Then. Now. Forever is an depth exploration of some of the best angles and stories from the WWE, both past and present in short story form. Any cover that features The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock and Mick Foley, automatically demands my attention, so when this landed on my desk, nothing else mattered for the next couple of hours.
Kicking off with a peek inside the locker room of the ladies of the WWE when it was announced that Asuka would soon be joining their ranks, a seemingly innocuous girl in the corner of the room may just turn into the legendary wrestler they’ve all feared. There’s a fun romp through ye olden times as a giant among men (Braun Strowman) and the heroic knight (Roman Reigns) have a battle for the ages, while the Swiss Cyborg Cesaro is turned into a Popeye type character in a muscle popping encounter. In a trip back in time, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase and Razor Ramon have a violent disagreement in a jewelers, in a typically overblown scenario that you can imagine the WWE coming up with at that time.
It’s interesting to note the different artwork that accompanies these stories, all of which is either relevant to the period or the inflated personas involved. “Ooooh yeah”, then it’s time to go even further back as the classic clash between “The Macho Man” Randy Savage and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat is given a violent overhaul. The Authority Wears Prada is a hilarious insight into the world of Stephanie McMahon and Triple H’s rule over WWE, pre Wrestlemania 32, but by far my favorite story, partly because of fond memories of watching it is the take on Degeneration X’s invasion WCW in 1998. With the infamous group being inducted in the WWE Hall Of Fame this year, this is a fitting reminder of one of their finest moments. Another story that made me smile is the inclusion of the greatest manager and colour commentator that WWE ever had- Bobby Heenan, in which we see The Weasel get into all sorts of trouble with The British Bulldog’s canine companion Matilda.
An assortment of writers and artists including Andy Belanger, Tini Howard and Domo Stanton, have come together to bring those old stories and classic matches alive for a new generation to appreciate and they’ve also enhanced the back stories of the current crop of WWE superstars. Then. Now. Forever is a must have for any and all WWE and wrestling fans. I can’t wait to see which infamous storylines they’re going to feature in the future... Chris Andrews