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Comic Books and Professional Wrestling…Whatta Tag Team

Classic CotG Star Warrior and alternate universe Star Slayer

 

Over 30 years ago I had the idea to combine super heroes and professional wrestling in a tabletop card game, Champions of the Galaxy. Loving both genres, it was easy to write and produce.

The way I saw it, professional wrestling matches were like fight scenes between two comic book heroes…the Hulk and Thor battling it out. I also viewed professional wrestlers as larger-than-life superheroes, which they would later become with wrestlers like the Ultimate Warrior and the Undertaker.

A week ago I finished writing the 45th expansion in the Champions of the Galaxy series (Future Shock 2131) and I’ve plotted new story arcs through game year 2134. It’ll take at least three years to see all these ideas released and produced for game fans to enjoy, but I’ve learned by now that writing annual game editions requires patience on my part.

Combining the cultures of comic books and professional wrestling is like walking a fine line. It’s not always easy. Melding the two together is usually seamless, but sometimes they clash.

For example, Marvel and DC have been running ambitious and intricate story arcs lately, filled with cosmic themes involving time travel, parallel universes, and interstellar battles. Marvel’s current huge crossover arc is called Secret Wars (hearkening back to the 1980s series of the same name) and features amazing multiverse story angles.

By contrast, professional wrestling stories are more grounded, focused entirely on personal conflict. “I’m bigger and stronger than you!” “You cheated me in our last match…I’ll kick your ass!” “You turned on me, you backstabber, I thought you were my friend!” And on and on. Sometimes, when all else fails, wrestling turns to fundamental patriotism, like the feud between United States Champion and super patriot John Cena vs evil foreigner, Russian strongman, Rusev.

When I’m writing Champions of the Galaxy, I do a bit of both. Melding science fiction stories with down-to-earth personal conflict is a lot of fun as a storyteller, but it can be challenging. My goal is to not upset the balance too far in either direction.

The current story arc, Future Shock 2130-2131, features a science fiction scenario where wrestlers from the GWF in a different era (game year 2109) cross from one universe to another, entering the current GWF in game year 2130. This follows a three-part story called Black Death (2127-2129) where entities from a higher dimension possessed the minds of wrestlers in the GWF, making them essentially their slaves.

These stories are as comic book and sci-fi as it gets. But when it comes to writing about the characters in the game handbooks, I use standard booking scenarios seen in wrestling promotions, focusing on backstabbing, deceit, and macho posturing. Even patriotism, with one planet struggling against another for honor.

There’s one place where comic books and wrestling are very divergent and that’s with the aging of the characters. Sometimes I find this frustrating and I’ll explain why.

Comic books progress year after year as if the central characters don’t age. Bruce Wayne first saw a bat fly past his window and became Batman in 1939. He hasn’t aged a day since. Peter Parker’s Aunt May was constantly on the verge of dying of old age in the 1960s. Today, 50 years later, she’s portrayed as a healthy, hip senior citizen in tennis shoes, even though she should be about 130 years old. Peter Parker himself was a teenager in the 60s. He aged briefly, went from high school to college, and promptly stopped aging sometime in his twenties. Somebody figured out if comic book characters age in normal years they’ll be old limping men in a few decades and who wants to see Captain America fighting crime in a wheelchair?

Wrestling, on the other hand, has a more realistic time line for characters because the wrestlers are real people playing the roles. Hulk Hogan was at his peak in the 80s and 90s, and then it was pretty much over. The Undertaker finally lost his undefeated WrestleMania streak last year. It would have been unrealistic for a 50-year old man that was wrestling basically once a year to beat the “beast,” Brock Lesnar, so Lesnar was booked to win.

Then there’s Champions of the Galaxy, a game universe that combines super heroes and wrestling. What to do about aging? Some characters in the game look like humans, like Star Warrior and Thantos, but who’s to say they wouldn’t have a longer lifespan being born in other galaxies a hundred years in the future?

Despite the fact that much artistic license could have been taken, I adopted an approach more consistent with professional wrestling than comic books: that all these aliens age pretty much like humans on earth in our time period. Which doesn’t make the least bit of sense, but it gave me an excuse to have wrestlers decline in ability and retire, making way for new characters to be introduced. If I had used the comic book approach, the GWF would be overcrowded with hundreds of wrestlers with no one ever retiring due to getting older.

I’ll admit though, as a creator sometimes I get jealous. Marvel gets to keep using Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Thor indefinitely, as does DC with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. But not me. Star Warrior, Thantos, Brute, Massacre, and almost all the GWF characters from early game editions are absent in 2131. They disappeared from action long ago.

Champions of the Galaxy characters are aging in roughly human terms, although even the concept of “years” is human and Earth-centric. It’d be like DC saying, “Batman is old now now and retired, we’ll come up with new heroes to replace him,” and Marvel doing the same with Spider-Man and all the rest. Never gonna happen.

On the plus side, this means I’ll always have to come up with new characters to invade the GWF, and that’s no problem. I love creating characters and constantly have new ideas.

There’s only one iconic character I saved from the aging problem and that was Wolf. I wrote that Wolf was from an alien race that ages slowly, the AniMen of Andromeda. I could, however, have said this for pretty much any alien race in the game.

The current Future Shock 2130-2131 era is the exception. Games fans are now able to revisit old-time favorites like Chaos, Mandrill, Wolf, Star Warrior, Dark Justice, and more, but with a twist. Being from a parallel universe, they are sometimes similar, but sometimes radically different (Lope, Star Slayer). It’s really been a blast coming up with alternative versions of some of the characters.

For now, I hope all our loyal fans are having fun with Future Shock. It’ll be an amazing year of game-playing with 2131 and then BANG, there’ll be some new shockers in 2132! This ride will keep being crazy!

Like a good science fiction story arc, there’s something bigger and bolder being hidden. It won’t play out until 2134, making this an epic-length story (Black Death, Future Shock, etc) an 8-year project. And the best news is, we’re only about half way through it!

How many comic book story arcs and professional wrestling angles last that long? The answer is they don’t. One of the few places you’ll find these kind of epic-length stories is Champions of the Galaxy.

Until Wolf battles Batman and the Undertaker in a Triple Threat Match…

TOM

Absolute Champion Rickey Shane Page Leads Upcoming AIW Roster

The newest wrestling promotion to partner with Filsinger Games is also our partner for Wrestling Geek Fest.  Its Cleveland-based Absolute Intense Wrestling!  The AIW game will be released on August 14th during Wrestling Geek Fest, when AIW puts on the Battle of the Sexes 2 show.

What  better way to start off the wrestler announcements for the set than with the new AIW champion Rickey Shane Page.  RSP has been a mainstay with AIW since its inception 10 years ago.  Despite being a part of AIW for so long, he never reached the top of the mountain until July 10th’s huge Absolution X Megashow, where he defeated former champion Josh Alexander.

RSP  is just one of 12 cards that are part of this fantastic set highlighting some of the best wrestling talent in the Midwest.  If you can’t join us for Wrestling Geek Fest, the AIW game will begin mailing in late August.

 

 

 

Legislators Set to Enforce Prohibition Laws in Olde Wrestling Pack


The early 20th century-based promotion Olde Wrestling will be back in action for another big event, Yet Another Extravaganza, on August 30th. And to commemorate the occasion we are set to release another dandy Olde Wrestling game edition. This one will feature 8 characters and will be called Olde Wrestling Extravaganza. Huzzah!

Joining the Olde Wrestling game are a trio that have caught the ire of fans and moonshiners alike, The Legislators of an Anti-Saloon Land. Sen. Cameron S. Sheppard, Rep. Gavin Q. Volstead and the infamous Judge Hugo Black are coming to Olde Wrestling to put an end to the fun-loving and boozing ways of scofflaws like Chuck Taylor and Jock Sampson.

Olde Wrestling Extravaganza will be available at Wrestling Geek Fest August 14-16 and at Yet Another Extravaganza on August 30. Games will begin mailing in late August.

Star Slayer Puts the Shock in Future Shock



The name is Star Slayer, but his former name was Star Warrior. He changed it several years ago in his home universe. Star Slayer is a far cry from Star Warrior, more like Avenging Warrior, who he’s never heard of.

Star Slayer is coming to the GWF to clean house. His goal is to do what he couldn’t do where he came from. He’s a man possessed by the need for a second chance, to get revenge on his terms.

His finisher, THE APOCALYPSE, is a snap DDT where the opponent is buried head first on the top of his rifle (provided the referee doesn’t see it!). But this man is no fool: he has plans for the referee NOT to see it. His other finisher, MAD MAT, is a high-risk move off the turnbuckle.

He has even bigger plans. He will enter the GWF announcing that he’s the new leader of the FDF, the natural man for the job. What will Paganax and Shayne have to say about it? Or even Lord Nexus?

This sets up major feuds with Thantos

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and Star Warrior in the GWF, to say nothing of a feud with someone who actually accompanied Star Slayer to the GWF. Things are going to get crazy in 2131!

This is the first card to be announced in the final mini-set which is called SECOND COMING. More wrestlers will be arriving from the parallel universe that brought the first escapees in FUTURE SHOCK 2130! That’s three themes in all: GWF Upheaval, Gladiator Ascension, and Second Coming. Who are the rest of the wrestlers?

Find out by ordering FUTURE SHOCK 2131 right now by going here! And add the sensational CELEBRATION OF HONOR packs to your order!

More shockers await you with FUTURE SHOCK 2131! Share your thoughts at Filsinger Games twitter or our Champions of the Galaxy message board.

Paul London and Brian Kendrick Crash the Party and Join ROH Celebration!


It had been over ten years since Paul London set foot in the ROH ring, way back at the inaugural “Death Before Dishonor” where he challenged for the ROH World Title, but the original homegrown hero is back!  From his “Epic Encounter” with Bryan Danielson to his “Night of the Grudges” classic with AJ Styles, London was one of the men who defined the face of Ring of Honor and now he is celebrated right where he belongs, in the Ring of Honor wrestling game!

But the good feelings don’t stop there!

Because  joining London is his long-time tag team partner and ROH veteran, Brian Kendrick! Kendrick is famous for his tag team championship run with Paul London. Will they capture ROH gold together in your fed? Like London, when they’re not teaming together, Kendrick also brings excitement to singles action. Kendrick will meet up with enemies like Silas Young and Christopher Daniels in the ROH game!

The two CELEBRATION OF HONOR game packs are filled with hungry, new stars, but they’ll have to get by Paul London and Brian Kendrick if they want to become legends!

The CELEBRATION OF HONOR game packs are READY TO ORDER, go here. So is FUTURE SHOCK 2131 (the latest and greatest Champions of the Galaxy game expansion). Your summer just got better! Both games begin mailing July 24, so order now!

Bow Down! The Kingdom Coming to Ring of Honor Game!


Adam Cole, Mike Bennett, and Maria Kanellis shocked the world when Matt Taven surprised buycialisonline-topstore.com Ring of Honor fans and wrestlers alike and returned as a member of The Kingdom.

Well, now those three comprise a group that has pretty much every tool needed to become the most dominant force in Ring of Honor history! None of these individuals are strangers to titles and every champion in your ROH fed is now on notice. Get the new Mike Bennett http://otcviagra-norxpharmacy.com/ with Maria and Matt Taven playing cards as part of this summer’s CELEBRATION OF HONOR, and play like a king!

The 2 CELEBRATION OF HONOR game packs are ready to order! Go here to place cialisotc-bestnorxpharma.com your order and make sure to save money by getting the package deal for both safe online viagra packs! The game starts mailing on July 24, so get your order in early because orders are mailed out

in the order we receive them!

Young Bucks Host Superkick Party This Summer in ROH Pack!

The hottest tag team in wrestling is

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getting one of the hottest game updates of all time!

The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson) will join the roster of CELEBRATION OF HONOR with an incredible new look and changing game stats that will take them straight to the top of the tag ranks in your Ring of Honor game federation!

Will you team the Young Bucks with A.J. Styles and start your own main event

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faction? Your tag team division is now officially on notice! The Young Bucks have never looked better and they’re hosting a superkick party at the end of July and YOU’RE invited!

The CELEBRATION OF HONOR 6-packs begin mailing on July 24. One is focused on singles stars and the other on tag teams! The Young Bucks will join the tag roster with more announcements still to come—so keep watching!

It’s too sweet!

All Hail Sabin as He Arrives in Ring of Honor!

Chris Sabin is back in Ring of Honor, and this summer he arrives in the ROH wrestling game! With Christopher Daniels and Kazarian by his side, is it now Sabin’s time to become the ROH Heavyweight Champion in your game fed? The Knights of the Rising Dawn have made their mission clear. They are not happy with the regime in place. They have informed ROH that with their help, the current regime will be overthrown and replaced with the athletes that they believe deserve to hold the championships! The Knights of the Rising Dawn are the past returning to present Ring of Honor with a better future. Can your ROH fed stand the heat when Chris Sabin leads the Knights of the Rising Dawn against your champions? You’ll find out when CELEBRATION OF HONOR game

packs are released on July 24!    

Dr. Mike Lano is Picture Perfect for CAC Reunion Pack!

Dr. Mike Lano, the world-famous wrestling photojournalist, joins the landscape of the LWF in the upcoming CAC Reunion pack! Lano is a long-time photographer whose photos have appeared in wrestling publications around the globe, everyone has seen them. He is a fixture at Cauliflower Alley Club reunions, capturing the Legends of Wrestling in all their glory!

What will happen during a match when Lano is at ringside taking pictures? Things could get wild! Lano has also been a manager during his long career, working with legends like the Sheik and Sabu. Will you use him to manage a stable in your game fed?

Dr. Mike Lano is fully deserving of this great tribute game card as he’s provided photos for many of our Legends of Wrestling game handbooks. He’s an honored member of the Filsinger Games team.

The CAC Reunion pack will be released exclusively at the Cauliflower Alley Club 50th anniversary reunion coming on April 13-15 in Las Vegas. Game creator Tom Filsinger will be at this big event and he’ll have the CAC Reunion pack with him, so find him to get your copy! It’ll be a collectible!

The CAC Reunion pack begins mailing on April 15 (along with the new EVOLVE 2 expansion pack), so be sure to order both by going here!