Monday, May 4, 2015

JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS #1-2: Outrageous!

I went to Free Comic Book Day at my local comic book shop this past weekend and picked up a couple freebee comics. While there, I decided to check out a childhood favorite of mine: IDW's new JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS comic book. I loved this cartoon back in the 80s. Heck, I still love the show. Did you know that you can watch all three seasons of "Jem & the Holograms" on Netflix?

Here are the basics for those who never followed the show. Jerrica Benton inherited a few basic items from her father when he died. She inherited an orphanage called the Starlight Foundation. And she inherited an advanced holographic computer with an AI mind called Synergy. She uses Synergy to transform into her alter ego, Jem. Jem founded the Holograms with his sister Kimber and their friend Aja and Shanna. Everyone loves the Holograms -- except for a rival band called the Misfits (Pizzazz, Roxy, Stormer, and Jetta). Oh, and there's this handsome guy named Rio who helps out with the band and who constantly flirts with both Jem and Jerrica. Each episode of the cartoon was filled with original music and exciting MTV-styled rock videos. It was a great show.

I purchased the first two issues of IDW's JEM & THE HOLOGRAM and really loved it. It seems that the Misfits have organized a "Misfits VS..." contest. Amateur bands are encouraged to submit music videos and fans are encouraged to vote for their favorites. The winning band will compete against the Misfits and -- if they end up beating the Misfits -- they win a lucrative recording contract. And apparently the Misfits are out of a corporate job.

The Holograms are all very good musicians and are preparing their submission on the final day of the contest. Except that Jerrica cannot sing in public. She keeps freezing up. Without her, there is no submission. Not that Kimber is holding it against her!

Jerrica rushes home and is introduced to Synergy, a holographic computer that was created by her father as a gift to the girls. The computer had been lying dormant, but apparently rebooted during a thunderstorm. It was very good timing. Part of her father's gift was a pair of ruby-colored earrings. The earrings are actually remote projectors.

Jerrica suddenly realizes that she can use Synergy to overcome her shyness. Using her new holographic cloak, she can become Jem. And, as Jem, she is able to overcome her fears and rock!

Issues #2 introduces the Misfits. They are reviewing entries for the "Misfits VS..." contest. Most of the entries are rubbish. Pizzazz finds herself hoping for somebody good to compete against, but not too good so that she ends up losing the competition.

We learn that Jem & the Holograms managed to get their entry submitted before the deadline and the fans absolutely love them. Pizzazz is freaking out -- which, judging from how things always turned out in the cartoon, means that she will be doing her best soon to sabotage the Holograms!

Meanwhile, we meet the kids from the Starlight Community Center and Rio starts making the moves on Jerrica.

Oh, and it seems that Kimber is into girls. And so, apparently, is Stormer. And each are into each other. They're really cute together. Unfortunately for them, Pizzazz doesn't think they're cute together and all and is about to make a huge scene in the next issue!

I really like this comic book. The last thing I need is a new comic book every month, but this is a great comic book. It's faithful to the 80s cartoon, but original enough to be exciting and new. Plus, the art is beautiful and the girls have all sorts of body types. I know that's a silly thing to highlight, but this is comic books. Most comic books feature women with tiny wastes and huge breasts. Some of these girls are thin. Some of them are chubby. And others fall somewhere in between. I really like that in a comic book.

JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS #1 is written by Kelly Thompson, with art by Ross Campbell, colors by M. Victoria Robado, and lettering by Robbie Robbins. JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS #2 is written by Kelly Thompson, with art by Sophie Campbell, colors by M. Victoria Robado, and lettering by Shawn Lee.

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