Those who know me best know that I love comics. I buy them, I read them, I collect them, I love them. So when I recently caught wind that one of DC Comic’s biggest female icons, Harley Quinn, was not only getting her second shot at her own ongoing monthly series but that AT LEAST the first issue was dealing with roller derby… well! I’m sure you can surmise that I was quite excited! Here is the quick issue description floating around: “Harley is set to begin her new life, but she needs a job first! Enter the Coney Island Roller Derby! It’s game time as Harley sets out to destroy her competition—literally!”
This is actually pretty huge when you consider that the sport is going to be featured in a major comic release staring one of DC’s most beloved female characters. The Joker’s old flame (if you can call her that haha) has been around for 21 years since debuting in 1992 in Batman: The Animated Series. Harley last had her own series nearly a decade ago, which ran for 38 issues from 2000-2004 before being cancelled. But her popularity has skyrocketed as of late as the leader of the Suicide Squad so it’s now time for round two!
Jimmy Palmiotti is writing it so I know it’s in good hands. Don’t know who he is? It’s okay, unless you are a big comic fan you probably wouldn’t. But rest assured he is awesome and has worked on such uber-awesome female superhero books such as Power Girl, Supergirl, Birds of Prey, and Batgirl. Issue one releases this December so give your local comic book shop a call to find out when exactly it will hit the shelves, then go buy it! Good sales = more roller derby in major comics! It could be a one shot storyline or it could be a full 3, 5, or 6 issue arch. I’m hoping it runs at least 3 but that’s just me being greedy.
This isn’t the first time the sport has appeared in a major comic series, not too long ago our favorite web-head, Spidey himself, got a taste of the flat track:
Before all of the craziness of whatever the heck is going on in Spider-Man right now (oh who am I kidding… ASM has always been whacky) Peter Parker briefly dated Carlie Cooper, a NYPD Forensic Specialist with a derby girl alter-ego known as “Crusher Carlie”. Issue #652 featured the sport a fair deal, with Peter himself even wearing quad skates as the two flirted with one another. SPIDER-MAN dated a derby girl, people!
Anyway, I thought it was really cool and with comic readers now having had a taste of derby in BOTH Marvel and DC, I hope we see more of the sport in other major works as well. I mean could you imagine seeing Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), or hell, some of the X-Men like Jubilee, Hope, or Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat), in kicking as in derby gear? It. Would. Be. EPIC!
Though not a big as Marvel or DC, others have tried to bring roller derby into the world of comics for a long time. Check out some of these great projects!
Roller Grrrls is on the fast track to becoming the first major, original roller derby comic in circulation. It follows a number of real life inspired derby girl characters as they navigate life on and off the flat track. Roller Grrrl currently has a 52-page Sketchbook out on the market and the comic itself will be available in 30+ different languages! Check out the official blog for character profiles, sketches, and pages straight from upcoming issues!
Jam! Tales from the World of Roller Derby is a full-color anthology written by the people who make roller derby happen! It features 16 stories that range from the slice of life to the fantastic, and are drawn by professional comic book artists, including such talents as Eric Powell (The Goon) and Rick Lacy (The Venture Bros., Labor Days).
Victoria wrote and illustrated her first book in the third grade. SUPER COW! was a smash hit both with critics (her teacher) and collectors (her parents). Victoria now lives in Portland, Oregon. Along with writing and illustrating, she teaches children’s book illustration at Pacific Northwest College of Art. She also maintains a not-so-secret identity as Winnie the Pow, skater with the Rose City Rollers roller derby league.