Thoughts on Jem and the Holograms by Kelly Thompson

If you wanted to re-imagine an 80’s cartoon show, this is how you would do it.  Ignore the movie – it’s probably going to suck anyway – you want Jem?  You want this comic.

Aja
Me too, Aja. Me too.

Growing up, I had missed the old T.V. show by a little – it was slightly before my time – so my first exposure to the outrageous band cartoon was a stint of me catching up with my childhood on Netflix.  As an adult watching the show, I enjoyed the incredible amount of 80’s-ness that seemed to glow from every pink and purple scene.  I enjoyed the stories, the characters, and the sheer campiness of it all.

When I heard about the comic, I was excited for that too.  I know taking something old and shining it up for new consumption is a worn out marketing tactic, but what can I say?  The teaser images were gorgeous, and I was ready to add something a little more lighthearted and fun to my pull list.  Not to mention it’s put out by IDW comics, and I’m always looking for titles that aren’t just Marvel or DC.

Oh boy, did this comic not disappoint me!

The Misfits
The infamous Misfits. From right to left (for newcomers) Jetta, Roxy, Pizzazz and Stormer.

Writer Kelly Thompson takes dated characters and plot lines, and with a skill rare to most, makes them modern and relevant while at the same time keeping the feel of the source material.  Not to mention the added diversity!  The Holograms were always a racially diverse group, but Thompson adds a wider range of sexuality (Kimber is a lesbian) and artist Sophie Campbell manages to work in a variety of body types as well.

The stories are always strong; filled with cute humor, romance, danger, and of course, the warmth and friendship the old show was known for.  The art is bright and colorful, bringing everything together in a way that just screams Jem.

Overall, the Jem and the Holograms comic is a delight for anyone looking for a solid, fun read.  It might not fly so well with the hardcore crowd, but this nostalgic reader gives it two thumbs up – not all comics have to be dark and gritty after all!

Jem is available through comixology, the IDW website, and any major comic shop.

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