Big Daddy Danger #1 (October, 2002)
Creator, Writer & Artist - Adam Pollina
Inker - Tyson McAdoo
Colors & Separations - Thomas Chu
Associate Editor - Ivan Cohen
Editor - Mike Carlin
Cover Price: $2.95
Folks that know me will tell you... I'm a pretty big fan of the pro-wres. I've watched wrestling for over three decades, and still (begrudgingly) watch it to this day. I fear that my current fandom may be more a result of inertia than an intrinsic excitement... but even today, Vince's show does have its moments.
So into it was I, that during my late teens and early twenties, I actually dabbled a bit on our local independent circuit. I only have a scant handful of matches under my belt, but the experience was worthwhile... even if only measured by the amount of stories I can tell.
With that out of the way, we can move into today's discussion. Big Daddy Danger is a comic from late 2002 by Adam Pollina... a fella I know from his days drawing X-Force... during the most excellent "road trip" era of that title. That's really all I need to know... let's head down to the ring.
We open during the introductions for tonight's main event... for this night the masked sensation Big Daddy Danger defends his title against Der Meat-Maker... who looks to have gotten some cranial tattoos since he last boxed Bugs Bunny. It's a packed house... with one very special spectator... Big Daddy's son, (the also masked) Danny Danger. By the way... I think ADAM POLLINA might have had something to do with this issue...
After witnessing a smattering of what-a-maneuvers, including a powerbomb and and ankle lock, we shift scenes to the Mayor of Big City as he and his young daughter are being driven... somewhere. Their trip is ill-fated, as they are soon ambushed by a pair of lady wrestlers... Shanghai Suzy and (Women's World Champion) Lady Eighty. They nyoink the Mayor from his limo, and their handler drives away with the Mayor's daughter.
Back at the arena, Big Daddy Danger emerges victorious in his title bout to the adulation of the crowd.
An in-ring interview is conducted where Big Daddy does his babyface best to engage the crowd. Standing next to him is his manager, who gets a ticker-tape S.O.S. via his ticker-tape cane (just go with it) informing him that the Mayor has been kidnapped. It's time for Big Daddy to go to work... which vexes young Danny Danger somewhat.
This next bit is pretty great. Big Daddy heads back to the showers to get cleaned up. He removes his luchador mask... revealing a second mask. His superhero costume is just a different colored/styled mask... that actually elicited a chuckle.
And so, our hero emerges from the dressing room. Despite his son's protests (the tot's got a wrestling meet of his own tomorrow, ya know), he heads off to the Daddymobile to save the world... or, ya know... the Mayor of "Big City".
|Closest thing we'll get to a Doom Patrol reference here... so, we'll take it.|
It isn't long before Big Daddy catches up with the kidnapping convoy. To be honest, these baddies are a bit overarmed if their most likely foil is a professional wrestler. Well, maybe not... Big Daddy Danger gets right into the thick of things, and actually runs a van off the side of a cliff... where it explodes... and not just a normal "boom" either... this is a full-blown mushroom cloud!
Big Daddy pulls close to the Mayor's limousine and hops onto the roof. Here he runs into Shanghai Suzy... who informs him he's dealing with the "Ma'amazons" Get it? Oofta.
The grapplers engage in some catch-as-catch-can hijinks, which quickly ends when Big Daddy bodyscissors Suzy off the lid of the limo. Big Daddy then proceeds to nyoink the driver out via the limos moon roof, and commandeers the vehicle.
Meanwhile... at Dayfield High School, Danny Danger is in the midst of his wrestling meet. Wait... is it tomorrow already? How long has Big Daddy been fighting the Ma'amazons now? Hmm... okay, we'll let that slide. Not gotta let something like pacing get in our way... let's just see how the lad is doing. He's clearly wrestling outside of his weight class... which is something the school really shouldn't be allowing. I guess to be fair, Danny might just be the most pocket-sized high school student ever entered into the system... and would have to wrestle grade-schoolers to get a proper oponent. We'll just roll with it... he handily takes care of his oversized opponent... hitting him with a hurricanrana and cinching in an ankle lock... both totally legal in an amateur bout... ahem. Among the cheering crowd, Danny believes he sees his (big) Daddy.
Meanwhile, back on the road... Big Daddy Danger gives the Mayor's daughter her first driving lesson. He instructs her to keep her foot on the gas as he mounts the hood so that he may jump onto the Ma'amazons departing jet... ay yai yai. Anyhoo, he leaps onto the jet's landing gear and pulls himself up to the wing... where he finds himself at the foot of Lady Eighty.
After a very brief tussle, the Women's World Champion gets hiptossed to certain death... if only she hadn't brought her parachute. Big Daddy Danger rescues the Mayor and reunites him with his daughter. Seeing the touching family moment, Big Daddy is reminded that... oh yeah, he's got a kid too! He calls his son, who is super pleased to hear from him. The boy then learns that Big Daddy was not the lumbering luchador he saw at the wrestling meet... and his demeanor immediately changes.
We wrap up with Big Daddy Danger entering his mask shrine to speak to his "fathers"... while, at the same time... the other masked man meets with the Ma'amazons... and we learn that he is none other than Big Uncle Danger... that is to say, Big Daddy's brother.
Not quite sure what I was expecting going into this... somehow this had completely fallen off my radar at time of release... which is super-strange, as I was a Previews-fiend at the time. In the years that followed... ya never hear anything about this short lived series mentioned. Is/Was this in DC continuity? Does Adam Pollina own the property? Hell, is Adam Pollina still even in comics anymore?
Well, since we're likely not going to get be able to answer any of those questions... let's tackle the one question we can... was this issue any good? Well...
Yeah... it wasn't half bad. The art and action bits were fantastic. Adapting to an almost Chuck Jones-esque style here, Adam Pollina shows his amazing versatility as an artist. This is like Looney Tunes meets manga... just great stuff!
Now, like I said... this wasn't half bad. The other half of the package... the story and dialogue... well, I found that a bit lacking. I get where he's going here and in its distilled form, the actual story is not a bad one... it's super crazy high action... explosions, leaping from vehicles, cartoony violence... ain't nothin' wrong with any of that! The dialogue though... it's a tad bit stilted. Also, the pacing was a bit off here too... "tomorrow's" wrestling meet happening while Big Daddy is taking care of business "the night before"... I mean, it's daytime for Danny, and nighttime for Daddy... at the same time... hmm. I'm not sure about Pollina's writer's resume, for all I know this may be his first published/professional script... and if that's the case, this is a very good first outing (like I'm one to talk...). The "twist" ending was semi-engaging, though typical... not sure it will entice me to actually put reall effort toward tracking down future issues of this series.
I did appreciate some of the more pro-wres lingo being interjected... incorporating words like "slobberknocker" tell me that Pollina is probably a pretty big fan himself. Even down to the movesets... actual pro-wrestling maneuvers are used... which is awesome! Hell, he was actually part of an aborted project which would have been a crossover between Marvel Comics and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Here's a piece of concept art featuring HULK Hogan vs. The HULK. Wonder if the rights to the name are on the line! For the full Marvel/WCW story, check out this great piece from WCW Worldwide.
|A Tale of Two Hulks|
Art: Adam Pollina
Overall... worth checking out if you can find it on the cheap... and if you're a fan of Adam Pollina's art and/or Professional Wrestling. Otherwise, I think you can safely skip Big Daddy Danger.
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