Title: Jem and The Holograms
Writer: Kelly Thompson, Illustrator: Sophie Campbell, Colours: M. Victoria Robado, Letters: Shawn Lee, Edits: John Barber, Publisher: IDW.
Ok, I’m going to get this out the way now. Jem is truly outrageous, truly, truly, truly outrageous. Right I promise not to say it again during this post (but, if you are in your mid-thirties like me you will have a certain theme tune in you head for the rest of the day!). I loved Jem and The Holograms when I was a kid. I had a Kimber doll who I thought was a million times better than my next door neighbours Barbie. I also have a vague memory of a Pizzazz from The Misfits doll kicking around, but I’ll have to confirm that with my parents. I always preferred the The Misfits music, I remember just wishing they weren’t so mean (apart from Stormer. She was awesome).
Anyway, it would be right to say I was pretty excited when my husband handed me the January issue of Previews. He knows how much I like Jem and The Holograms. I spent the rest of the day singing the theme song at him and dancing around the flat. I knew that I shouldn’t get my hopes up. We all know the is a high risk of disappointment when something we loved as a child is remade. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I tired, my hopes were high. I mean, look at that cover. LOOK AT IT!!!
Luckily for me, the comic is really good (PHEW!). Thompson keeps to the basic storyline of the original cartoon but brings it up to date with social media, mobile phones etc. So, what is the basic story? I hear you ask. Jerrica Benton has an amazing voice but is painfully shy. Her sisters try their best to build her confidence but nothing is working and time is running out for them to enter the “Misfits vs!” competition. A stormy night and fate intervene leading to Jerrica discovering Synergy, the answer to the bands problems. Jem is created and it’s showtime.
Looking past the vibrant illustrations and amazing fashion, I think Jem is an important comic for young women. When I was young, I found the characters in Jem inspiring. They were all independent women trying to forge a career in a very competitive industry. I really think this comic could be just as inspirational for women now as the cartoon was back in the 80’s. I think the updates to the characters are great. The modern women seem more varied in body types, ethnicity, goals, personalities and sexual orientation, which will hopefully make the characters relatable to more people.
Anyway, I love it and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series. I’m already thinking about cosplay opportunities……..