Holy Roller #1
To care for his ailing father, pro bowler Levi Coen is forced to quit his dream job and return to his hometown, which he soon discovers has been overrun by Neo-Nazis! With only his bowling ball collection to defend himself, Levi becomes THE HOLY ROLLER, a trick bowling ball-wielding Jewish superhero battling to liberate his home and bowl a perfect game against crime!
Holy Roller #1 follows the son of a pro bowler who returns home after learning his father is unwell. Told from a comedic, yet poignantly current perspective, the story feels diverse enough to connect with a variety of readers, regardless of their sensibilities. Holly Roller #1 also acts as a superhero origin story, although something more akin to Kick-Ass than Batman or Superman. By the end, all of these concepts pair well together, establishing a tone that feels almost cinematic in quality, especially compared to other comic books.
Holy Roller #1 is written by writer and actor Andy Samberg, Fall Out Boy guitarist Joe Trohman, and longtime comic book writer Rick Remender. Without knowing exactly the full extent of each of this team’s writing responsibilities, the influence from each of them is felt in spades, especially when the multifaceted concepts are put together in such an elegant way. Samberg’s comedy background is significantly felt when it comes to the conversational pieces that tie some of the segments together. These parts felt very reminiscent of his work on TV and film and genuinely brought a sense of levity to the sometimes serious subject matter. Remender’s longtime experience within the comic book medium definitely plays a part in the pacing and plotting of this issue, allowing the book to flow in a very logical manner.
A great selling point for this already well written issue is the fact that it is the same price as most other books on the shelves, $3.99, while also being double the length. Anyone looking to delve into comics outside of Marvel and DC, but want to look for something affordable, well written, and from familiar and consistently great creators will definitely want to check this out. It’s not often that a comic from a mainstream creative team will give you this much bang for your buck, so definitely don’t skip out on this.
Roland Boschi provides the pencils and inks here while Moreno Dinisio does the colors. In almost all of the elements of the issue, the art looks great and fits the tone and subject matter of the story perfectly. The only odd part of the art is the way Boschi draws the faces of the characters. Almost all the characters look fine, but at times Boschi will give them facial expressions to make them look like they have bucked teeth. This doesn’t seem very intentional; however, it made for some awkward moments that created a distraction for the overall story.
One of the most notable aspects of Holy Roller #1 is how it deals with its subject matter, specifically the blatant racism and antisemitism that exist within the main setting. Some may say that a lot of this is played up and only in service to the story; however, these kinds of people definitely exist all over parts of the United States. Holy Roller #1 does not shy away from how important it is to villainize these positions without any sense of glorification.
Holy Roller #1 is a wholly unique take on a superhero origin story that mixes comedy, drama, and action in a cinematic way. The book is twice the size of a regular issue without a higher price tag, and is worth every penny.
Holy Roller #1: Bowling For Home (Spoiler-Free)
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8.5/108.5/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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