Writer: Evan Narcisse, Austin Walker / Artist: Daniel Bayliss / Boom! Studios
Despite the popularity of The New Day, I at best, have a passing interest in the wrestling fandom. I’ve seen a couple of televised events and I have many friends who follow the stories with much more intent than I ever have. I enjoyed Netflix’s GLOW when it was released, but I never really had a strong attachment to the spectacle. While I don’t see that changing in the long term, I can say that WWE The New Day: The Power of Positivity got me invested in a very similar manner to how Haikyu!! got me into volleyball a while back. Which, I think, is the biggest compliment I can give a piece of media.
The Power of Positivity details the origin story of the New Day wrestling team consisting of Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods. And from the first ‘en media’ of the team strutting out to the ring, you know you’re in for this fantastic time. The bright illustration from Bayliss pops off the page and Hopkins’ lettering carries a very specific and inherent joy. It’s that type of excitement and energy that carries through the entirety of the issue, especially when Narcisse and Walker pivot to the characters’ backstories.
This ebb and flow between present and past is a well-loved trope and Narcisse and Walker leverage it beautifully. Getting to see Kofi, Xavier, and E navigate their respective teenage years is endearing, as each has a different arc that they have to navigate. We’re allowed to form deep, personal connections with the trio and as we oscillate back and forth. It functions as a great way to ground and connect the story to really showcase how their rise was truly a byproduct of their unique personalities and experiences. It’s a very clever and well-done personalization of larger-than-life figures and makes it easy to root for The New Day as they come up through the WWE ranks.
Bayliss’s artwork works fantastically for all parts of the story. The action in the ring is dynamic and readable, and the moments in the past have all of these touching moments that balance everything out perfectly. The entire creative team comes together to create a tight narrative throughline that makes for a truly compelling first issue. All of that is compounded by the fact that this is a biographical story in nature, about, The New Day as a Black wrestling tag team that changed the status quo. It’s hard not to love everything going on with it.
WWE The New Day: The Power of Positivity is the type of story that gets non-wrestling fans excited about wrestling and gives wrestling fans a great tool to get their friends invested in the fandom. The stellar storytelling of Narcisse, Walker, and Bayliss culminates in a truly compelling drama that is situated on joy. This is a comic about the power of friendship, embracing your truths, and holding true to your belief. Again, I don’t understand how anyone could not love everything about this comic.
9.9 “Superstars” out of 10