REVIEW: WWE The New Day: Power of Positivity #1 Rocks

Three muscular Black men stand at the centerof the image, each of them smiling. The man on the left, big E, holds his index finger to his forehead and projects it outward, making a unicorn horn shape. They are all wearing wrestling tights in bright blue and pink and white shades, and stand on a syrup-covered stack of pancakes. Around them, brown donuts rain down to their left and right

WWE The New Day: Power of Positivity #1 is playful, thought-provoking character study that mixes in-storyline wrestling elements with real bits of backstory from the wrestlers involved. It’s beautifully drawn and delightfully adventuresome.

WWE The New Day: Power of Positivity #1

Daniel Bayliss (Art and Cover); Griff (Cover); DC Hopkins (Letters); Evan Narcisse (Writer); Rahzzah and Oliver Barrett (Cover); Austin Walker (Writer)
July 7, 2021
BOOM! Studios

The New Day has been a font of talent, humor, and, well, positivity ever since they teamed up to become a three-man tag team in the WWE. After 11 tag team championship runs – and a world title reign from team member Kofi Kingston – the three veterans that comprise The New Day have had ups, downs, lateral moves, and singles success.

Power of Positivity #1 takes a slightly more kayfabe-entrenched look at how they climbed the ladder of success as individuals and as a group. We get to see young Kofi – an admirer of Ron Simmons, who worked in the WWE as Farooq during his days in the Nation of Domination – climb his way northward through participation in the indies. Proudly geeky Xavier Woods excels on the football field as a band and gaming geek, and in the classroom. He will one day host a gaming show called Up Up Down Down that will feature his colleagues gaming their way through the classics and other video games. Big E is a strong, tough kid who believes in justice and fearlessly takes down bullies.

As pro wrestlers, each struggles with the big leagues. Kofi has talent but, in the opinion of Triple H, has no marketable gimmick; E’s career has stagnated because the company refuses to market him as anything but a silent strongman. Meanwhile, Xavier has so many ideas that he can’t settle into a single onscreen persona, which confuses the audience. First, E and Kofi are brought together at the suggestion of Triple H, and then Xavier charms his way into the group. They all seem to be the missing ingredient that they’ve been searching for, but there are plenty of people who aren’t happy for them.

Panel art for The Power of Positivity which features three adult muscular Black men - the tag team New Day - approach a wrestling ring. They wear colorful blue and pink and white tights and are shown wrestling

The first issue of Power of Positivity is funny and creative. The personality of each member – E, the personable jokester, Kofi, the dedicated showman and student of the game, and Xavier, the hyper-geeky pop culture sponge – shines through. The fictionalization of each member’s backstory suits them well and feels relatable and kid-pleasing. I love Xavier’s war room with its many screens and light board for him to scribble out mathematical equations, and Kofi’s parade of gimmicks considered and thrown away. We don’t get much insight on E’s struggle before he teams up with Kofi, and I hope future issues flesh that out. Austin Walker and Evan Narcisse otherwise do a beautiful job translating the highs and lows of professional wrestling into a comic book.

I adore Daniel Bayliss’ art. It is extremely expressive and creative and it feels two inches from a fully animated cartoon. There’s a delightful sense of humor to the way each character is drawn, but intensity bleeds into the comic’s capturing of Triple H in particular.

BOOM! Studios’ WWE comics are always wonderful to read and delightful to look at. New Day: The Power of Positivity #1 Hopefully, the rest of the series will be just as good.