Last month the wrestling world lost Joanie Laurer, the former pro wrestler also know as Chyna, the 9th Wonder of the World. Sadly, in the last few years she wasn’t known for the skill and tenacity she once showed in the ring, but in looking back at her greatest moments I stumbled across the comic book made for her character.
In the early 2000’s Chaos Comics was known as the alternative/edgy comic brand. Where Marvel and DC Comics were your grandfather’s superheroes, Chaos! Comics was hardcore, metal and sex appeal. Characters like Lady Death, Evil Ernie, Chastity, and Purgatori were the embodiments of mega death, sexuality, and 90’s extreme attitude.
In a cross-promotional series of books with the then WWF, they produced comics based on popular wrestlers of the time, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Mankind, and Chyna.
Now to be fair, none of these books are works of art, they were completely meant to take the more outlandish and base qualities of the characters personalities, amp them up for the purpose of a story, and set them lose in this fictional world. Since Chyna first debuted as the personal bodyguard of one Hunter Hurst Helmsley, that’s what her story primarily was in the Chyna comics. Bodyguard for hire.
To be fair, while simplistic, her comic probably worked pretty well. She was what she appeared to be, a bad ass female body guard, quick with a quip and able to take on impossible odds to keep her clients safe. The stories in both issues are self-contained one-shots that primarily fulfill the purpose to continue to highlight the main attributes of Chyna that made her popular with the fans.
That being a woman who could hang with and was tougher than most of the men.
In its innate simplicity for not trying to make Chyna anything more than what her character was supposed to be on the tv screen, they actually made the best book for her out of the four. I could see a title about a female bodyguard who is tough as nails.
Perhaps she would have even been the ninth wonder of the comic book world.