Jessica Abel treads assuredly in Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars. Her years of experience as a visual storyteller serve her well in this young-adult saga ... What's really amazing about Abel's performance, though, is that she pulls it off while juggling a few different agendas. Trish Trash isn't just a sports story and a coming-of-age tale; it's also a masterful critique of capitalism. Abel manages to make this economic parable consistently engaging, even if its basic elements are familiar. If she bobbles a ball occasionally, at least she doesn't slip off the tightrope ... Meanwhile, though, Abel keeps Trish's own struggles...energized and absorbing ... Thanks to a thorough grasp of the economics behind Trish's story, Abel illuminates that system without becoming dogmatic or dull. The world of Mars is almost seamless, too. If Trish Trash could have used more juice in the hover rink, at least Abel keeps her balance on the believability tightrope. That's no small feat.
Readers experienced with the lingo and quick pace of roller derby will immediately be sucked into Trish's world. Some might appreciate being unceremoniously thrown into Trish's life on Mars, but the lack of introduction is jarring ... The story is fast-moving ... Recommend to experienced graphic novel and comic book readers looking for something new.
Abel...designs a complex world at the intersection of class (and planetary) exploitation, spectator sports, and xenophobia without allowing the setting to become overly complicated. The layouts of the rectangular panels are fairly conventional, but there’s a striking contrast between the dull red, blues, and browns of Abel’s impoverished and desolate Mars and the vivid colors of the hover derby players’ uniforms.