Review – GUTS 2020 #2
Publisher – Hesitantdoodle
Writer & Artist – Amy Galloway
Released – March 3rd 2021
GUTS 2020 issue 2 is the story of newbie luchadora, Ursa Minor, taking her talent to the big leagues of professional wrestling. In order to pursue her dream, she must leave her indie family of COAST Wrestling and lace up her boots in the most electrifying promotion in the country, Storm Forge Wrestling. Along the way Ursa faces her past, present and future in the squared circle and grapples with the harsh expectations and realities of life as the lady behind the luchadora mask, Oliana Murphy.
The art style initially grabbed me with its resemblance to the old Cartoon Network cartoon ¡Mucha Lucha! with its foundation in the Mexican wrestling scene but for teens. Upon reading the comic however, the characters reminded me more of Scott Pilgrim vs The World (more on that later) but with more realistic details.
The artist also balances this more realistic art style with over the top and comedic expressions of emotion that you’ll see in a lot of anime and manga. This addition really works with the tone of the comic as well as the sport of professional wrestling that more often than not, IS a showcase of exaggerated emotion.
For someone who hasn’t read the first comic, I was worried that I would misunderstand or misinterpret characters or scenes. Delightfully however, the writer has incorporated a quick character synopsis that explains who these people are and if you are a wrestling fan, you’ll have your own comparisons to real wrestlers and storylines that will help in your understanding too.
As a diehard wrestling fan myself, I love a good wrestling storyline! The writing here is synonymous with the Fire Pro Wrestling game with communication between rivalries and allies, with a mutual love for the art of professional wrestling and a focus on the woman under the veil who is also, a diehard wrestling fan (KICKASS!!!). Whether this is intentional or not, I give Galloway major props for identifying and embracing the prominent story beats of professional wrestling.
Not to mention the use of actual wrestling moves and terminology which is usually a groan inducing ordeal in most media when depicting professional wrestling- no “over the top rope elimination matches between two people” here! I hope to see more of the lingo in future issues to give the sport a good name.
Galloway has made it a point to compose a story with a diverse cast of characters from different backgrounds and different wrestling styles from the surgical submission specialist, Amelia Moreau, to the tooth pickin’, teeth kickin’ martial artist, River.
I mentioned before about the art style reminding me of Scott Pilgrim vs The World. Just off the cuff, I now see similarities to the story of Scott Pilgrim too. No spoilers of course but I’d be interested to see if anyone else sees where I’m coming from.
Overall, GUTS is shaping up to be a staple in wrestling comics and I highly recommend stepping into the ring with this one. If you were to take the delightful world of Pokémon and replace the colourful and exciting monsters with colourful and exciting professional wrestlers, you get Guts. That is a hell of a selling point on its own.
With my comparisons to ¡Mucha Lucha! and Pokémon in mind, I could totally see this as an engaging and diverse animated TV series but for now I am happy that this kind of story exists on the pages of a comic series and look forward to seeing Galloway and her luchadora continue their rise to the top.
You can back and grab your copy of this comic at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hesitantdoodle/guts-2020-a-wrestling-comic
As you eagerly anticipate the second issue of Guts, why not go along to https://hesitantdoodle.bigcartel.com to purchase the first issue (as I will be doing!) as well as Galloway’s other works. If you enjoyed our Review – GUTS 2020 #2 then let us know in the comments.
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