I have been a big fan of professional wrestling for years, although I do not have time to follow it religiously now a days, I do check in on it every now and then. When watching wrestling I’m always surprised that no one has created a long running serialized wrestling comic. Comic seems like the perfect vehicle for wrestling stories.
Enter J. Gonzo’s La Mano del Destino. With this book J. Gonzo (Jason Gonzales) has created something that I believe is truly missing from the comics shelves, a serialized wrestling comic book. While La Mano del Destino is only planned as a mini-series, but it is great to see the possibilities of a wrestling comic being explored.
Now I know there are other comics that involve wrestling that have been published, but there is something special about Gonzo’s book. I’m not sure what it is. Maybe it’s the in your face art style that Gonzo uses during the matches. Maybe it’s the quite real life moments outside the ring. Or maybe it is the coloring that makes every page jump with excitement. Whatever it is, I will be sad when this series is over.
So far to date there are 3 issues of La Mano del Destino published by Castle & Key. All 3 issue can be read here for your enjoyment, but to really enjoy these comics, I would advise hunting down the physical books. La Mano del Destino feels like a treasure that you missed during the 70’s-80’s era of comics rather than the typical slick books that are published today.
sample pages for issue 1
The wrestling is luchadore style, if you are not familiar with some of the common terms used in that form of wrestling, you might want to keep the internet within reach while reading. Each issue is self-contained, so you do not have to start with issue 1 to enjoy the story. However reading all three issues will enrich your understanding of the character and the larger storyline that is being played out.
La Mano del Destino is a topnotch labor of love. I really enjoyed each issue and was sad when I thought it was gone after just 2 issue (issue 2 was published in 2011 and issue 3 in 2013). But the series appear to be back and on track, well worth checking out.
-Denny Riccelli creates comics under the pen name ‘dennmann’ he currently publishes the webcomic Cousin Harold and some mini-comics now and then, including Jenny Spookawski Ghost Girl. He lives in Peoria, Arizona with his wife and 2 kids.