Friday, 14 September 2007

Brody biography manga

THIS would've been published in the 1980s. Great art, even though I can't understand the story to save my life.
I found these samples on Emerson Murray's excellent web site at

Read the review of Emerson's excellent book on the big man at


Mantic said...

The title is Puroresu Superstar Retsuden. It ran for a dozen or so volumes -- quite thick volumes -- back around 81 or 82, featuring a lot of western stars like Hogan, Brody, Abby the Butcher, Terry Funk, etc, as well as top Japanese wrestlers.

Another Japanese title from that period worth looking out for is Pro Wrestling Star Wars (I believe); this one was aimed at children, and I think it benefits for taking a more exaggerated approach, even if the art is not always so great.

Earlier on, there was Tiger Mask. Not much wrestling in that one, unfortunately.

Also starting in the early 80s, there was Kinnikuman, which I'm sure you're aware of.

Everything seems to have gone over to MMA or Judo in the Japanese comics since that time, despite a second peak in the actual wrestling industry in the 90s. Maybe something to do with licensing problems... alas.

Dann said...

Thanks for the info, mate. I assumed there were less wrestling comix in Japan post-1990 'cos rasslin' was no longer such a big cultural deal in that country. Or can someone enlighten me on the real reason?

Mantic said...

I can only speculate, but I wouldn't say that pro wrestling lost that much popularity in Japan in the early 90s. It was a pretty exciting era of bloodier and more outrageous matches, followed up by a surge of great characters in the women's devision around 92-94. Wrestling manga seems to have disappeared as early as 1988, aside from the rare cameo appearance by a wrestling star in some unrelated title.

So my guess is that it was a new age of licensing for Wrestling outfits. The pro wrestling manga from the 70s and 80s that I have seen either looks to have been created to feature individual wrestlers, who may have licensed their creative properties, or were very likely unlicensed altogether. Is it really possible that the AWA, WCCW/NWA, WWF and AJPW feds would agree to have all their properties (characters and belts) featured in the same title?

In 1988, coincidentally enough, media-savvy Ted Turner bought into wrestling. In the next couple of years, wrestling licenses out of the US became a hot property. Only months after setting up WCW, there was a WCW video game for the Nintendo (afaik, the first licensed wrestling video game). Wrestling figures, mostly WCW and WWF licensed, replaced the likes of He-Man on mainstream store shelves and started giving GI Joe serious competition by the early 90s. In 1990 Turner made a deal with Marvel Comics for a WCW comic title (McMahon again lagged behind, though I thought the Valiant WWF anthology comics turned out better than Marvel's WCW ongoing series).

So, wrestlers and wrestling companies everywhere may have suddenly realized that they had all these other avenues to make money from about that time. Even if they weren't actually taking advantage of a particular market themselves, it may have been that they started protecting those "rights."

That's my theory, anyway.

By the way, Superstar Retsuden ran 18 volumes, not 12 (dunno what I was thinking). If you buy from a store in Japan, you can probably get the whole series for about $100 AUD.