Written by: Dave Scheidt
Illustrations by: Scoot McMahon
Colorist: Heidi Black
SLAM Wrestling is the greatest sport in the world, and twelve-year-old Katie Jones is the world’s biggest wrestling fan and a prolific vlogger with millions of followers. After wrestling manager, Mr. Johnson becomes President of the United States, Katie is invited to the White House to meet her wrestling idols, such as the famous wrestling legend, Bruno Bravado.
However, Katie’s life is about to get a whole lot more intense, as she isn’t there for a simple meet and greet. President Johnson is secretly hiring Katie for her wrestling knowledge, to help the ‘Agents of S.LA.M.’ to protect the Earth from evil-doers, known as the W.D.S, the World Domination Society, a group of heels (villains in wrestling) who have stolen the ancient golden championship belt, which grants the wearer of the belt super-human and even supernatural abilities, such as increased speed, strength, and the power to resurrect and control ancient creatures such as dragons.
Katie must help the Agents of S.L.A.M. to protect the world not just from the heels, but from aliens as well because as it turns out, wrestling is a sport enjoyed not just on earth, but across the galaxy!
This story is completely brilliant, as it contains everything a wrestling fan could want from a story based around the sport, and more. It has heroes (faces), villains (heels), opposing teams (factions), mystery, drama, big reveals, and when I said there’s more, there’s also dragons, magic, and aliens in this book, so even for the fans of fantastical stories often seen within comics, this book has it all.
The story includes wrestling character stereotypes as well, from the buff bravado hero who everyone loves, the creepy dark facade who looks evil but is actually heroic, the luchador mask-wearing hero, a strong young female, a somewhat slow-witted country boy, and an old legend who keeps them all in check.
Of course, with this book being aimed at a younger audience, the young protagonist being Katie Jones, would make this story feel relatable to any young wrestling fans because what kid wouldn’t want to meet and work with their heroes? I don’t watch wrestling as much as I did when I was a kid, but I know for a fact I’d have loved the opportunity to meet my wrestling heroes like Undertaker, Edge, and Triple H because they were (and still are) awesome and with my action figures I often imagined them going on missions to fight evil-doers. So this book is similar to my childhood imagination, and to see something like that in a book makes it a perfect read for any young reader.
The illustrations in this book are brilliantly designed, with clear thick linework to make every character and background details such as crowds, clearly visible. The text is big and bold, jumping out of every panel it appears in, giving the reader a real sense of action.
The colours are smooth and bright making this an eye-catching piece of work, that attracts its young readers. The panel shots, in the beginning, make the book feel like you’re watching a wrestling show on TV (without moving of course) with the perfectly designed angles, and the depth between the background and foreground.
The characters are fun and this book certainly feels like it could be adapted easily into an incredibly brilliant kids’ television show that even some adult fans of wrestling would enjoy.
I honestly love this book. Its art jumps out of the pages with its bright colours and thick clear linework that make each character stand out from the rest. The heroes and villains look awesome, the story is genuinely enjoyable and sticks to the idea of a wrestling plotline with faces and heels going head to head, but instead of just being a wrestling story, it adds some extra enjoyment with its fantasy elements by adding magic, monsters, and aliens to make it feel like a bizarre comic book that takes you out of the real world and throws you into a world I think many of us would love to be apart of.
Agents of S.L.A.M. will be released on the 19th of April 2022 and if you’re a fan of wrestling or your kids are, then this is a book for you and them to enjoy.