Ringside #1

Writer: Joe Keatinge Artist: Nick Barber, Simon Gough Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: November 25, 2015 Cover Price: $3.99 Critic Reviews: 17 User Reviews: 11
8.4Critic Rating
7.4User Rating


RINGSIDE is an ongoing series set within the world of professional wrestling, written by JOE KEATINGE (SHUTTER, GLORY, TECH JACKET) and drawn by acclaimed illustrator NICK BARBER, combining the ensemble drama of THE WALKING DEAD with interconnected rotating perspectives akin to The Wire. Each issue will explore the relationship between art and industry from the view of the wrestlers themselves, the creatives they work with, the suits in charge and the fans cheering them all on.

But that's just the beginning.

The real violence is outsi more

  • 10
    Big Comic Page - Craig Neilson-Adams Nov 26, 2015

    Wrestling fan or not, Ringside is a title that any self-respecting comic mark owes it to themselves to pick up. Taking a long, unblinking look at the violent and gritty world outside of the ring, Keatinge and Barber have created something truly special here, and one of the most exciting new series of the year. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Bastards - Nick Philpott Oct 21, 2015

    Don't pick up Ringside because you're a wrestling fan"pick up Ringside because it's a hell of a comic about guys that just won't quit, 'cause they can't, or 'cause they're just too dumb to want to. There's a tragedy brewing here, and I can't wait to see how it plays out. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Bastards - Pablo Arriaga Oct 21, 2015

    It's about wrestling, revenge, crime, living through shit and back. And then, among all that, falls the big blanket of the wrestling. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Doom Rocket - Scott Southard Nov 30, 2015

    Ringside uses its themes as a tool for storytelling rather than an inconsequential facet of the narrative. The backdrop for (what appears to be) the beginning of Dan Knossos' story serves as a method for fleshing out his character and providing opportunities to organically further the plot. It's a refreshingly full-bodied experience that's got me more intrigued than a babyface shoot promo and more invested than a Streak vs. Career match. If Keatinge and Barber keep the momentum going, there's no ceiling to limit how high Ringside can go. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    The Rainbow Hub - Emma Houxbois Nov 25, 2015

    What it will develop into down the road as the cast fills out and the viewpoint characters shift, is anybody's guess, but for now Ringside is more of a shoot than a work, delivering a blue collar crime story that comes by its characters organically and delivers them truthfully. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comic Spectrum - Bob Bretall Dec 13, 2015

    While I'm not that interested in the flashy public face of wrestling, it turns out I'm fascinated by the human drama that Keatinge unfolds behind the scenes of that world in this comic. This was an immediate add to my pull list. I can appreciate Keatinge's love for the sport, I think the passion he feels for it comes across in the way he made the characters jump off the page at me. This story grabbed my mind in a full Nelson hold and won't let go, I'll be back for more next month! Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    ComicList - Brandon Borzelli Oct 31, 2015

    "Ringside" is a realistic drama set in the world just outside the wrestling ring. Keatinge and Barber present a modern-noir comic book that mixes gritty characters, realistic situations and goes to the dark corners of life that people try to avoid. This comic delivers a compelling first issue and the series promises to be a deep and emotional ride. This is a first issue that is definitely worth picking up. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comic Book Resources - Jim Johnson Oct 19, 2015

    The flashiness of the wrestling ring is nowhere to be found in "Ringside" #1, which seems to be the whole point of Keatinge and Barber's concept. The events inside the ring may be scripted, sure, but what goes on outside of it is just as unpredictable as anything else in life. There are no gaudy costumes, folding chairs to the head or amped up bravado for the sake of applause in the unseen world behind the show; instead, there are back alley beatings, friends in need and characters trying to make a go of it in a very real world, one far more intimidating than a wrestling ring. Keating and Barber's "Ringside" #1 is a realistic peek behind the scenes and into the lives of several characters connected to a glory-seeking world, but their lives are anything but glorious and that's the compelling hook this issue sells so well. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Pop Culture Uncovered - Brett I Nov 30, 2015

    When you put these two subject together, wrestling and comics, Im picking up the book. Keatinge and Barber, both clearly knowledgeable on the subject as seen in the back matter, are producing a book for any wrestling fan, but definitely those who remember the territory days. I cannot wait for issue two, and in the mean time, Ill have to watch some classic Clash of Champions. Read Full Review

  • 8.9
    Multiversity Comics - Alice W. Castle Nov 26, 2015

    Overal, "Ringside" #1 wasn't the Wrestlemania of comics I was expecting it to be. In fact, it ended up being something all together more engaging. Eschewing the smark-pandering gimmicks or Kayfabe-shattering look behind the curtain that could have turned this comic into a one-note joke, Keatinge and Barber focused instead on building character and atmosphere and turned this comic into an engaging noir story that can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of their relationship to wrestling. Read Full Review

  • 8.8
    IGN - Jesse Schedeen Nov 25, 2015

    Ringside is essentially an ensemble drama about a group of struggling professional wrestlers. And while that may sound like the sort of thing that would only appeal to dedicated WWE viewers, this book has plenty to offer readers of all tastes. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Florida Geek Scene - Brian Reed Dec 9, 2015

    I'd prefer a better balanced book, sure, but that doesn't mean I'd pass up this story just because of the art, and neither should you. Pure and simple, the story is worth the price of admission alone, and I can't wait for issue #2! Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    ComicWow!TV - Bhavna Bakshi Nov 27, 2015

    This is a really unique series with a lot of potential. The first issue does an awesome job of setting up the storyline and creating some very interesting characters. I’m excited to see where Keatinge will take things from here. Keep reading to find out! Read Full Review

  • 7.7
    Graphic Policy - Brett Nov 25, 2015

    This was a good first issue. While I expected a story more about wrestling, that's not quite what it is. The first issue shows a lot of promise, so we'll see where it goes, and if the idea of a Southern Bastards with wrestling sounds interesting, this is definitely one to pick up. Read Full Review

  • 7.1
    Big Glasgow Comic Page - Marco Piva-Dittrich Nov 28, 2015

    A first issue used mostly to introduce the characters and set up future events, but already quite captivating Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Comic Bastards - Dustin Cabeal Oct 19, 2015

    This could be the next big book for Image. It has the cross-genre appeal for comic and wrestling fans. It could also fall flat depending on how both fan bases react to it. If it gets the right rub it will definitely take off, but if it picks up some "go away heat" then you won't see much of this story. At the end of the day it's an average story set in a world that's pretty damn interesting. It has the potential to be bigger and better than it is if it can find it's fanbase. But it needs to remember one thing, wrestling is all about the big finish and every issue should feel like the conclusion of a match and have that big finish. This first issue didn't have that and if the next issue doesn't then it will be missing a big component. You can bill this as a crime story with a wrestling backdrop, but at the end of the day any wrestling fan is going to expect the flair and presentation of wrestling to seep in. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Comics Bulletin - Mark Stack Nov 22, 2015

    This comic pulls out a gun and in doing so puts down the human drama and the low-key stakes it was establishing in favor of something unnecessarily cartoonish that isn't rooted in what came before. I wish this comic had taken an improv class. Read Full Review

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