully there’s much more to come in this world.