Team » WCW appears in 15 issues.

    A wrestling org. that once had a few comic books.

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    The heroes and villains of WCW (World Championship Wrestling) were presented in comic book form by Marvel Comics via a 12-issue series running from 1992 to 1993. The series followed the fictional exploits of the real-life stars of what was at the time the second largest and most successful wrestling company in the United States. The main setting of the book was the wrestling arena and each issue had a feel of watching a television episode of the WCW Saturday Night wrestling program. Although many stars of WCW appeared, the main theme of the first three issues was the struggle of WCW hero Sting as he attempted to become WCW World Heavyweight champion. Standing in his way were villainous team leader Harley Race and champion Lex Luger. Early in the series they would employ a series of lackeys, including Cactus Jack and the duo known as the Young Pistols, to distract Sting both in and out of the wrestling ring and prevent him from his goal.

    Also complicating matters for Sting was the introduction of "The Ghoul", a mystery figure manipulating things from behind the scenes. The Ghoul is writer Mike Lackey's completely fictional creation who would become the central villain for most of the last five issues of the series.

    Reality also managed to complicate Lackey's job when his main antagonist, champion Lex Luger, left WCW in reality to take a job with the World Wrestling Federation (the top company in the country, now known as the WWE). This left him with the duty of hastily re-writing issue number 4 to find the WCW title mysteriously vacated and an edict made by the WCW commissioner that Sting would face "The Ghoul", who had yet to officially appear in front of the book's wrestling audience at that point, to determine the new champion.

    Issue number four also hastily introduces the new antagonists of the series in the form of team leader Paul E. Dangerously and his "Dangerous Alliance" (consisting of Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton, and Diamond Studd). The end of issue four features the bout between Sting and The Ghoul, who wrestles Sting and is revealed at the end of the book to be the final member of the Dangerous Alliance Ravishing Rick Rude.

    The focus of the next issue of the series shifts to the hero Sting assembling a makeshift team of WCW good guys to take on the nefarious force of The Dangerous Alliance. Diamond Studd (Scott Hall) also managed to complicate matters by leaving WCW between issues 4 and 5 and was written out of the comic shortly thereafter when he debuted for the WWF in real life as "Razor Ramon".

    At this point the series took a turn for the convaluted, as it is revealed that Rude was simply impersonating the "real" Ghoul, who is still working behind the scenes to destroy Sting. Writer Mike Lackey, feeling the burden of trying to keep current with the constantly changing storylinges and the revolving door of wreslers entering and leaving the the real-life WCW, took the series in a more fantasy-oriented direction and away from the more true-to-life concepts of the wrestling show it was based on. The hero Sting is brain-washed by the Ghoul, who seemingly has some sort of supernatural powers, and joins forces with him as "Dark Sting".

    Together Dark Sting and The Ghoul dominate WCW until Sting manages to overcome the brainwashing and turn on The Ghoul. Ghoul's henchmen then sets fire to the WCW locker room as Sting tries to regain the confidence of his former allies, and kidnaps the evil manager Paul E (in a move of which the motive is not made entirely clear by the writer). This leads to Sting and Rick Rude teaming up to go after the Ghoul.

    Even the combined might of Rude and Sting is not enough to topple the Ghoul and all seems lost until henchmen Cactus Jack (who was snubbed by the Ghoul in the previous issue) appears and takes out Ghoul by hitting him over the back of the head with a shovel. This leads to the reveal scene as Sting confronts the Ghoul. Ghoul is revealed to be Sting original trainer "Crusher Craig" (again, a completely fictional character created by Lackey), who has used black magic to restore his youth and give him his powers. After the reveal the lights go out and Ghoul disappears, presumably to return another day.

    The final pages of issue eleven depict Harley Race training his new protege "Vader", who was last seen in a cameo appearance in issue number one. Vader retuns in the final issue (number twelve) and, in an odd move to end the series, dominates and defeats Sting to win the WCW championship. The end of the 12-issue series sees Vader and Race gloating over their dominance of the hero of the series as Sting is consoled in the locker room by a young cancer survivor (whom he had visited in the hospital earlier in the series) who invites him to share a slice of chocolate cake, thus ending the series on that unusual scene.


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