Make It So: AEW Comics by Jerry Whitworth
With the recent release of their first mobile game and announcement of new waves of their Unrivaled line of action figures (as well as the upcoming Unmatched line), All Elite Wrestling is expanding its reach beyond pro wrestling by leaps and bounds. It only makes sense then that the brand would reach the printed comic book page. Fans were teased such a development in September 2019 when DC Comics produced posters of some of AEW’s biggest stars. Sam Linsky, senior vice president and co-head of scripted originals for TBS, TNT and truTV, confirmed a more direct collaboration being on the horizon when he told Variety last year, “We have an opportunity to use all facets of WarnerMedia in a way that most places can’t…We’ve got a comic book company. We’ve got video game companies. We’ve got merchandising people. We’ve got people who make animation for television. We’ve got reality television producers. It’s all in house. So we have a real opportunity to spread this IP and grow it across WarnerMedia.” Lets take a look at what that could entail.
The WWE comic books to come out of Boom! Studios were, simply put, incredible. Undoubtedly the standard by which all future comics based on wrestling will be judged upon. But, many of the creators behind those books have commented that the strict guidelines that made it to print left a myriad of brilliant ideas on the cutting room floor because WWE had no interest in some of their more sillier but creative past storylines (the Max Moon stories we will never see alone is a tragedy in itself). Given AEW’s dedication to creativity and storytelling, the sky is almost the limit. Kris Statlander an alien? The Jurassic Express a team of two boys and their dinosaur? The Dark Order a cult of buff dudes? Matt Hardy has a lake that turns his body into a vessel for various otherworldly entities? Abadon an undead monster? The roster is almost custom made for comics. On top of this is their potential for crossover.
DC Comics has the most recognizable intellectual property on Earth. Almost any corner of the globe you can go, people will recognize Superman, Batman, Joker, and Wonder Woman. So pairing those characters with the performers of AEW can only empower its brand. Batman vs the Inner Circle. MJF in a battle of wits with Superman with Wardlow as his bodyguard. Kris Statlander joining the Green Lantern Corps. The Dark Order trying to recruit Aquaman. Dr. Britt Baker teaming up with the Gotham City Sirens. Big Swole on Themyscira. The Flash facing the menace of Death Triangle. Marko Stunt adopted into the Shazam Family. Jon Moxley and the Outlaws fighting together against Eddie Kingston’s family. John Constantine and the curious case of the deathless Darby Allin. A lot of possibilities. But WarnerMedia is more than DC Comics. Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo, Tom & Jerry, Flintstones, and Mortal Kombat are just a few of its most established properties. The world of AEW can easily slide into any of those universes.