Comic review issue #5
July 27, 2015
The fifth issue of 20 pages of stories, is released on July 29, with four different covers in total. The artists behind the variations are Sara Richard as previous issues, and the others are done by Stephanie Hans and Jenevieve Broomall.
This comic by IDW Publishing, is a co-creative process between the writer Kelly Thompson, and the comic book artist Sophie Campbell. Colors by M. Victoria Robado, letters by Shawn Lee, and edits by John Barber.
This fifth part in a series will finally give us an explanation to that funny cover of Kimber and Stormer, and also tell us what happened to Jem in the last issue, what happens between Jerrica and Rio, how Rio really views Jem, and much more.
Recently I wrote an article on this site, about what advantages Jem had compared to other 80's cartoons. One point, was how the transformation scene was handled, where I asked why it was only ever shown in Jem, but not in other cartoons, when the main character changes back. Well here the changing-back is shown aswell, as Jem changes back to Jerrica. Sophie could easily have ignored the transformation-sequence, but was able to make it look understandable in the comic format, and even cool.
Infact this issue dives into the Jem/Jerrica dual identities a bit more, and we get to see some Jerrica-having-to-create-a-diversion, including a taxi in this case, with a fun easter egg on the license plate.
But, instead of Jerrica saving the day with her clever way of making Jem appear at the same time as a hologram, it gets her into more trouble, with Rio. He is more clever in these comics after all, being a reporter.
In this issue there's more lyrics, and this time the lyrics run through progressive scenes without any talking by the characters. Something similar was done in the cartoon, but a lot of the time the music videos were only artistic or kept the characters in the same moment. I love both ways of doing music videos, but this works perfectly for comics, showing us as many situations as possible and quickly.
Some nice characteristics I noticed, recognizable from the cartoon, are that Aja is working on a vehicle, and Shana on fashions. And Pizzazz is quite recognizable when she complains that some mischief caused by Clash gave Jem and the Holograms some headlines, rather than caring about their safety.
Some new things though is that Pizzazz appears to have a cat (I got the feeling she hated them in the cartoon), Jetta does some boxing, and Synergy is becoming more of a character of herself by interacting more. And some details adding to realism, when someone is injured they get bruises (I guess they couldn't show blood in the cartoon), and Shana wears glasses when designing fashions.
I like how Sophie draws a scene from two angles. It shows us what happens in the other part of the room between the other character at the same time, in the background, and vice versa when the focus shifts.
Lots of new nice looking hairstyles and fashions in this issue, Pizzazz' pajamas is so funny, Blaze's jogging wear looks great, Jetta continues to wear only black and white (except for her boxing gloves), Stormer's orange dress is beautiful, and I also like Jerrica's pink and black dress.
One of the secondary bands from the cartoon, Limp Lizards, make a quick appearance, well atleast they are mentioned, but I'm not sure I recognize them.
Another character which is released as a doll this year by Integrity Toys makes his appearance for the first time in this issue. And he looks very different! He is not mentioned by name but I'm sure it's him.
And two more Hasbro line easter eggs! And as for the amount of Pizza-eating in this issue, maybe it's just me, or is that a Ninja Turtles reference? Sophie is drawing that comic aswell after all.
The very last page of art in this comic is hilarious. I could use a poster of that, oh and that truly scary close-up of Pizzazz' face.
Lastly this issue sets up for some new interesting cliffhangers for next issue which will be part six in this series, like what will happen between Jerrica and Rio, and Kimber and Stormer, will Clash face any consequences, and who was that guy? It remains to be seen what happens in the next issue. This comics series is not done by far after next issue though, it's just that after that starts a new series drawn by Emma Vieceli. But I assume it's more or less a continuation since it's written by Kelly Thompson. I think of it like a new cartoon episode, each episode being six comic issues each.
Also in this issue are reader letters included again, but no character bios this time.
I've been thinking, this comic oughta be translated into other languages. After all, the cartoon was! Several 80's books and the 80's comics were aswell. And even the upcoming movie will be dubbed and subtitled. I don't want this comic to be the only Jem release that can only be enjoyed in English!