Grandslam Romance #1
Olivia Hicks (Writer), Emma Oosterhous (Artist)
11 August, 2019
Mickey Monsoon, the Broad City Belles’ determined batter, has a massive task ahead of her. Her teammates have all fallen under the spell of rival team Gaiety Gals’ newest recruit, the multi-talented and seductive Astra Maxima. Can Mickey put her history with Astra behind her to win the match for the Broad City Belles’?
I loved Grandslam Romance #1. It was fun and sporty, and so delightfully gay. I need more queer comics in my life, and this book filled that gap. Having said all that, Grandslam Romance #1 is very much an opening issue. Don’t expect explicit love scenes on every page. This first instalment centres the sport of softball over the central romance, which will slowly unravel over the next few issues.
However, despite not being explicit, Grandslam Romance #1 is unabashedly queer and chockful of double entendres that had me grinning throughout. It’s so delightfully naughty, I’m giggling just thinking about it. But enough about the sexiness (sorry). I also liked the personalities at play here—Mickey and Astra are complete opposites, which makes them an exciting potential romance.
Mickey is uptight, determined, and quite angry—she’s supposed to be ‘over’ Astra, but methinks the lady doth protest too much. Astra, on the other hand, is sweetness and light, playing off her skills, both in and out of the bedroom, to get ahead in both the world and softball. These rivals are evenly matched in terms of softball skills, but Astra has seduction as an edge. I have to assume that as the series goes on, Astra’s abilities will be affected, because otherwise, I don’t see her losing, ever. Which would be boring.
The opposites attract trope has long been a staple of romance stories but I’m still excited to see how the trope plays out with a queer romance. I feel like most tropes in entertainment can be subverted by changing genders and making the characters queer. Grandslam Romance #1 aims to do just that.
There’s one more twist to this series: the softball here isn’t quite the same game we have in real life. The rules are slightly different—for one, you can win a match by hitting a home run into space. I don’t know much about softball—it seems to be similar to baseball, which I do know something about—but I am so down for this magical version. It’s far more exciting than our regular Earth sports.
I like the art, which is an excellent homage to the sports manga series that Grandslam Romance #1 is inspired by. The panels are all black and white, like one would see in manga, with a ton of fine detail. At no point did I feel lost while reading this book, nor did the characters blend into each other. Everyone had a distinctive look and was differentiated from the other characters.
But at the end of the book, artist Emma Oosterhous included a few full-colour versions of Astra and I really loved them. As well-executed as the art is, colour would have enhanced the experience so much more.
Despite the lack of colour in this book, I enjoyed Grandslam Romance #1 immensely and I’m glad that I got to read it. I know some people might look at this book and think they’ve read this before in a fanfic, but that’s part of the charm. Grandslam Romance #1 is fanfiction in comic form, and I mean that in the best way possible. It’s sexy, cute, and so much fun to read. Where’s issue two?