Everyone was sitting around wondering when comedy legend ANDY SAMBERG (SNL, Palm Springs) would join super-star writer RICK REMENDER (DEADLY CLASS, LOW) and Fall Out Boy’s multi-talented JOE TROHMAN to write a comic about a vigilante hero who smashes people’s faces with a bowling ball—and everyone’s dreams have come true!
With art by the fan-favorite ROLAND BOSCHI (THE SCUMBAG, Wolverine)!
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!
Kingpin meets Inglourious Basterds meets Batman (that old chestnut) with equal parts action and humor in this special introductory issue with 42 full pages of story!
Two issues for the price of one! Three writers for the price of one! Same great low price!
Monkeys Fighting RobotsTHE HOLY ROLLER #1 needs to be turned into a film immediately - witty, fun, insane!
Fanbase PressHoly Roller is not afraid to tackle today’s issues while maintaining a comedic bend. It is great entertainment with a message. This series is definitely worth checking out.
Comic WatchHoly 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.
Graphic PolicyHoly Roller #1 feels like the right comic at the right time. Though the concept is a little heavy and honestly jarring with reality, it balances humor and heart to deliver the hero we just might need right now.
Multiversity ComicsPerhaps it’s coincidence, but this series debuts at a time in our history when anti-Semitism is reaching all time highs. The new Holy Roller may just be the Jewish superhero that we need.
AIPTIt’d be impossible and clearly unfair to blame any issues of this debut on “two of the writers are a comedian and a emo rocker.” But I think there’s still enough blame to go around in terms of how much Samberg and Trohman’s presence affected this issue in some critical ways. As the title exists so far, those issues take away from the momentum of this story and make it a little too overbearing in its attempts to balance a solid narrative direction with too much brevity. Could this always be the case? I don’t think so, especially if Remender’s “presence” remains increasingly robust. But in the meantime, The Holy Roller is a good enough entry to the celebrities making comics canon, and I’m excited to see how this game really plays out.
ComicBook.comThe Holy Roller #1 is interesting. The series has a simple, but solid premise: Levi Cohen comes back home after 20 years to visit his sick father who was a bowling star and in the process had to deal with his own bowling history as well as his place as a Jew in a really racist and awful small town. Throw in a bully who is all grown up and a menace and you've got a pretty interesting story. What doesn't work, however, is the execution of the story. The book's pace is really poorly done with the opening being extremely slow and cluttered and there are some really terrible attempts and humor and jokes. They're not even just bad, they're poorly dated, gimmicky and cheap. There's also a little over-the-top storytelling in the set up for Levi's arc that could really be improved without the gimmicks and jokes. For all of that, however, there's a lot of potential here to explore ideas of legacy, heritage, and the intersection of both along with American cultural decline. If the series somehow manages to dig its way out of bad cliche, it really could be onto something.
Derby ComicsThis oversized first issue to the new series from Andy Samberg, Joe Trohman, and Rick Remender may have been better served with a traditional comic-book length. The extra twenty or so pages weren’t used to effectively and it resulted in an extremely drawn out opening that became a chore to get through before the story felt like it was hitting its groove. The dialogue was also full of poorly executed humor which felt outdated and unnatural. The interactions between Levi, the main character, and the small-town bumpkins verged on cringe-worthy and not just because of how antisemitic they were, but just how forced the writing came across. Some of the brighter moments occurred during the heartfelt, yet subdued reunion between Levi and his father. Hopefully Remender can reign in what seems to be the unrefined writing instincts of Samberg and Trohman in future issues to allow a more nuanced and subtle approach allow the seriousness of the topics at hand to be more of the focus.