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Monday, March 01, 2021

Review: Roy of the Rovers: Pressure

The latest graphic novel completes the 2019-20 season, delayed from its planned release in July due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Each season consists of three illustrated novels and three graphic novels. Thus, season two of the newly relaunched saga has played out over five books already (On Tour, From the Ashes and Rocky in text form by Tom Palmer, Transferred and All to Play For in graphic form) and has seen Roy and his fellow striker Paco Diaz sold by unscrupulous chairman Barry ‘Meat’ Cleaver to Melchester’s arch rivals, Tynecaster.

Cleaver’s dodgy dealings have been uncovered and Melchester are stuck at the bottom of the League One table, thanks to a huge thirty-point deduction. Roy and Paco return to Melchester Park hoping to get to the bottom of Cleaver’s criminal activities, only to find the stadium on fire!

With the team’s captain Vic Guthrie benched, but relegation averted thanks to a review of the points deduction, Melchester enter the final leg of the season under instense pressure, with the chance of promotion to the Championship League in their sights. But who is going to take over the Rovers and rebuild Mel Park?

Another footballing legend steps forward to save the day…

This isn’t your dad’s Roy of the Rovers – your dad’s Roy is in a wheelchair and Roy’s mum is exhausted. It’s good to see that Roy of the Rovers has lost none of the soap opera elements that made it such a great read in the eighties, which was when I was last following the action, week in, week out. The artwork is super stylised compared to the old Barrie Mitchell and Mike White era, but has lost none of its attraction for it. Lisa Henke has a clear, clean line that is at home on and off the pitch. You can feel the ball-bending power of a Racy’s Rocket in the flattened curves of her artwork.

Roy of the Rovers: Pressure by Rob Williams & Lisa Henke
Rebellion ISBN 978-178108764-0, 29 October 2020, 56pp, £9.99. Available via Amazon.

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