Jem and the Holograms “Viral” Part One by Kelly Thompson illustrated by Emma Vieceli
Jerrica and her sisters face their biggest threat yet—success! Meanwhile, the Misfits aren’t taking these upstarts laying down… as they find themselves under new management…
Jem and the Holograms completed its first arc, “Showtime,” last issue. Big images, strong emotions, soul crushing conflicts. Even hard-as-nails Pizzazz nearly shed a tear, folks.
As you might expect, this issue returns to more intimate settings and focuses on the internal and the personal. The minutiae of everyday life. For rock stars anyway.
Jerrica struggles to prioritize various aspects of their burgeoning fame while Kimber agonizes over her shattered relationship. Surprisingly, both get some assistance from sparkly holographic supercomputer Synergy.
Across town, the Misfits face some challenges of their own. Their A&R rep is incensed about the disastrous fallout from their last performance. The band tries to play it off, but they’re getting a manager whether they like it or not.
Enter the first of two new, or nostalgic, depending on your perspective, cast members. Eric Raymond has been conspicuously missing from the comic since issue one. And he looks perfect. Fill in artist Emma Vieceli gives Eric the shifting serpentine charisma he needs without a voice actor.
We also get a glimpse of Techrat, though he’s not named, at the end of the issue. I’m using his television pronoun, but the design is completely androgynous. The Misfits seem to have a way of attracting people with a hate on for the Holograms.
I have to admit that I already miss Sophie Campbell. I love the consistency of depiction across diverse body types and the emotional resonance of her art. She makes Jem magical.
However, Vieceli employs an impressive range of expressions and employs some creative stylistic tools that provide both humor and pathos. I’m looking forward to the next issue.