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Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Sophie Campbell
Cover Artist: Sophie Campbell, Amy Mebberson
Jem and the Holograms feels like it’s settling into its groove. I was a little nervous from the first issue, as it felt like the comic was torn in too many directions; campy origins were pulling against a character-centric reboot. Also, I felt like I was a little mean in the previous review so I wanted to check out “Jem and the Holograms #2″ and see if the comic found its footing. I think Jem has but I’m not sure everyone is going to want to dance to the same tune.
Issue number 2 focuses on introducing the audience to The Misfits, longtime rivals of the Holograms. The lead singer is just as terrible as any of the original Misfits, but the other characters are a little more three dimensional. Probably my favorite aspect of the story is the relationship between Kimber and Stormer; the two women start dating, which is a fun way to modernize the story but also adds a nice dynamic between the rivalry between the two bands. I appreciate that the relationship is brought up as naturally as a heterosexual relationship. This really shouldn’t be a big deal anymore and it’s hip to see that it is treated so casually.
It feels a little like the first issue was an attempt to get past all of the luggage that comes with the absurdity of the TV show and now we are settling into what the comic will become. Pure, Grade-A teenage drama. And that’s fine. They do a good job with it. I think as long as the comic can focus on the relationship between these four women, it will stay strong. In fact some of the stuff from the show feels like trappings at this point. For example the running theme of Jerrica pretending to be another character who “knows” Jem is going to be hard to pull off and I wouldn’t be surprised if they just reveal her to be Jem at some point to be done with all that old stuff.
The visuals are as vibrant and bouncy as ever. Comics have entered this porous boundary between manga and American comics, which means the characters have huge anime proportions but could still crossover into your average Marvel comic. I’m still a little wary that a show based on television, which has lights and sounds, can fit in the static world of comics. However the parts where they illustrate performances are turning out to be a treat and I imagine we’ll get a comic which just highlights only those purely impressionistic parts.
Overall Jem and the Holograms is finding its footing. I think it’s actually going to be a hot comic but it’s important to remember that they are aiming specifically for young adult audience. This isn’t something that is going to have a crazy amount of widespread appeal and that’s okay. I’ll miss the schlock of the original show but I think rebooting is the smart way to go.
Jem and the Holograms #2 earns 8/10