The pro wrestling and comic book connection is hard to miss. The parallels are all there: good vs. evil, outlandish characters/costumes, superheroes who virtually never die, or in wrestling’s case lose (Cena, Hogan) and storylines that can change on a dime given little reason (except in comic books these tangents are justified by having multiple universes, whereas in wrestling they simply undermine the fans’ intelligence). Point is, the two mediums go hand in hand, several wrestlers even incorporate certain comic book aspects into their persona/costumes.
This list will look at the top wrestlers whose characters would fit well inside the pages of a comic book. I’m not saying they would be successful, as most pro wrestling-comic book crossovers aren’t considered to be very good (although I’ve heard great things about Headlocked), but once mentioned you’d scratch your chin and think to yourself, “Yeah, I guess that makes sense.” However, before I continue with the list, there are a few conditions that would restrict the most obvious of choices.
And they are:
1) The wrestler cannot have their character/costume directly influenced by comic books in general (i.e. Hurricane, Blue Blazer, Sting (crow version), Gangrel, Arachnaman, etc.)
2) No luchadores or Japanese wrestlers (i.e. Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Jushin Liger, Ultimo Dragon). This rule had to be in place or else this whole list would be made up of nothing BUT Japanese wrestlers and luchadores.
3) No more than one wrestler from the WWE’s “New Generation” (Portuguese Man O’ War, Avatar, Mantaur, etc.) seeing as those characters were seemingly watered down, third-rate excuses for wannabe superheroes/villains and well, wrestlers.
So, without further ado…
10. Bastion Booger
An unlikely choice but when you consider his look and attributes, Bastion Booger would make a perfect foil to any do-gooder super hero. A very PG-rated super hero, or parody of a do-gooder super hero. Having no real motive to cause harm other than the fact that he’s a big, fat, grotesque dude who likes to hurt people and eat, but not necessarily in that order. Bastion Booger’s presence would be considered more a nuisance than a real threat.
Superpower: Ability to absorb other forms of mass. Snot forcefield. Super human strength.
Comic Book Storyline: Bastion Booger has decided to terrorize The Tick’s favorite restaurant and meeting place. After accidentally absorbing Arthur, The Tick springs into action to save his trusty sidekick. “Spoon!”
Apparently he was kind of a big deal in Mexico, which we all know translates into big bucks here in the States. Making up for what he lacked in wrestling skill with cool face paint, braids and tattoos, Vampiro definitely looked the part of a wrestler/comic book villain. Yet, despite having this gimmick years before Gangrel, Gangrel ended up doing it way better.
Superpower: Invisibility. Feeds off human blood. Superhuman longevity. Night vision. Delusions of grandeur.
Comic Book Storyline: While performing at one of the Gathering of the Juggalos events and being forced to job, Vampiro decides to feast on the juggalos doing society a huge favor in the process. Of course, this brings out Wesley Snipes Blade in an effort to put an end to the feeding much to the chagrin of said society.
8. Max Moon
Like number #8 Vampiro, Konnan came to the states looking for the same success he found in Mexico. Unfortunately, he came a bit too soon during the early 90’s and was given this suit to work with. Despite his best attempts to get Japanese wrestling-influenced streamers over in the U.S., this kid-friendly K-Dawg wasn’t
bout it bout it bowdy bowdy at all, but that costume was colorful enough to grace the pages of the type of comic books they hand out on free comic book day.
Superpower: Jetpack flying. Fire shooting. Flying. Somersaults.
Comic Book Storyline: The original Max Moon returns to rid the earth of the Imposter Max Moon who has been helping Galactus secure planets for his daily feeding.
7. The Patriot
He was the main attraction on the defunct GWF, and his sole purpose in the WWF was to defend America against Bret Hart during 1997, but if there’s going to be a patriotic wrestler on this list that fits the super hero mold, it’s definitely mild-mannered Del Wilkes. About as cheesy as Kurt Angle first was, but without the irony, this man would be a staunch supporter of the Superhuman Registration Act, unlike that other flag-bearing superhero. There’s no mistaking that his mask was pretty awesome, and he was clever enough to stay away from calling himself something a little too on the nose, like Mr. America.
Superpower: Superhuman strength. Unable to lie. Ability to produce U-S-A chants nationwide.
Comic Book Storyline: The Patriot is transported back into time, in the midst of World War II. He’s recruited to fight alongside the army and unlike Captain America, is able to capture Hitler. However, lets Hitler go based on his word that he’ll stop going forward with the Holocaust. Upon realizing he’s been lied to The Patriot is unable to recapture Hitler as he now must contend with the Red Skull.
Mankind made a big impact during his debut the day after Wrestlemania 12. He singled out the Undertaker which lead to an incredible feud and that one Hell in a Cell match. The music, Foley’s mic skills, the mask, and his harcdcore style of wrestling definitely made him a larger than life character, easily superseding his previous Cactus Jack persona. Mankind in the hands of Alan Moore or Garth Ennis would make for some awesome graphic novel reading.
Superpower: Regenerative healing factor. Mentally unstable.
Comic Book Storyline:Out of the many inmates let loose from Arkham’s Asylum thanks to the Joker, the one causing the most destruction is none other than Mankind. With a little direction and help from the Clown Prince of Crime, Mankind captures Robin with plans of torturing him with thumbtacks, barbed wire, and exploding C4s on live TV in hopes of luring Batman to his doom.
I’ll admit I dismissed Kane’s initial run as just another giant who was going to be fed and chewed out by the Undertaker, but despite a few character setbacks, the Larry hair cut, and the voice box, Kane has stayed pretty consistent as the bad-ass Red Monster. He’s at his best when he’s a heel and torturing dudes or charming the ladies. And aside from maskless Kane, every costumed Kane has looked like a cool comic super villain.
Superpower: Superhuman strength. Fire and heat manipulation.
Comic Book Storyline: After a motorcycle stunt goes horribly awry and kills Kane’s girlfriend, Katie Vick, and leaves Kane disfigured due to severe burns, Kane seeks revenge on Johnny Blaze. Despite Johnny’s attempt to smooth things over, Kane leaves him no choice but to release the Ghost Rider.
If there’s any comic book equivalent to Vader, it’d be Juggernaut. He’s big, strong, angry and at the height of his career so was Vader. Not only is Vader’s mask good comic book fodder but his crazy-ass entrance helmet is about 1,000 times cooler than Juggernaut’s. Did I mention he’s a mean son of a bitch who just destroyed guys left and right? This is the dude evil geniuses hire to do their evil bidding, and the kind that will usually do it for shits and giggles.
Superpower: Superhuman strength. Stamina. Durability. Virtually unstoppable momentum (unless fighting Shawn Michaels) .
Comic Book Storyline: Everyone loves a good David vs. Goliath story, and seeing as Wolverine’s first comic book appearance consisted of him going to toe-to-toe with The Hulk. It’d only make sense to pit Vader against the diminutive X-Man.
Undertaker has been a perfect comic book character since he first debuted at the 1991 Survivor Series (aside from that short stint as Sons of Anarchy Undertaker). With his ominous appearance, the power he drew from the urn, the fact that he was impervious to pain (for a short while), and that nobody can take away his Wrestlemania undefeated streak, the Deadman’s look/gimmick
Superpower: Resurrection. Healing Factor. Superhuman strength.
Comic Book Storyline: Basically, a rip-off of Spawn’s origin. The Undertaker makes a deal with the devil (no, not Vince McMahon) in order to see his wife, Michelle McCool, one last time. And of course, he has to contend with that little fat clown, The Violator.
2. Ultimate Warrior
Ultimate Warrior’s nonsensical babbling already made you think he was out of this world and hailing from Parts Unknown simply drove that idea further home. He had crazy glam-metal hair, more colorful costumes than seemed necessary even by wrestling AND comic book standards, and tassels that would put any 8-year-old girl’s bike to shame. And, more importantly, the muscles to back all that shit up.
Superpower: Superhuman strength. Power mimicry or absorption. Business savy.
Comic Book Storyline: Who better to guard the colorful Soul/Infinity Gems than the Warrior himself? Thus, thwarting Thanos’ second quest to recreate the Infinity Gauntlet.
You might question his placement on this list, but if any wrestling character could jump into the pages of a comic book as an intriguing evil genius type of villain, it would definitely be him. The gold outfit, the face paint, the “mind games” he’d constantly play on his opponents, Goldust knew what he was up to and kept everyone questioning his motivation. He was even smart enough to have others do his dirty work, like when he teamed with Mankind which made for an awesomely underrated tag team. Goldust was a master manipulator which is a top trait for evil geniuses.
Superpower: None. Evil genius.
Comic Book Storyline: Goldust develops a bit of a “crush” on Bruce Banner. Despite trying to be PC about things, Dr. Banner goes into full homophobia Hulk rage on Goldust. Goldust’s endgame? To get the Hulk on his side to provide some much needed muscle to carry out his plan to take down Nikki Finke of Deadline.com for spreading rumors about him and Razor Ramon.