Review: Ringside #5

Danny stands at a destroyed bar, surrounded by several unconscious, most likely dead guys. Still looking for his friend Teddy. Davis and Reynolds are back in corporate for a contract renewal after their house shows tour. The jobber is sure he’s getting the axe, and the veteran knows at this point that it’s going to be more of the same or nothing at all. And he has no choice in the matter. Ringside-#5-1Ringside #5 goes out the way it came in, dark, gritty, and with the love/hate relationship most of the wrestling fans have towards the craft and the business behind it. The issue begins with a young Danny being taken to his first show, and it puts in context how much we love kayfabe (the story the wrestlers are telling inside the ring). As much as sometimes we criticize it, we love the maneuvers they make, we want to cheer the good guys and boo the bad ones. Then there’s the backstage politics and the fact that it’s still a business being made more so for pure passion than anything else. Danny, long separated from wrestling, seems to have taken a persona of the babyface who must face all odds (loses) and helps his childhood friend.

Nick Barber injects this comic with feeling exactly where it needs it. A perfectly executed German suplex double splash page? You got it. Just like Danny, it had me saying “whoa.” Davis’ reactions to his contract signing hits on a big element of wrestling and what is means to “go out on your back.” All of this accentuated by Simon Gough’s colors, which have been consistently great throughout these five issues.

This creative team bring the end of the first arc of Ringside the way a heel would pin over the face for the three count. It’s a great story, and not always the good guy wins. Me being raised in Mexico, I’m a hardcore Lucha Libre man and this is a two out of three falls match. And I can’t wait what Ringside has in store for us in July.

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Ringside #5 Writer: Joe Keatinge Artist: Nick Barber Colorist: Simon Gough Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/23/16 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital