Living on Mars, an adolescent girl dreams of leaving her farm and joining the hoverderby.
With her parents gone for the unforeseeable future, dark-skinned, curly-haired Trish Nupindju has been living with her tíos, helping them on their moisture farm on Mars. As she operates their thresher along the dry, red fields, she dreams of leaving her daily life and becoming a hoverderby star like her idol, Betty Demonica. Life on Mars is tense: money is tight for her family; big corporations make grandiose promises to help find water but offer little return; and Martian attacks seem imminent. When Trish learns of an opportunity to join her local derby team, the Terror Novas, she takes it—but at a price. Now she finds herself caught between what she loves to do and her family—can she find the balance? Abel's art is sprawling and expressive, working with background artist Roberts and colorist Walter to fill each oversized page with eye-catching details. Her worldbuilding is complex, and detailed backmatter provides crucial details conspicuously absent from the story itself, including a helpful history of hoverderby and background information about the colonization of Mars. Since most of the exposition occurs after the last panel, it leaves the offering feeling out of balance.
It’s a bit too ambitious, but readers should find it intriguing enough to be hopeful about subsequent volumes. (Graphic science fiction. 12 & up)