Jem and the Holograms: Dimensions #1 is a quirky, fun read. The comic features two short stories. “Catnap,” written and drawn by Sophie Campbell and colored by Victoria Robado, follows Misfits groupie Clash as she attempts to juggle cat sitting, skiing, and Holograms-inspired pranks. Not only does this story feature a somewhat frivolous (deliciously so) storyline– I mean, character development, sure, but the plot is light and entertaining—but Campbell and Robado have really leaned into a particular ‘80s comics vibe, featuring banana yellow and puffy white coordinated ski suits. I found it a little refreshing, too, to see the Holograms/Misfits rivalry/obsession figured in a not-so-one-sided way; it’s the Holograms, or at least their fans, that come out looking a little shady in this one.
“Roll With It,” the second story which is written by Kate Leth, drawn by Tana Ford, and colored by Brittany Peer, is almost equally frivolous, though this one delves into some tensions between Jerrica and her band mates. After a long and exhausting tour, Jerrica just wants some rest. Though Kimber and the rest of the band echo her sentiment, they all seem to rely on Jerrica too much to really let her relax. Synergy and D&D to the rescue! My favorite feature of this story has to be the layering effect that the creative team used to depict Synergy’s form and abilities. Synergy herself is given a humanoid form, but one that remains translucent. A similar effect is used in depictions of the band mates’ D&D characters who appear as miniature, translucent fantasy figures that resemble their players.
I grew up watching the Jem and the Holograms animated TV show, and this is my first foray into Jem and the Holograms comics. I am impressed; this comic retains the shared sense of fun and bada** factor that made the TV show so fun! Some rad updates that existing Jem comics fans may be aware of, but which I think deserve mentioning, include that the series leans in to the undeniable queer vibe that has existed throughout the Jem cannon, and that the series has diversified the cast in several important ways; Holograms and Misfits alike have a range of body types and skin colors.