A Southern Wrestling Underdog Epic (Over the Ropes #1 Advanced Review)

November 5, 2019




Writer: Jay Sandlin
Artist: Antonello Cosentino
Colorist: Francesco Segala
Letterer: Justin Birch

Publisher: Mad Cave Studios

Rating: 8/10 Dwayne “The Rock” Johnsons in turtlenecks

New Rating: 9/10 — I’m adding a point for that “Roll Tide roll”, Jay




Wrestling is one of the oldest sports in human history. As it developed, it’s become a form of storytelling, like comic books, TV or what-have-you. And like comic books, modern day professional wrestling gives you engrossing story arcs about good guys and bad guys you champion to win. There’s victory, defeat, cliffhangers and interaction between fans of all stripes.


Like comic books, wrestling brings people together in a cultural amoeba of passion.

Now here’s a side-note… I finished the recent season of GLOW on Netflix recently and I am devastated. This is a shameless plug for GLOW—because it’s an amazing, addicting show filled with interesting characters, stories and performances. It’s about women wrestlers who deal with the traumas of life and find unity in a small social sanctum known as the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Totally worth a watch. Okay, back to the review.

The empty hole left behind by GLOW was filled by the first issue of Mad Cave Studios’ upcoming comic, Over the Ropes. OTR, by writer Jay Sandlin and Antonello Cosentino, is a southern underdog wrestling story set during the prime of wrestling, the 90s. In this book you’ll get heroes, heels, people dealing with life problems in and out of the ring and more.


“The story I have set for Over the Ropes is self contained for these five issues,” Sandlin said. “100 pages of pro-wrestling in the 90s set in a fictional town of Alabama I came up with. There’s a southern territory tour that the SFW, Southern Fried Wrestling promotion, puts on in the book to try and gain a major television contract. Kind of like the one the AEW (All Elite Wrestling) landed with TNT.”

In the comic, you’ll follow the hardworking up and coming young wrestler, Jason Lynn, as he tries to break into the big leagues. Jason, known in the ring as Phoenix, is a member of the new generation of wrestling. He’s a likable, realistic character with a love of the wrestling life and has a deep passion for storytelling. He’s badass, flawed and endearing— a protagonist you can get behind.


Jason deals with ambition, dating, corrupt wrestling promoters and anything else life throws at him as he tries to build a name for himself. OTR is engaging, accessible, fun as hell and filled with a lot of wrestling Easter eggs. (Hint hint— The Rock’s turtleneck…)

It didn’t take me long to fall in love with OTR. Despite being a work-for-hire project, Sandlin’s long-time passion for wrestling flows freely in the pages of the comic. This book has smart, believable writing, clean and versatile art from Cosentino and vivid colors Francesco Segala. Whether you you’re a hardcore wrestling fan or want to be engrossed in a southern underdog wrestling story, Over the Ropes is a throw down you don’t want to miss.

OTR comes out Dec. 4, 2019 from Mad Cave Studios.

Check out my OTR interview with Jay here: https://www.thecomiclounge.com/single-post/2019/10/22/Jay-Sandlin-talks-Over-the-Ropes

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