JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS: DIMENSIONS #3
Written by Nicole Goux and Sam Maggs
Art by Nicole Goux, Rachel Stott, Rebecca Nalty, Marissa Louise, and Shawn Lee
Edited by Sarah Gaydos
Published by IDW Publishing
Release Date: February 7, 2018
In this tale by Nicole Goux, the Starlight Girls are determined to finally perform in front of an audience. Unfortunately, that audience is at an 18+ venue. Ashley was always the most brash and impulsive of the orphans of Starlight House, so it’s fitting that she’s the one who is driven to perform there at any cost.
While it was nice to showcase the girls’ ingenuity, it’s left hollow by the fact that the Holograms cheated to get them in (without their knowledge, but still). If the point was to show off the resourcefulness and persistence of young teen girls as they take their first steps away from needing the guidance of their elders, it fell flat due to the Holograms’ interference. What did work was the message of overcoming obstacles in the face of fear and even failure, and the importance of working with a supportive team.
Goux’s art is a very fun, kinetic, indie-comic style that evokes hints of Brittney Williams and Bryan Lee O’Malley. No panel ever feels boring and everyone’s body language is natural. Even “talking head” shots are framed in such a way that your mind is mentally animating the panel. The backgrounds are a bit empty and rely on Rebecca Nalty to paint them in pastel pink, blue and yellow to keep them from being distracting, but considering how dynamic the figures are, it’s for the best, lest the panels feel too cluttered. Shawn Lee’s lettering nicely blends into both this and the next story, and is always easy on the eyes, especially since a letterer of lesser talent might have distracted from the energy of art like this.
This story by Sam Maggs is a cute haunted house caper that felt too short to really shine. A full issue of this could have given the audience better character interactions between some interesting Holograms/Misfits pairings. Putting Jerrica with Blaze and Roxy with Raya were intriguing choices, and it was neat that Roxy and Raya got to utilize their physical strength – something drummers would absolutely have a lot of. I’d like to see more subtle touches like that, as well as interactions between characters we don’t usually see together. I mean all of this as a compliment, as I definitely want to see more of Maggs’ writing in this world.
I wasn’t a fan of Rachel Stott’s art here. It seemed almost Picasso in places, with figures and faces drawn at jutting, weird angles. It somehow works for Pizzazz and Jetta, but the other characters are overexaggerated. Marissa Louise makes a small but jarring coloring error in the first panel, but that could very well have been the printer’s fault – I admittedly know only very slightly above squat about coloring. Everything else is crisp and striking, focusing more on flat colors rather than gradients to give it that old-school cartoon feel.
Overall, not the best Jem comic I’ve read, but it’s still pretty good, and it might be that Infinite was such a good storyline that I’m over-anxious to get back to it. Anthologies are great opportunities to showcase creators, but my personal preferences swing more towards longer storylines, so your mileage may vary.
The Verdict: 6.0/10