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Writer: Kelly Thompson

Artist: Sophie Campbell

Publisher: IDW 

 

Issue #4 Defining Character

Afraid she’ll be dropped from her band The Misfits, Stormer breaks up with Kimber.

Stormer explains that the Pizzazz, the leader of The Misfits, thinks she’s been betrayed because she sees Kimber’s band as the competition. Stormer is convinced that the only reason she hasn’t been kicked out of the band yet is because she writes the songs. But there’s no time for a lengthy goodbye, both girls are supposed to be getting ready to perform. But after Stormer rushes off Kimber, she shows her true colors by running after her and initiating an intimate kiss out in the open.

 

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Meanwhile, Pizzazz who is always seconds away from a bitch-fit, she freaks out over the absence of Stormer and Clash.

And Clash is up to trouble, as usual. She arrives at the Starlight Foundation after having convinced Blaze to get her a gig as a food server the very night Jem and the Holograms will perform live for the first time. Yet she unexpectedly bumps into Kimber, very hard, as Kimber is hurrying to get back to the band. Kimber apologizes profusely but notices that this peculiar server is walking around with bolt cutters and a wrench.

 

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While Jerrica waits for Kimber, Rio shows up. Rio wants to help as the girls are busy setting up their instruments for the performance. He offers to get coffee. Yet when he returns, Jerrica is nowhere to be found and Jem invites herself to Jerrica’s latte. A special gesture Rio wanted Jerrica to receive. Of course Rio has no idea that Jem is a hologram that Jerrica uses as a disguise due to her stage fright. So Rio gather’s the impression that Jem is a bit of a diva.

This issue features classic behavior for all the characters in this reinvention of Jem.

Aja and Shana are loyal and there to support Jerrica. Kimber is the lyricist.  Rio is clueless and cute. However, Jerrica’s insecurity is a new take on the character compared to the TV series. In the TV show Jerrica was a leader with backbone. Yet, this new take could have an interesting turn of events.

 

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Issue 4 concludes as Jem and the Holograms take the stage. Clash’s sinister plan swings into action. Just as Jem starts singing, a large light plummets toward the band. To see who gets caught in its path of destruction you’ll have to read issue #5

 

Issue #5 Kimber Steals The Spotlight

As I looked through issue #5 of the Jem and the Holograms comic book I saw a checklist of what inspired me to watch the original animated TV show: fashionable outfits, female driven storylines, and neon – the hypnotizing hues owned by the 80’s.

 

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Just before a show, bad girl Clash weakens the support for a hanging stage light. During a Jem and the Holograms performance the light falls and traps Aja who is knocked unconscious. An ambulance is called and the girls and Jerrica pile into the vehicle. Concerned about Aja, Jerrica has forgotten about Jem until Rio asks about her. Jerrica asks her personal magic genie, Synergy, to conjure up an image of Jem in the distance getting into a cab. Jerrica tells Rio she’s headed for the hospital.

Later in the issue, Jem has one singing number. She is a fantasy figure much like Lady Gaga with unpractical but fabulous hair and wardrobe.

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Yet even worse when Jem is her true self, Jerrica, we have no way of connecting with this character. Going in a different direction than the TV show’s strong willed Jerrica; the comic paints this character as insecure. This characteristic limits Jerrica’s dialogue and the reader is never presented with Jerrica’s inner thoughts. When Rio expresses his lack of respect for Jem, who he says is never around, Jerrica comes to her defense but her arguments reveal nothing new about her. Then she storms off which leaves her relationship with Rio on the rocks.

 

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Jerrica’s qualities leave the spotlight open for Kimber who is automatically endearing because she reads like she walked out of our world and into this comic book. Kimber has a hairstyle I swear I’ve seen on the street: shaved on the sides long and playfully pink on the top. Plus, Kimber writes the songs whose lyrics we read in full which hint at her seriously juicy relationship with Stormer.   Pizazz, the leader of The Misfits will play dirty to get ahead. Knowing this provided the motivation for Clash to rig the stagelight that fell on Aja. However, Clashes plan backfires as Jem and the Holograms are featured on the cover of the newspaper making them more famous.

After Aja’s recovery, Jem and the Holograms kill some time before a performance at a Misfits sponsored battle of the bands festival and concert. Kimber takes off on her own to find food and in the process runs into Stormer. The girls share a passionate kiss.

Drawn to perfection the only thing missing is intent. In one scene they spot each other; in the next they are lip locked. Who leaned in first? These little details are essential to understanding the relationship.

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Later, Kimber rejoins the Holograms only to come face to face with The Misfits and Clash. Aja’s accident suddenly becomes a clear sign of foul play to Kimber when she remembers (from the last issue) seeing Clash backstage with bolt cutters and a wrench. Stormer tries to tell Kimber that she didn’t know anything about it but Kimber is pissed. The issue leaves the girls’ relationship mired with mistrust. Plus, there’s a colorful food fight between the two bands.

All in all this issue belongs to Kimber. I wonder if Jerrica/Jem will ever be able to take back the spotlight?

 

Terisa Thurman, a.k.a. San Francisco Terisa, is the Roving Reporter for the On the Page screenwriting podcast.  She has covered Comic Con, the Tribeca Film Festival and most recently traveled to New York to complete an internship at Filmmaker Magazine.

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