Wrestling and comic books have always been tied together by more than just the fact that both involve muscular heroes and villains in tights. From WCW's friendly neighborhood rip-off "Arachnaman" to Finn Balor's "Demon King" persona clearly modeled on Venom, they have cross-pollinated more than a few times.
In Japan and Mexico, the connection goes further, as masked characters who more closely resemble superheroes and Power Rangers in full-body outfits are commonplace between the ropes, often appearing in their own comics and even movies. To remove a mask and expose a wrestler's true face in lucha libre would be every bit as drastic as Bruce Wayne being exposed as Batman. DC Collectibles' big Toy Fair 2019 reveal of new DC Comics Lucha Libre-styled characters is a fun surprise, but the mixture of styles in many ways was an inevitability.
Designed by artist Billy Fowler in a style that overtly resembles both woodcuts and pen strokes on a page, DC Lucha Explosiva reimagines core DC characters as Mexican professional wrestlers in a 7-inch scale, with the comic company's big three (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman) as "technicos," or good guys, and one of their major foes each (Deathstroke, Metallo II, and Cheetah) as "rudos," or rulebreakers. All wear masks, as is tradition, though Metallo II breaks boundaries by being the first robot luchador. And appropriate accessories are included, like removable capes and metal folding chairs.
The linework details cleverly help conceal the points of articulation on these figures, most of whom come with alternate grappling and punching hands.
You can expect to see these costumed combatants at specialty retail and for sale online around August, just in time for SummerSlam. Suggested retail is $35.
The Batman-shaped dent in the chair is a nice touch. And what a schnozz on Slade!
You know this lady will break the rules, because she's always been a big ol' Cheetah.
If this line does well, there are always possibilities for expansion. Bane, for example, who already is basically a super juiced-up luchador, would be an obvious contender for whatever belt these super-athletes compete to win.
In the meantime, the real winners are toy collectors.
Images: DC Collectibles