Comic Book Review: Jem and the Holograms #3
Reboots, remakes and re-imaginings (pick one) have become commonplace in pop culture and media. Almost everything has been re-done at this point and more times than not, fans are dismissive about them. There have been a fair amount of remakes that have been total flops but Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell’s “Jem and the Holograms” is not one of them. This issue is the best of the series so far because it gives us a chance to get to know the characters a bit more. There’s less music but more story and it helps to make “Jem and the Holograms” become more fully realized.
“Jem and the Holograms” #3 picks up with Pizzazz losing it publicly over Stormer and Kimber having a cup of coffee. The Misfits order Stormer to never see Kimber again because they see it as traitorous. Kimber, back at home, is smitten. She can’t stop thinking about Stormer and it sets up a sweet but probably doomed romance. Elsewhere, Jerrica goes on her first date with Rio to a picture perfect carnival.
To say that “Jem in the Holograms” is cute is an understatement. It’s much, much more than that. This is an issue where Thompson and Campbell take the time to develop the characters and build the relationships. We get much more about the dynamics in each band here than we did in the first two issues. Jerrica continues to be a total sweetheart and her blossoming relationship with Rio is well written because of how innocent it is. This is meant to make us feel warm and fuzzy inside and maybe even bring us back to our first crush. The same thing can be said for Kimber and Stormer. Kimber can’t stop thinking about Stormer and she’s even stressing about what to text her. It’s romance that a younger reader can follow and something that an older reader can relate to.
The Misfits are starting to become more realized as characters but I still want more. I like that they’re allowed to be the villains of this story but I am worried about them becoming one note. Pizzazz is a like a ticking time bomb and it creates for some really great comedic moments. But where does her frustration come from? Who is she? I want to see a little more of that because I don’t want to fully dislike The Misfits. It would be great to see their pasts explored a bit more, specifically how they came together to become a band. This isn’t to say that all of what they do is bad because I find their attitudes well done and I love their edginess even more. Thompson and Campbell are also doing a fantastic job at staying away from the “mean girls” trope and instead allow The Misfits to be musical rivals.
Sophie Campbell’s artwork is gorgeous in every way. I commented in my review of the first issue that I thought Jerrica looked a bit younger than her stated age and that’s been fixed. Jerrica looks like a modern young woman. Campbell’s character expressions are absolutely mesmerizing. There’s so much life in every single character. She nails every emotion from lovesick to furious and no faces look even remotely similar to any other. Each of the characters is fully detailed even when the focus isn’t on them. I’m in awe of the hair and makeup because it blends the over top feeling of the 1980s with modern style and attitude. As a plus size woman, I can’t express enough how happy it makes me to see the different body types that exist in this series with none of them being drawn less attractive. Stormer is a fox just as much as Kimber is. M. Victoria Robado’s colors bring it all together as she uses a sublime mix of colors. She’s such an integral part of the art team because she brings the right tone to the pencils and ink.
This series is a beacon of positivity and in a world where we’d rather focus on the negative, “Jem and the Holograms” wants us to have fun and be jubilant. If you’re not reading it, you’re missing out on something truly special and outrageous.