Publisher: Humanoids
Author: Jerry Frissen
Artist: Bill

Being a wrestling fan for ten plus years and a comics fan since I was able to read, I was surprised when I saw “Unfabulous Five,” a lucha libre comic book I’d never heard of, at my local comic shop. Not that I’ve read every wrestling comic, but I like to think I have an awareness of most, so to see a cover with luchadores taking on a bunch of aquatic monsters took me by surprise and I had to buy it.

Originally published in France, the “Unfabulous Five” follows the adventures of a group of five luchadores as they try to live their everyday lives while fighting monsters in Los Angeles. While this may sound like a familiar premise to superhero fans, the luchadores’ adventures are so outrageous they feel wildly unique. Just the first chapter deals with the luchadores fighting an Elvis impersonator and his army of tribesmen and werewolves while dealing with a rival French gang, Dr. Destruction and his Formidables, and trying to solve the mystery of a dinosaur that’s terrorizing the city. Oh, also the luchadors found out about the dinosaur thanks to a couple of aliens who drive around the freeways of Los Angeles in a spaceship. It’s completely bonkers. I’ve seen a couple of old Luchador movies where they fight vampires and mummies, and even those look fairly sensible next to the Unfabulous Five.

While “Unfabulous Five” is rarely boring, sometimes it goes so completely far off the rails that it gets a little confusing. I often had to go back and check to see if I missed a page or a line of dialogue to see who a character is or what they were fighting for. It may be due to translation issues, but some elements felt really random and unexplained.


Even though “Unfabulous Five” never holds back on the amount of crazy science fiction stuff they can squeeze into a story, there are plenty of nice quiet scenes between the main characters where they drive around the city or hang out at home joking around and talking about everyday life. It’s amazing to me how well the author keeps the main characters grounded in one scene and then follows it with something completely crazy while keeping it all cohesive. The luchadores always feel like real people, and not just a bunch of tropes waiting to say their catchphrase.


When it comes to the art, Bill’s work is simply fantastic. The action scenes are always fluid and dynamic, and the storytelling is always very clear so I never get lost with where people are or who’s doing what. The characters are very expressive and the backgrounds are very detailed and give a real sense of the world the characters live in. There are many scenes that could have just been turned into a bunch of talking heads reciting dialogue, but the artwork always gives us something interesting to look at.

One small pet peeve I have with this book is that while the characters say they’re luchadores and they always run around the city wearing luchador masks, we hardly ever see any actual wrestling! There are a few wrestling moves used in fights, but no one ever talks about wrestling and we never see so much as a wrestling ring. Often the luchadores will complain about not having jobs, but even then they’ll talk about looking for work as a gardener or a dental hygienist- not wrestling. I realize this might seem pretty small, and it doesn’t take away from the quality of the book, but I started doing these reviews on Botched Spot to tell people about cool wrestling stuff they might not know about and then realized this book is pretty light on actual wrestling. Even some of the old El Santo movies had in ring action in them or referenced him being a champion!


All that being said, “Unfabulous Five” still provides an entertaining story with some beautiful artwork. If you like luchador horror movies, you should check out this book. It also comes in a nice hardcover version with one of those cool ribbon bookmarks, which probably won’t affect your purchase, but I still feel the need to point out. Picture Lucha Underground as told by Chikara and if you like what you see, you should pick up this book.