In recognition of Women’s History month, IDW and Hasbro are teaming up to create SYNERGY: A HASBRO CREATORS SHOWCASE, a celebration of fan-favorites and new talent working with some of the most beloved Hasbro characters. With 13 fabulous covers drawn from the IDW archives and 27 pages of new material—including autobiographical works by Mairghread Scott (drawn by Sara Pitre-Durocher, reuniting the creative team behind the beloved Transformers: Till All Are One series) and Katie Cook (writer on the hit My Little Pony comic), as well as three original stories inspired by G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Jem and the Holograms—this anthology celebrates the women who have made, or will make, an impact on the world of Hasbro for many years to come.
IDW 20/20 kicks off IDW’s year-long 20th
anniversary celebration! An all-new weekly event giving a glimpse of your
favorite characters 20 years into the future—or past! What made them into the
heroes you love… and what twists does the future hold…?
Jem and the Holograms are back with new music,
old flames, and good friends in this adventure set 20 years in the future! Join
Jerrica, Synergy, and the rest of your favorite holographic gals for a rockin’
reunion that’s sure to please old and new fans alike!
IDW Publishing is celebrating its 20th anniversary beginning in January 2019 with an all-new weekly event, IDW 20/20!
Explore some of pop culture’s most iconic properties – Ghostbusters, Jem and the Holograms, My Little Pony, Star Trek, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – as secrets and startling revelations of these fan-favorite characters are revealed from 20 years into the future — or past! What made them into the heroes you love, and what twists does the future hold?
January 2019’s IDW 20/20 one-shot specials include:
Ghostbusters: IDW 20/20
By Erik Burnham (writer) and Dan Schoening (artist)
Twenty years in the future, and a new generation of Ghostbusters… is sent on all the jobs Ray, Winston, Peter, and Egon just don’t feel like taking on themselves. The Sanctum of Slime Ghostbusters—Bridget, Samuel, Gabriel, and Alan—have proven themselves many times over… first against the demon Dumazu, and later with the Ghostbusters of many other dimensions in the recent Crossing Over event. Now they’re ready for an easy gig, something like a simple haunted house. But they better be careful… you never know Wat could happen.
Jem and the Holograms: IDW 20/20
By Sina Grace (writer) and Siobhan Keenan (artist)
Jem and the Holograms are back with new music, old flames, and good friends in this adventure set 20 years in the future! Join Jerrica, Synergy, and the rest of your favorite holographic gals for a rockin’ reunion that’s sure to please old and new fans alike!
My Little Pony: IDW 20/20
By Ted Anderson (writer) and Toni Kuusisto (artist)
Ponyville’s most courageous and magical ponies celebrate friendship and fun in this adventure set twenty years in the past! Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, and the rest of your favorite fillies are young foals—surely things can’t get too crazy, right?! One thing’s for sure: no matter what escapades they face, the magic of friendship will see them through!
Star Trek: IDW 20/20
By Peter David (writer) and J.K. Woodward (artist)
Twenty years before he took command of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D, Jean-Luc Picard sat in the captain’s chair of the U.S.S. Stargazer. Picard served with distinction aboard the Stargazer for many years on his way to becoming the most respected captain in Starfleet. But in this early mission, Picard shows us a vulnerable side as well as glimpses of the brilliant tactician he would become.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: IDW 20/20
By Paul Allor (writer) and Dave Wachter (artist)
Meet the Turtles of tomorrow in this adventure set 20 years in the future! The Utrom Civil War rages across Earth. When news of a backup Technodrome threatens hundreds of millions of innocent lives, it’s up to the Turtles to do what they do best—save the world.
Sophie Campbell, Kate Leth, Sarah Kuhn, Sarah Winifred Searle & Various (w) • Tana Ford, Sophie Campbell, Siobhan Keenan, Sarah Winifred Searle & Various (a) • Derek Charm (c)
Jem and the Holograms get back to their rock ‘n’ roll roots in this new series of stand-alone stories from some of comics’ most popular creators. A celebration of creativity, friendship, and being true to yourself, Dimensions is full of humor, fun, and characters that radiate positivity. These uplifting stories will bring a smile to readers’ faces even as they put a song in their hearts.
IDW Publishing kicks off their new Jem anthology series strong in Jem and The Holograms: Dimensions #1. The Dimensions series promises a set of stories told outside the main Jem narrative; a gateway book to the larger Jem universe, though it can also stand on its own. After issue one, however, it’s hard not to want more neon-colored nonsense.
The two stories, “Catnap” and “Roll With It” each tell a distinctly modern tale using ‘80s icons. Brightly-colored ski gear and Dungeons and Dragons games, all in the Jem palate of bold makup, huge hair, and stars and lightning bolts on every surface.
Sophie Campbell took the reins on “Catnap” as both writer and artist. Misfit groupie Clash is cat-sitting for band member Pizzazz, but doesn’t want to miss out on her ski trip. She decides to bring the kitty along on the slopes with her friend Misty, after girlfriend Blaze bails on her. When evil Jem groupies show up to steal the cat and get Clash booted from all future Misfit events, Blaze literally flies in to save the day—and the cat!
Colorist M. Victoria Robado keeps things bright and rainbow-hued, even against a snow-capped backdrop. A high-speed chase followed by an avalanche of epic proportions turns the slopes into a flurry of color and action under Campbell and Robado’s efforts. Campbell’s story (and, I would assume, other Jem tales as well) blurs the line between “good” and “evil” as Misfit fans protect a helpless feline from the evil claws of Jem groupies. Some modern additions, such as Misty dressed in her colorful headscarf and Blaze and Clash’s kiss at the end, bring this 80’s classic into today’s landscape.
“Roll With It”, written by Kate Leth with art by Tana Ford, is lighter on story in favor of dissecting some classic characters at the end of their Infinite run. An exhausted group of Holograms try to get Jerrica to take a break after their tour. Kimber suggests a game of Dungeons and Dragons, but as the game is set up Jerrica is elected Dungeon Master—leaving her in charge of the group all over again. She soon loses her cool and the girls must come up with an alternate plan to give ALL of the Holograms the night off.
The girls game characters give a little peek into their psyche along with providing plenty of light-hearted laughter. And while Jerrica and Synergy drive the plot, Kimber shines through as the star of the story. Colorist Brittany Peer sticks to a blue and purple palate, so that when Jerrica attacks the D&D party with an overpowered dragon, the fire-breather truly stands out.
Jem and the Holograms: Dimensions is a super fun romp with a huge cast of female characters. This book not only passes the Bechdel test, but smashes it into pieces. The characters are well-rounded, diverse, and unafraid to be themselves—no matter how outrageous.
Story: Sophie Campbell, Kate Leth Art: Sophie Campbell, Tana Ford Colors: M. Victoria Robado, Brittany Peer Story: 9 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy
IDW provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Hasbro’s Jem and the Holograms may be currently out touring with the “Infinite” crossover mini-series, but they’re already plotting their next move with the just-announced Jem and the Holograms: Dimensions.
This new series, from IDW Publishing, will be an anthology comic set in Jem’s world, and will bring in a rotating roster of talent into the mix, as well as some Jem mainstays, to tell new adventures, with two self-contained stories per issue.
The debut issue sees writer Kate Leth and artist Tana Ford jamming on a Dungeons and Dragons game night where Jerrica plays the role of Dungeon Master and even Synergy joins the fun! Just as exciting, Sophie Campbell returns to the world of Jem, writing and illustrating a story about the Misfits on a ski trip gone south when Pizzazz’s cat is on the loose!
Jem fans can rest assured that Thompson won’t be going far, though, and can anticipate her return to the series before you can say “Showtime, Synergy!”
Issue one kicks off in November with main cover art by Tana Ford and variant covers by Jem art team founding members Sophie Campbell and M. Victoria Robado, plus Eisner-nominee Derek Charm!
The FIRST EVER Jem/Misfits Crossover Event continues here in “ INFINITE PART TWO!” Never okay with letting Jem and The Holograms steal the spotlight, The Misfits have followed them to this “brave new world” and are shocked by what they find… a world ruled by JEM and powered by Synergy Hologram Technology. WHAT. IS. EVEN. HAPPENING!?!
Jem, the Holograms, and the Misfits are back in Jem and the Holograms Infinite #1, which begins as yet another squabble between the rival bands. However, by the time you reach the final page cliffhanger, the comic has definitely taken a turn for the sci-fi courtesy of writer Kelly Thompson, artists Stacey Lee and Jen Hickman, and colorist Sarah Stern. It looks like the story of two “families” will play out in a futuristic (still unrevealed) alternate universe and not the music industry as the focus flips to the actual hologram technology instead of the band that uses it.
Most of the plot of Jem Infinite #1 is spent trying to dredge up bad blood between the Holograms and Misfits before a side character hastily flips the comic’s genre. However, the writing of the title doesn’t slip thanks to the return of Kelly Thompson. Thompson has a strong handle on these women’s relationships, emotions, and senses of humor and showcased this in the more character driven Jem and the Misfits miniseries, which turned “villains” into some of the most likable people in this universe through the power of authentic backstories. These characteristics aren’t lost under bickering about events in past issues, and Thompson and Lee make room for Kimber and Stormer to exchange sweet nothings while everyone else feuds.
Speaking of Stacey Lee, the art shift from her to Jen Hickman could be much worse, and colorist Sarah Stern bright take on the Holograms’ and Misfits’ complex makeup helps keep continuity through the issue. But there are some hiccups because Hickman’s work is inked a little bit rougher and has less sheer energy and beauty, which is why it’s a good thing that Lee handled the double page concert spread and the fierce entrance scenes of the Holograms and the Misfits. Her style evokes the pure pop style candy of Sophie Campbell’s original designs while Hickman’s work is a little quirkier, which might end up making her a good fit for alternate dimensions and space. She also nails Techrat’s post-cyberpunk undercut.
It’s a little disheartening to see the Holograms and Misfits fall back into old patterns of physical violence in the first arc or so of the series after growing as characters for 26 issues and a five issue miniseries. Aja’s pure rage at the Misfits is kind of funny, but the Holograms and Misfits square up ready to throw down and then back out. And there’s really no payoff until the final few pages. The bands are pretty one-dimensional when facing each other, but Thompson does a better job with the relationships inside the band. Jetta talks about a mysterious thing called “the high road”, which they learned about in the Jem and the Misfits when they decided to stop selling out and arguing on camera to boost their reality show ratings.
On the Holograms side of things, the band discusses telling the public about the fact that Jem is a hologram and is actually Jerrica Benton. Shana thinks that by coming clean that they can spin this story in their favor, but for now, the band decides to keep the secret so their band doesn’t get blacklisted like the Misfits were back in the Stingers arc. The discussion about holograms instead of musical sound and fame is actually a nice transition to the Techrat/alternate universe, and it will be interesting to see if their interdimensional travel influences the possibility of Jem going public with her identity.
Jem and the Holograms: Infinite #1 starts strong with the fierce artwork of Silk‘s Stacey Lee, but then it becomes merely average when Jen Hickman takes over in the back half. Most of Kelly Thompson’s story is resetting the rival dynamic between the Holograms and Misfits and then pouring a whole can of multiversal science fiction into the mix. The Misfits and Holograms’ banter is sharp as ever so fans of the last comic book series shouldn’t be afraid to flip through this one.
Story: Kelly Thompson Artists: Stacey Lee, Jen Hickman Colors: Sarah Stern Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.3 Recommendation: Read
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Jem and the Holograms gets a “Comic Book Musice Video” courtesy of IDW Publishing based on their Jem and the Holograms comic books. The video features art by Sophie Campbell, M. Victoria Robado, W. Scott Forbes, M.J. Barros, Jen Bartel, Stacey Lee, Jenn St-Onge, Gisèle Lagacé, and Jason Millet with stories written by Kelly Thompson. The Jem and the Holograms theme song music is written by Robert J. Walsh (BMI), Ford Kinder (ASCAP), Anne Bryant (BMI), with lead vocals by Kirsten Gundel. Music, mixing, and backing vocals by Mike Scudieri Recording and engineering by Alex Zander. “Jem Fan” portrayed by Katie Courtney, cinematography by Jack Rivera, and directed by Steven Scott. The animation was provided by MoreFrames Animation.