Slam! #2 – Review; A Must Read Issue!
Writer: Pamela Ribon
Illustrator: Veronica Fish
Colors: Brittany Peer
Publisher: BOOM! Box
The hits keep coming in Slam! issue two. The story follows two rookies turned best friends as they navigate the compelling world of roller derby and life. Jennifer “Knockout” Chu is an upcoming star in the beautifully violent sport, while Maisie “I Thinka Can” Huff (aka Cancan) is just barely making the cut. Their commitment to the sport and teammates that reinvigorated their lives like a jolt of lightning is threatening to overwhelm them. Can they find a balance between derby and life? Easier said than done when derby and the friends they forged there is what is giving their lives meaning.
This is an honest peek into the locker room and lives of the women of the Eastside Roller Girls Roller Derby League. While the story follows Knockout and Cancan there is a strong sense that each one of the woman has a story, motivations, dreams and insecurities. These are fully realized characters. As of issue #2 we are just acquaintances, but if you have ever met someone and thought, “if we went for a beer we would probably become great friends,” that is the feeling you get while reading Slam!.
The story is filled with familiar, relate-able, everyday struggles – like the pressures of family, school deadlines, waiting for a text response and whether the rather intimate looking hand shaped bruises on your hips should prevent you from letting the guy you are seeing get to second base. The action on the derby track is fun and exciting, but the moments that have the most impact are interactions between these women off the track. They are funny, competitive, anxious, tough, insecure and everything in between. It is difficult not to be just a little jealous of the spark of life and camaraderie these women have found in the derby life.
The art is simply amazing. Illustrator Veronica Fish and Colorist Brittany Peer are killing it on every panel. Fish captures the power, grace and toughness of the women on the track and the emotion of them in more vulnerable moments. Peer’s vibrant colors add weight and impact to every panel whether it is the pre-bout team dinner, a collision on the derby track or a tour of the resulting bruises and scrapes.
I am generally a fan of comic books of the superhero variety and mostly of the big two publishers (though I have been branching out). This is the book I look forward to the most right now. If I could recommend just one new book from a smaller publisher it would be Slam! This book is beautiful, honest, and compelling. Reading this book I can’t help but want to join a Roller Derby team myself. I don’t think there are any slots for a balding, middle aged, family man but if anyone has any leads shoot me an email.
Writing 5.0 / 5.0
Art 5.0 / 5.0
Overall 5.0 / 5.0
Interested in my other reviews? Check them out here:
Neil Gaiman’s Troll Bridge (Perfect 5 out of 5)
Generation Zero #3 (Highly Recommended)
Generation Zero #4 (Highly Recommended)
Hot Damn TPB (Highly Recommended)
Slam! #1 (Highly Recommended)