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Lucha Underground

IMG_6310With the start of the second season, Lucha Underground put out a comic book to capitalize on the show’s serialized development, since that is the show’s strongest attribute after insane lucha libre action. With season two wrapping up tonight with Ultima Lucha Dos, it seemed fitting I post up this recap of the four-issue series.

IMG_6312“Peace Keeper”
Issue #1 begins with Rey Mysterio Jr. finishing up a wrestling match on the indy scene after having left WWE. It’s funny seeing Mysterio wrestle these no-name dudes. Where are the Young Bucks, “Speedball” Mike Bailey, and other indiy standouts that Mysterio actually wrestled against during this time? The best part is seeing Mysterio ditch the baggy shiny pants for his old-school lucha spandex. Rey Mysterio is told backstage that the original Dragon Azteca has been murdered. Mysterio figures he needs to go to Lucha Underground to get to the bottom of this.

Upon arriving in Boyle Heights, he sees The Disciples of Death murder two jabronies, and two orderlies wheel away a gurney-strapped Vampiro. So, he’s essentially showing up just as the first season has ended. Instead of say, calling the cops, he decides to check out some other indy wrestling show happening in LA, since the The Temple has closed its doors. It’s not PWG, or even AWS, if anything it’s probably one of the lesser known, low-rent, lucha indy shows that features guys like Shamu Jr. Mysterio gets himself booked on the show, and the promoter doesn’t seem to care all that much that he just got Mysterio to perform on a whim, and for free! After he wins, Mysterio demands some information from the promoter and gets it.

Mysterio ends up on a random rooftop, that we can only assume is the rooftop of The Temple since it’s where he ends up meeting Dragon Azteca Jr. on the show. So basically, he could’ve just gone up there originally. But hey, The Disciples of Death probably freaked him out. Dragon Azteca Jr. offers Mysterio the mask, but it’s like, “C’mon, dude, I’m  Rey Mysterio Jr. You know how much my mask is worth?” Azteca Jr. wants revenge, but Mysterio tells him that he’s looking to keep the peace. I wonder how that will play out.

IMG_6306“The Throne”
The second issue recaps the original Ultima Lucha event and how Mil Muertes,Catrina, and The Disciples of Death stood tall at the end of the show, with all the titles. Catrina sends the Disciples to murder people and bring their skulls to her. While they’re out doing that, she cuts a deal with King Cuerno to help them both out by securing the Gift of the Gods Championship from Fenix. Also, the comic book shows what happened to Big Ryck. At least, that’s who I’m assuming it was as he had an eye patch on and a cigar in his mouth. Basically, he became one of the many decorative skulls on Muertes’ Mortal Kombat throne. While The Disciples continue to straight up murder people all over Los Angeles, Catrina decides to re-open the temple to the Believers. Because you still got to pay the bills, even when you’re the female incarnation of Death.

IMG_6309“The Demon Within”
This issue starts with Vampiro at the psychiatric ward. He’s going on about the first time he spoke to Pentagon Jr. Lucha Underground being Lucha Underground, he does a great job of setting this up by calling back to the match between Pentagon Jr. and Fenix in one of the earlier episodes of LU. Vampiro appears to Pentagon Jr. in full-on Darth Sidious mode in the one place where all of LU’s greatest segments take place, the men’s bathroom. Pentagon Jr. doesn’t even hesitate to take him on as his master, he’s just like, “Yeah, I’m tired of losing matches.” For all we know, Famous B could’ve shown up first, offered to make Pentagon famous, and the whole thing would’ve taken a different turn. Pentagon definitely wouldn’t have broken his arm.

We see Pentagon responding well to Vampiro’s training program, which includes attacking random luchadors walking in dark alleys, still in their wrestling gear. Pentagon breaks arms, while Vamp decides to bite dudes on the neck. “Nothing too crazy,” Vampiro tells the doctor. Vampiro continues to regale the doctor with stories of Pentagon Jr.’s dominance and apparently that’s enough for the doc to clear Ian (Vampiro) of being mentally disturbed and release him, so long as he stays on his meds. Seems like the doctor might’ve just been some Lucha fanboy playing dress up. The things some wrestling fans will do.

IMG_6313“A Call for Blood”
Dario Cueto and Black Lotus, along with Matanza Cueto, escape The Temple after killing Dragon Azteca Sr. What follows is pretty much what we heard play out in exposition during the actual show. But, like most of these issues, the comic visually fills in the gaps. For one, did you know Dario and Black Lotus shacked up in the same seedy motel room during their time away? I’m not saying something might’ve happened between them, as there were two beds. Just figured they would’ve gotten two separate rooms. We also saw Dario explain on Lucha Underground why he loved violence, but we actually get to see little Matanza Cueto bludgeon his mother to death before Dario’s eyes with Dario’s most prized possession, his red bull statue. On the show, we saw Dario trick a trio of marks into stepping inside the warehouse where Dario kept Matanza, but the comic book showed us exactly what it was that caused them to scream in terror. It was them having their limbs ripped off. The series concludes a few weeks later, once Matanza has quenched his thirst for blood, and Dario has reasoned that it is time to return to The Temple.

While the books mostly expand on information we receive in passing from the show itself,  it’s still cool to see certain visuals we wouldn’t otherwise see on El Rey due to budgetary reasons. Like, The Disciples of Death accumulating skulls for Muertes’ throne via slicing and dicing, or Matanza massacring unsuspecting Lucha fans. But more importantly, it strengthens Lucha Underground’s existence as a comic book come to life. It’s also the first comic book associated with a wrestling organization/show that actually does it justice. You can read them all at Hopefully, they release new issues for season three.

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