Written By Kelly Thompson
Art by Amy Mebberson & M. Victoria Robado
Published by IDW Publishing
Release Date: December 16, 2015

The Misfits may be frightful, but the Holograms are surely delightful.

It’s Secret Santa time and guess who has to give each other gifts? The Holograms and the Misfits struggle with finding gifts for each other, but with the help of Kimber and Stormer, everyone gets something that warms their hearts. While things may go back to normal before long, this holiday these rival bands got to change things up for their holiday.

This entire special was sweet and heartwarming, and reminiscent of the original animated Jem series. There was a conflict, a lesson, and in the end everyone gets to have the happy feels. Through the entire issue, I was enthralled with the relationship between the Misfits and the Holograms. More than anything, though, I was especially amazed by how Stormer and Kimber’s relationship bridged the bands, serving a major purpose in pushing the story.

Kelly Thompson writes some truly excellent relationship dynamics. In particular, the interactions between Aja and Shana, Jem and Pizzazz, Kimber and Stormer, or essentially just Kimber and everyone were awesome and full of life, joy, and complexity. These relationships drive the story in this issue, and Thompson does these characters justice by masterfully connecting them.

The art in this issue wonderfully conveyed the myriad emotions we can experience during the holidays, from happiness and mirth to frustration. Amy Mebberson’s art threw me off at first because the bodies appeared smaller and a bit childlike, but through the issue I realized the importance of the scale of the bodies. Each of the characters feels young and lively, which was an integral part of the Jem and the Holograms Holiday Special. I especially loved Mebberson’s job on the diverse bodies, an important mainstay of this series, were out in full force and figure.

Victoria Robado’s colors pop: the Holograms are a bit more colorful and bubbly, while the Misfits have a neon rage thing going on, save for Stormer’s softness. Throughout Robado’s work, there’s an added depth and life in each of the characters, perfect for a holiday themed comic. The same bubblegum punk touch is there, and the colors bring out something special within each of the panels.

My favorite moment in this issue was when the Holograms and the Misfits open their presents from each other. None of them had the same reaction, but they were all some shade of gratitude, wonder, and happiness. The best part though? Seeing Pizzazz be kind and thankful for Jem’s gift to her. While she didn’t like the prospect of being kind to Jem, the look on her face reminds me of the times when I have received a gift so thoughtful that it nearly brought me to tears. Seeing that expression on Pizzazz’s face was the shining moment of this holiday issue.

For something fun and light and infused with the feels, pick up this issue. You definitely won’t be disappointed. It’s a great take on the relationship between the Misfits and the Holograms and has some excellent character moments that I hope will continue to happen.

Also: Who’s going to buy me a Rainbow Dash onesie? Or Rarity if you find one 😉

The Verdict: 10/10


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