Women’s Evolution Wraps Up ‘The Bayley Show’ In WWE #17

by Brendan M. Allen

The finale of ‘Women’s Evolution’, as the Four Horsewomen face off once again, this time on the WWE roster. Also, Asuka hits Monday Night RAW, in the last part of her backup short series!

As this 4-issue “Women’s Evolution” arc comes to a close, the spotlight is still on Bayley. The other Horsewomen were pretty heavily featured in the first issue, and have cameoed here and there, but this entire arc has really been The Bayley Show. We’ve watched the intrepid underdog overcome her personal struggles and imposter syndrome to rise to the top of NXT as the NXT Women’s Champion, but that main roster call-up still eludes her. As an interesting non-linear storytelling twist, the events featured in the backup story “Though She Be But Little, She Be Fierce!” begin in the first two pages of this last chapter of the main arc, and conclude in the back pages of this book.

Dennis Hopeless demonstrates an uncanny ability to sell a character that was already a babyface and make her even more likeable than she already was. Preaching to the choir and all that. Hopeless blends TV storylines, back stories, personal histories, and believable backstage workings to give readers a complete experience.

I can’t speak as to why the last couple issues have featured guest art spots by Kendall Goode, but the sequences where Goode fills in just don’t pack the same punch as regular series artist Serg Acuna’s pages. That’s not a dig on Goode’s art by any means. It’s just that Acuna has been absolutely killing the likenesses and action sequences since the very beginning of this WWE ongoing. Just about perfect is a hard act to follow.

The back-up story wraps up the 4-part mini-series summarizing Asuka’s meteoric rise through the NXT ranks, to her stripping the title off Bayley, and her eventual debut on Raw. It’s interesting how many parallels can be drawn between these two stories, even though WWE creative had them booked very differently.

Next month’s issue begins a new arc centered on Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens’ long time friendship, partnerships, and feuds. I hope they go all the way back to 2002 in IWS. At least sneak in a couple panels of El Generico. Please?
WWE #17, published by BOOM! Studios, releases 09 May 2018. Written by Dennis Hopeless, art by Serg Acuna and Kendall Goode (pages 8-14), colored by Doug Garbark, letters by Jim Campbell. Backup story “Though she be but little, she is fierce!” written by Tini Howard, art by Hyeonjin Kim.

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