While not necessarily a post regarding a certain wrestling-themed comic book series or character, our friends (although they don’t know it yet) over at http://www.comicbook.com broke down the 10 things comic books and pro wrestling have in common.
While I have listed wrestlers who would make perfect comic book characters, Comic Book took a look at the shared conventions of both mediums, like continuity issues.
In comic speak, such ignorance and/or glossing over of established history is typically dubbed a retcon. Sometimes a creator just has a story to tell and if that means ignoring parts of a certain character’s history so be it. In 2011, DC made a bit of a mess of its continuity when it rebooted its entire line of comics under the “New 52” banner. Or how about when Marvel killed off most of its “A” list characters in the 90s and then rebooted those series with new origin stories under the “Heroes Reborn” title? Remember when Superman and Lois Lane were married? Not anymore! Tony Stark was possessed by Kang and killed a couple of Avengers? Nope, he’s a hero again. Just like that time Undertaker and Kane won the tag team titles as a cohesive unit despite the fact that their hatred for each other was once so heated, they had to settle it in a ring surrounded in fire.
So, you see, there’s a reason why the WWE started referring to itself and its fans as the WWE universe. Much like the DC and Marvel universes, nothing is ever final and pasts can be easily erased with the push of reset button, or the click of a keyboard.
Heel/face turns are the bread and butter of professional wrestling, and when done right (like the two aforementioned instances), they can lead to some of the most successful angles ever. With that mind, comic books have produced some epic heel/face turns over the years, leading to some of the best comic book stories ever. Like the time Jean Grey, an original member of the X-Men, became possessed by the cosmic Phoenix force, killed an entire planet of people, and produced the “Dark Phoenix Saga.” On the flipside, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Emma Frost all started out as heels and generated a ton of commercial success as babyfaces.
“A ton of commercial success” is definitely the reason why we’ll never get a John Cena heel turn. Well, at least not until his merchandise sales start to drop off. Make sure to check out the entire top 10 list!