Bringing the Past to the Present!

Jem and the Holograms #1

IDW Publishing

Story: Kelly Thompson & Sophie Campbell
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Sophie Campbell
Colors: M. Victoria Robado
Letters: Robbie Robbins
Edits: John Barber

Before We Begin
The year is 1985 and kids are going crazy for the cartoon Jem and the Holograms, a vibrant glam rock band that faces hardship and music in a great way. The show ended, as most shows do, and folks assumed that was it. UNTIL an announcement came out in the last couple of years that a new live action movie was in the works. What proceeded that was another announcement about a new comic series reviving the characters in a new and fun way! That's what we have here!

Kelly Thompson is a new comic book writer, however she has been a voice in the comic community for a while, having written for CBR and also co-hosting the 3 Chicks Review Comics podcast (which you should listen to if you want to hear some great interviews and discover some strong reads). Sophie Campbell is an extremely versatile artist with a whole mess of fun series under her belt, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hack/Slash and Hopeless Savages (Too Much Hopeless Savages specifically). This issue showcases the duos immediate writing chemistry and has produced a read that can be read by fans of the old series and new readers alike. 

Making Nostalgia Relevant Again!
This first issue starts by showing The Holograms struggling to produce a music video, mostly due to the fact that the lead vocalist, Jerrica, keeps choking at the mic. Embarrassed, she runs out and is consoled by her sister Kimber who offers the unfortunate but necessary ultimatum that if Jerrica can't get it together, she'll leave the band. The other band members Aja and Shanna, are also losing morale as the difficulties continue and tensions start to mount. Jerrica feels defeated but becomes more hopeful when a mysterious inheritance from her father presents itself.

Thompson quickly reintroduces these characters and gives each a distinct personality. She also takes a story about an up and coming band and turns it on its head using a quirky mystery/solution to Jerrica's problems that newcomers will love! The characters all show a serious connection and I look forward to seeing more about how they interact as a band. Thompson has an enjoyable personality (proven by her podcast) and an exceptional knowledge of the comic medium (proven by her CBR articles). It's great to see how that is incorporated into this story.

Distinct Flair!

Campbell's art is mindblowing! The reader is instantly smacked in the face with vibrant colors and a memorable visual of who each of The Holograms are. Each band member has a distinctive eye makeup pattern and color, giving each their own unique tone. They also all have a distinct body type, skin tone, hair color, the list goes on and on. The point is that these girls are all different and unique and they all look awesome. Campbell has chosen sort of a melding of the 80's and the present for their outfits and it works in the craziest way. Character models are enjoyable and a character introduced later in the story changes the tone entirely which is promising even more wonderful visuals. Campbell also has a good handle on instruments and audio equipment which is a much appreciated touch to a story like this. It should also be mentioned that Robado's colors are in your face and bright and make you want to frame every panel of this story (even more than you already might have).

Hit Single
I honestly didn't expect to enjoy this is issue as much as I did, but here we are! This first issue is such a strong start to a great series that anyone can enjoy with respectable and fun characters and a story that is going to a great place. Movies and comics are so oversaturated by bad reboots and relaunches, but they should really take a hint from this issue, because Jem and the Holograms#1 is doing it right! The first issue is $3.99 and came out on 3/25 with some great covers, the rest of which I will list below. Thanks for reading!

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