WILL AEW GO ALL IN ON AN ORIGINS COMIC SERIES?
Writer: Todd Black
Artist & Letterer: Alex Garcia
Covers: Alex Garcia
Who remembers Butts in Seats: Tony Schiavone Story, which wrapped up in December last year? It was written by Dirk Manning, the project manager at Source Point Press. Currently, he has a campaign out for the comic Hope: Volume 2. I just wanted to give him a nod there, but how about Arn Anderson: My Life As An Enforcer, a documentary graphic novel, also in collaboration with Dirk Manning?
Then the Bushwhackers, and so on. What are you trying to say here, Mike? What I’m trying to say is that pro wrestling could tell more stories if it had a team dedicated to the comic medium. While novels and tell-alls have been published in the past by wrestlers, promoters, owners, and even referees, there are still stories that we remember but even more that we’ve never heard.
In wrestling, nothing ever gets thrown away. Everything is an angle or a prop for showing the audience and telling them how they are showing them what happens. No one knows this better than fans. Not current fans, but long-time fans.
Fans who can recall the biggest matches in correlation to saving their lives, giving them hope after losing a job, and even being at the center of a family gathering Wrestling is a passion for the performers as much as it is for those in attendance, and while I was interviewing a creator this past month, I came face-to-face with that ultimate fan. We might be kindred wrestling fan spirits, but more so, our passion for the medium extends into comics.
He told me the story about how he got the opportunity to write about the origins of Melissa Cervantes’s career, from her origins up to her crown achievement when she captured the AEW Women’s title in a comic called Thunda Rosa by Todd Black.
“I worked with Thunda Rosa on a comic about her life. I got to work with her. We told her whole life story, from Tijuana, Mexico, to coming to America and eventually becoming the AEW Women’s Champion. She was incredible to work with. She really enjoyed it.” — Todd Black
Todd doesn’t just stop at this incredible opportunity; there is more! Aside from him working alongside Melissa Cervantes to tell her life story, as Dirk Manning has done for other wrestling individuals, Todd reveals his ambitions to work with AEW on a series called AEW Origins, which he’s already conceptualized in a short 8-page comic.
Alex Garcia helped bring Todd’s own adaptation of AEW’s best, starting with the ones responsible for AEW: Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, and The Youngbucks (Matt and Nick Jackson). The comic goes on to showcase all of AEW’s divisions, featuring wrestlers who have proven themselves over time.
Todd’s short ashcan vision of AEW Origins gives us a glimpse into what could be the beginning of the first-ever ongoing comic series dedicated to telling the origins of its shows, PPVs, and its long roster of decorated pro-wrestlers.
“I’m trying to do a series with AEW called AEW Origin’s, and I actually did an X (Twitter) thread about this a week or so ago, and the response was huge. Like, I’m talking super huge. AEW has not contacted me yet, so if you, yes, you listening at home, would like to see an AEW comic tag Tony Khan and AEW and say, ‘Contact me, @guardians_comics #AEWorigins,’ because I really want to do this. That’s a passion project, Mike.” — Todd Black
Think about it. You walk into your comic book store, and there is a shelf of comics featuring a row of comics, each one a chapter into All Elite Wrestling’s past, present, and future. With Dirk Manning already having laid down relationship tracks at Source Point Press, distribution is a brainer.
With Todd already having a foothold in Thunda Rosa’s comic origins, the formula for continuing is already present. What we lack is a proper audience with Tony Khan himself, the money man. If Todd could get his ear, the pitch would be short and sweet, and if there’s one thing fans like, it’s passion.
From all my years of being a wrestling fan, even from the short time I spent in the ring myself, I’ve never met someone so passionate about wrestling other than myself. The ashcan Todd and Alex put together shows the depth of the roster, the arena, and its shows, and leaves room for the potential of how much depth it has to offer.
As a product of AEW, it would certainly be one of the most unique things they could do to connect with fans. One of the things that makes wrestling such a popular sport is its uncanny relationship with the audience. Being that engagement is such a huge driver of the success of the sport, a comic series dedicated to showcasing their history, talent, and creativity would most certainly unlock a new form of fan engagement that other promotions don’t have.
If Todd wanted to sell this to Tony, I would say the ad revenue and cross-promotional opportunities that AEW would be able to take advantage of would be well worth the upfront cost. We’re talking convention tours, additional niche merchandising opportunities, documentary and television productions, animated series potential, and probably the best one, tapping into a new wealth of fan reach within the comics community.
It’s comics, okay, so you can do things in comics that you can’t do in the ring. Wrestlers could work with a writing team to create those action figure-like stories that kids came up with in the bedroom that included Robocop as your tag team partner, or AEW gets sucked into Undertaker’s dimension, and a group of wrestlers have to escape by defeating the Undertaker.
With WWE being a part of Endeavor, the cross-promotional potential of a comic franchise could offer an endless line of stories, both original and licensed. Take to X (Twitter) and give Tony our nods. There would certainly be some financial discussions to be had, especially with all the high-cost, low-return patterns we’ve seen from comics in the past, even from big publishers like DC and Marvel.
I don’t think it would be too much of a hurdle if there was enough planning and discussion about choosing hybrid funding options and engagement through various transmedia techniques that both the Khan family and AEW fans couldn’t both get something special out of a comic series like AEW Origins and beyond. I think this has a lot of potential. What are your thoughts, Geek Network readers?
Is an AEW comic something you’d read? Let us know in the comments. As always, stay geeky, share the network, and don’t forget to catch me on the latest episode of Comics’N’Poptarts.
DISCLAIMER: This is a fan-made comic and is currently not affiliated with All Elite Wrestling or any of its holdings, nor is it subject to sale, and was freely given to Geek Network for review.
Michael J. Florio
Michael is a versatile creative professional, excelling as a comic writer, editor, and screenwriter. He holds notable credits at Advent Comics, Grok Comics, Champion Comics, Alter Ego Arts, and Super Serious Comics, Mazzi Productions not including his own projects like Wild Oni and Iron Jaguar. Aside from being an internationally published editor, Michael has been the editor-in-chief at Inked Studios, where he’s assisted on over 40 crowdfunding campaigns, contributing to projects like Exiled (Wesley Snipes), Redempt1on (Austin St. John), and Bleeding Pulp (Justin Gray). Holding degrees from the University of Full Sail, Michael resides in Biloxi, Mississippi, where he hosts the Comics’N’Poptarts podcast and actively engages with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Writers Guild Chapter, sharing comic expertise. Beyond his creative pursuits, he enjoys family time, storytelling, film analysis, comic reading, and honing voice acting for future prospects.