Review: Jem and the Holograms #4

jem004It can be tricky when updating a previous franchise or fictional property.  On the one hand, one expects the creative team to stay close to the original material, on the other hand, significant changes are bound to occur as society progresses and leaves outdated ideas behind.  In the case of Jem and the Holograms it would seem that many of the changes have been for the better in terms of the characters.  What were 1980s big hair and big shouldered music superheroines were transformed into modern characters that would fit in with the big names in music at the moment.  Part of the approach for this series is that it leaves the characters in the hands of two women, something which is a relative rarity for comics which still tend to be dominated by male creators, and notably when it comes to female characters.  Although there is nothing to say that a man cannot write a deep female character, it is also interesting to see a couple of female creators get their hands on an all-girl squad.

The story in this series continues to be that of the initial story arc.  Having discovered her Jem alter ego, Jerrica is still busy trying to get the band ready for the Battle of the Bands.  Meanwhile Kimber and Stormer are getting a bit more wrapped up with each other romantically, and the romance between Jerrica and Rio seems to be heating up as well, except for the unexpected arrival of Jem in Jerrica’s changing room just after she was seen there.  As before the series is extremely effective in portraying the music scenes as well, with the music styles of both bands being easy to relate to through their presentation.

This series is a success, at least from the sense of being fun and approachable.  At the same time, there are a few problems notable for first time writer Kelly Thompson.  While she is talented she does occasionally rely on cliches or what seems like filler to get more out of each issue.  If there is one drawback to this series, this is it, that she hasn’t yet fully moved into a comfort zone and is not yet ready to let loose.  That will come with time, and for now it seems as though Kelly and Sophie are the two best fits for this series that the comic world could conceive of as this series is all about the girls, and rightfully so.

Story: Kelly Thompson  Art: Sophie Campbell
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5  Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

IDW provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review