JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS: DIMENSIONS #1
Written by Sophie Campbell and Kate Leth
Art by Sophie Campbell, Tana Ford, M. Victoria Robado, Brittany Peer and Shawn Lee
Published by IDW Publishing
Release Date: December 6, 2017
Jem and the Holograms: Dimensions is a new ongoing anthology comic which features our favorite glamorous, glittery, fashionable and famous characters in a variety of stories. It’s two stories in one issue, so I’m going to do two mini-reviews of each.
“CATNAP” by Campbell, Robado, and Lee
This first half features a tale heralded by the return of original series artist Sophie Campbell, not only on art but also with her Jem solo writing debut! Clash is supposed to go on a ski trip with Blaze and their friend Misty, but is ordered to care for Pizzazz’s cat Madmartigan while the Misfits are on tour. Solution? Clash takes the cat with her on the ski trip.
In a weird twist, it’s the Holograms’ friends Video (Clash’s cousin) and new characters Graphix and Shade who are making mischief for Team Misfits, kidnapping Madmartigan and playing a cruel game of keep-away down a ski slope with him. In the end, Clash and Misty get the cat back with help from Blaze.
Sophie Campbell’s first Jem script is lighthearted and fun, introducing a total of three new characters for us to enjoy: Misty, Graphix, and Shade. I like the reversal that not all of the Holograms’ friends are sweetness and light, and some of the Misfits’ entourage are capable of kindness. As a cat lover, however, I’m not especially comfortable with seeing one treated cruelly, even in fiction.
What I’ve truly missed from Campbell is her art. Her Jem fan redesigns were what got her the job on the comic in the first place, and every character is unique and vivacious, as animated as they can get without literally being so. Robado’s colors kind of confused me at times. I’m used to seeing Video with blonde hair and between that and her makeup, I confused her with Clash more than once before the context corrected me.
“ROLL WITH IT” by Leth, Ford, Peer, and Lee
Jem and the Holograms play Dungeons & Dragons.
Jem and the Holograms play Dungeons & Dragons.
JEM. AND. THE HOLOGRAMS. PLAY. DUNGEONS. AND. DRAGONS.
Kate Leth, you magnificent, perfect human being, you have rolled a nat 20 to capture my heart. This second tale takes place after the events of the “Infinite” storyline, and gives us a breather after that intense adventure.
Jerrica is having issues not being a 24/7 workaholic, and Kimber forces her to put the laptop away and relax. While Kimber does have a point, she disregards what Jerrica wants and steamrolls over her desires in the name of fun. After a great scene of everyone rolling up their characters, Jerrica finds herself in the Dungeon Master’s role, which…look, Kimber, if you think DMing isn’t a massive workload, maybe you need to spend some quality time with the manuals. I’m just saying.
If you’re familiar with the Dead Alewives, there’s actually a sequel to their famous D&D sketch (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKa9lfiGBqs), and this issue gives Jerrica a glorious “THE BLACKSMITH TURNS INTO A DRAGON AND EATS YOU!” moment.
D&D aside, I like where Leth went with this, and it’s some really consistent characterization from the previous Jem comics. Jerrica constantly puts the weight of the world on her shoulders and doesn’t exactly have a surplus of offers from her sisters to help out with her workload. Kimber does try to get Jerrica to lighten up, but she often goes too far in the other direction into flat-out irresponsibility.
This is my first exposure to Tana Ford’s art, and I like it a lot. It’s incredibly expressive and occasionally breaks away from circumscribed panel layouts with fun shapes and page bleeds. There’s a lot of humor in it, and the D&D splash page is nerd heaven. Brittany Peer’s colors are great as usual, with a sunset palette throughout, although Ford has a tendency to leave backgrounds blank to focus on foreground characters, so there isn’t much for her to color there. Shawn Lee’s lettering is consistently sharp and easy to read, even if the balloon placement was a bit confusing on the D&D character splash page.
Jem: Dimensions looks to be a promising series with a ton of variety and numerous women creators onboard. I’m still hoping we get to see more of the fallout from Infinite in future Dimensions issues, because that was probably my favorite series of 2017 and it deserves more exploration.
To close out the issue, just when I didn’t think it could get better, Synergy decides to DM the Tomb Of Horrors. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go grab my Player’s Handbook for…reasons.
The Verdict: 9.0/10