February 1, 2016

IDW Reviews: Jem and the Holograms #11

Jem_11-bJem and the Holograms #11

Publisher: IDW

Writer: Kelly Thompson

Artist: Sophie Campbell

Colors: M. Victoria Robado

Cover: Sophie Campbell

Kelly Thompson continues to make Jem and the Holograms a standout series that outshines on many levels. Reintroducing these characters to new and old fans that has made the franchise feel fresh and entertaining with each issue. And now we’re in for something brand new with the Dark Jem storyline that kicks off here.

Jerrica and her sisters are working with a young band while The Misfits are dealing with their own set of problems. Mainly Pizzazz’s recovery after the accident which has left her unable to sing. Thompson’s humbling of Pizzazz through this accident has been a nice change of pace and let’s us see there’s more to her than being the demanding lead vocalist of the group. Unfortunately the group is being forced to find a replacement to maintain the tour schedule and have to sneak away to watch auditions. Things seem to be going better for Jerrica and her sisters as it’s just pool party shenanigans and budding relationships. However, something is very wrong as Synergy makes Jerrica her first victim and the road to something a little darker begins.

Thompson has done something great with this series and keeps providing some of the best character moments around. She’s consistently adding depth to both groups here that make this much more than one band’s vendetta against another. At the forefront is sisterhood and family with both bands. The pool party is just a perfect example of how she makes the little things like that work. The “fight” with the pool skimmers between Aja & Kimber is hilarious as well as her being thrown in the pool. It’s perfect dialogue and pacing throughout the story. She also has Stormer kind of leading the girls while Pizzazz is sidelined and it’s got a natural feel to it.

Sophie Campbell is one of those visual storytellers that everyone who reads comics should know. She’s continued to impress with the updated character designs while maintaining the “Jemness” of it all. The incorporation of the music/lyrics into the art is a great touch that adds to the personality of whoever is in the panel. This storyline also allows her to play with Jerrica’s appearance which is a bit vanilla most of the time. Her entrance at the pool party prompted an audible “damn, girl!” as she strutted by. The bathing suit design is killer along with her overall look. Also, Robado’s colors are excellent and have helped to solidify the look of this title.

You couldn’t have told me years ago that Jem and the Holograms would be one of the comics in my pull list. Nor that it would be this much fun but it definitely is. The creative team gives you everything you need for a great comic and if Jem ever comes back to television THIS should be the example they build from.

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