Thursday, September 17, 2015

Comic Review: Jem and the Holograms: Showtime by Kelly Thompson

Jem and the Holograms: Showtime (collects issues #1-6)
Published by IDW
Available October 29th
Written by Kelly Thompson
Art by Sophie Campbell and Amy Mebberson

The new Jem and the Holograms comic is everything I could have possibly hoped for: fashion, cheezy songs, romance, and band drama.

The first story arc, collected in Jem and the Holograms: Showtime, follows essentially the same plot as the first episode of the television show. Jerrica, a bland young woman with stage-fright, fronts a band with her awesome adopted sisters. They are going to enter a music competition against the Misfits, but Jerrica's anxieties almost ruin everying. ...until she discovers that her father, now deceased, left her a secret hologram-creating AI called Synergy. With Synergy's help, Jerrica becomes Jem and everything seems to be saved.

If you can't tell already, Jerrica bores me to tears. She's too perfect and her perfect romance with Rio makes me gag.

So, let's leave Jerrica (and Jem) behind for the rest of the cast, because they make this comic more than worth picking up.

First up, and my favorite part of the entire comic: Kimber. Kimber is the youngest of the sisters, impulsive, and girl crazy. She can be capricious and forget her obligations while chasing her obsessions, but she's there for her sisters when it counts and she's always trying to be better.

Her current obsession (and the best parts of the story) is Kimber's romance with Misfit's keytarist Stormer.

I love everything about Stormer. I love seeing a plus-sized lady do more than break furniture or be comic-relief. I love that she gets to be fashionable. That outfit above isn't even her best outfit in the comic, but I want you to have that moment of being tacken aback at how gorgeous Stormer looks dressed for the show.

Stormer looking....stormy.
Stormer is the soul of the Misfits. She's patient where Kimber is impatient. She reaches out when Kimber runs away. Their courtship had me going through all of the ups and downs of a new romance.

Shana (purple) getting in the middle of Aja (blue) and Kimber (pink) fighting.

Next up is Aja, the guitarist for The Holograms, and Shana, the drummer. They're definitely side-characters in this arc, but I think they'll both get a lot more development as issues pile up. There have been hints of it already.

No review of the characters could go without mentioning Pizzazz, frontwoman for the Misfits. She's everything bad you've ever heard about a diva. Two-faced, vengeful, wrathful, and vain. She's a mustache-twirling villain. I have hopes though, that one day she may realize that she doesn't have to put Jem and the Holograms down to be on top.

The art, as you have seen, is gorgeous and clean. Before I read any issue I flip through the pages marveling at how pretty everything is. The full-page layouts when the bands are performing capture eighties girl band glam in all its glory.

Now that I'm all caught up, I can't wait to get home and break open issue #7!

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