Talking Comics With WWE Superstar Cody Rhodes
Fans of professional wrestling know WWE superstar Cody Rhodes as many things: the son of Hall of Famer “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, a former tag team champion and a talented young athlete.
The 26-year-old Georgia native, whose character wears a mask due to self-perceived disfigurement, is presented as all three of those things each week on WWE’s Smackdown show, broadcast on the SyFy network.
But the man behind the television character has a different side. Admittedly shy and reserved, quite contradictary to his on-screen persona, Rhodes’ interests and hobbies fall in line with a growing trend in American culture.
“We live in a day and age where nerds are cool, and it didn’t used to be that way. I think pop culture, movies and TV have been heavily influenced by nerds,” said Rhodes, who used to have a Legend of Zelda Triforce featured on his wrestling boots.
While wrestling and comics have much audience crossover, they also seem to be miles apart on the surface. But, as Rhodes points out, both media share one common thread necessary for success: Quality writing.
Rhodes admits he’s flat-out lifted lines and quotes from comic books for use in his on-screen character, but he does so out of respect.
“A lot of what inspires me is great writing,” he said. “I’m the biggest fan of Grant Morrison, who writes Batman. I probably have angered him from time to time because I have stolen multiple sayings from him and used them on TV.”
But even Morrison’s Batman isn’t enough to lure Rhodes’ loyalty to the DC Universe. While he reads titles from both DC and Marvel, the latter is in the lead with him right now, largely because of the ongoing Schism story in the X-Men titles.
Ironically, Rey Mysterio, Rhodes’ opponent at the highly publicized Wrestlemania XXVI this past Spring, wore a modified Captain America costume, which naturally lent itself to the masked wrestler’s look.
And with so many professional wrestlers seeking acting careers and so many movie studios producing comic book adaptations, Rhodes would love the opportunity to star in one. The answer to which one, however, isn’t so simple.
“That is a tough question,” he said. “That’s like asking someone what kind of super powers they would want. For me, I think at the end of the day, if they went ahead and made an X4, if we made a fourth X-Men that wasn’t an origins tale and was right up currently, I’d like to be part of that.”
Adam Testa also writes for The Southern Illinoisan newspaper in Carbondale, IL. For more from his interview with Rhodes, click here.
Image 1 from bleacherreport.com. Image 2 from wrestlingfeed.com. Image 3 from wwe.com.