This is the first in a series of CHIKARA web comic reviews. CHIKARA is a Philadelphia based professional wrestling promotion which focuses on high-flying lucha libre style tag team matches. They also promote themselves as being a family-friendly alternative to mainstream pro wrestling by featuring colorful characters and gimmicks and by banning cursing, blood, and extreme violence.

In February 2012, CHIKARA started releasing a weekly web comic to promote and give back stories to their wrestlers’ characters. The format has been 1 page a week, released on Fridays. Their first web comic features Hallowicked, Delirious and Ultramantis Black and is entitled Secret Origin of Frightmare. The Hallowicked, Delirious and Frightmare were collectively known as Incoherence but currently Hallowicked, Frightmare and Ultramantis Black form the team The Spectral Envoy. This story gives the “history” of where Frightmare came from and how he became affiliated with Hallowicked and Delirious.

When Hallowicked goes inside Delirious’ dream with the help of Ultramantis Black, he discovers a being that he feels a kinship towards. This being saves him from some of the nightmares in Delirious’ dream. When the dreamscape begins to collapse, Hallowicked pulls Frightmare out of the dream and he is set loose. Ultramantis Black is left speechless.

The story and art are great for a web comic. The is a lot of stuff that is published in this medium that is rushed and not polished. CHIKARA really has something going with this weekly release schedule. It is a pretty slow paced 2 months if you follow it every week, but a fast 8 page read once everything is released.

It is a unique idea for a wrestling promotion to release a web comic about their wrestlers and is an alternative to traditional storytelling. CHIKARA’s colorful characters and gimmicks mesh well with the fictional tales that comic books can provide. A web comic gives them the freedom to play out stories that would not be easy to replicate in a wrestling ring, like getting inside Delirious’ dreams, for example. This format also allows CHIKARA to keep their fans’ attention between shows. From web comics to video podcasts, CHIKARA does a really good job of engaging their fans outside of their live events.

Since we are on the topic of pro wrestling, all Montréal area wrestling fans should make sure to come out tonight to Île Bizard as NEXT LEVEL PRO WRESTLING presents REDEMPTION. If it is anything like their last show, you will not be disappointed. While you are there, be sure to check out the CrossoverComics.table as we will be selling lucha libre masks. Come early to get the best seat selection and best choice of lucha masks.

Stay tuned for my next review, the Untold Tale of The Osirian Portal.