If you’re not reading Kelly Thompson’s Jem and The Holograms, you clearly hate fun. I’ll admit, I starting reading this comic for two reasons: 1) nostalgia, and 2) diverse body types. But that’s just the beginning of what this comic has to offer.
Issue #5 (Here’s a preview to entice!) picks up at the moment where #4 left us hanging–with sabotaged lighting falling towards a fear-paralyzed Jem on stage at The Holograms first performance. IDW describes the issue:
A disaster at the HOLOGRAMS’ first live show nearly ends JEM’s music career before it starts! Now KIMBER learns who’s behind the dangerous “accident”… and she’s out for revenge.
This issue, more than any other to date, feels like an episode of the cartoon. It opens with a “Previously on…” page that montages key panels from the preceding issues to remind readers of the important plot details. Then it jumps right back into the action. The pace has picked up from previous issues since all of the exposition has been established. Now we get to just watch the pieces come together–and clash. The quickness of the panels makes for a whisking ride through the action. You may actually hear yourself say, “Whee!”
The art in the issue, courtesy of Sophie Campbell, is a delight. The characters are cute, but not cutesy. What struck me this time out was how much fun it was to see the different fashion variations for the characters. One of the comic’s song montages happens halfway through, and in it we see the characters in panels that depict different places and times. Kimber and Aja alone show up sporting three different hairstyles and outfits. Yet, each character has a clear style. Compared to the one-outfit monotony of most comics (are they afraid we won’t recognize a character if they’re not wearing the same clothes every panel?), the inventive variation of fashion feels FRESH. Campbell also does a wonderous job depicting the Jerrica/Jem transformation. The imagery melds different versions of her with ribbons of color floating around her to suggest the hologram morphing. And finally, the facial expressions are emotionally evocative and occasionally hilarious. A moment late in the issue takes the cake for depicting Pizzazz’s reactions–and she’s rife with fantastic reactions.
Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell continue to produce a comic that is a joy to read. Positive, colorful, light, humorous, and FUN. And I dare say this is the best issue yet.