Written by Kelly Thompson
“Wired” Art and Colors by Amy Mebberson
“Jem Wolf” Art by Arielle Jovellanos and Colors by Josh Burcham
“Angry Aja” Art by Rebekah Isaacs and Colors by Joana Lafuente
“Shana Wars” Art and Colors by Jen Bartel
“Jem Babies” Art and Colors by Agnes Garbowska, Color Assist by Lauren Perry
“Previously” Art by Sophie Campbell and Colors by Victoria Robado
Letters by Tom B. Long and Shawn Lee
Edits by John Barber
Published by IDW on September 30, 2015
The title begs the question: Is it truly outrageous? Unequivocally, yes. Diverging in style and structure from the normal Jem and the Holograms issues, the Outrageous Annual takes our characters and delves into their psychology via pop culture mash-ups. This is the “Avenging Angel” of Farscape, the “Changing Channels” of Supernatural, or the “Restless” of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. By allowing the sisters to fall asleep and dream of their favorite films, the framed narratives explore anxieties of each character while playing in the sandboxes of other nostalgic genre favorites. The effect is an amusing riff on sisterhood and identity.
Outrageous Annual is overtly catering to, well, me. And all of the rest of the Jem readership who grew up watching the cartoon and also obsessing over other 80’s-era products. I crushed on Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf and religiously devoured Muppet Babies on Saturday mornings as a child, still consider The Empire Strikes Back as one of the greatest films of all time, and flipped my wig this summer over Mad Max: Fury Road. I suspect Kelly Thompson did too, since these are the texts adorably mashed into the Jem-verse. Each parody offers a humorous juxtaposition of the positive, fashion-forward, sisterly foursome with an otherwise disparate genre paired with a subconscious concern for a character. The overall effect is a touch shallow, but lots of fun. The comic version of a banana split–just enough nutrition in the flavor medley to alleviate a gut ache.
Read the full review on PopOptiq!