Review: Jem And The Holograms #17

Full-disclosure: I've never had any exposure to Jem & The Holograms before now. I like to try new things though (retro in this case), and what I saw made me think that for those who have a background with these characters, they are probably loving this series, because even as someone who doesn't have one, I liked what I read. Though, I can't help but feel that this is a bit of a niche piece. Coming into this, we've obviously come from a dark place for everyone involved with the events involving Silica. Relationship drama, both romantic and friendly for our heroines also looks to be...mostly resolved, but when is that ever really the case?

Jem17_cvrABut aside from being heroes, our girls are also musicians in a famous band. So, it makes sense we'd find our heroes in the studio,  when Shana isn't really feeling it, causing a short end to the session, but leading to what appears to be a pretty epic lake day! At the lake, curiously, Jem "forgets" to turn off her Hologram and later engages with a heart-to-heart with her drummer.

The art by Jen Bartel is fitting and applies to the source material really well. Very 80's look and feel to the art and does a great job of complimenting the writing by Kelly Thompson. My one complaint on that front would be the lack of references I'm too young to understand, but that's nitpicking.

One aspect of the writing that I really enjoyed getting to learn about these characters. Thompson did a great job of making these women very real and actually kind of modern. There troubles, while having a bit of the superheroes typical problems, were the kind you would possibly see on some teen drama on TV. What do the kids watch these days? Is Teen Wolf still a thing? Cause that's about what I was getting at.

On the downside, if you're not already at least interested in Jem, I would refrain from starting in the middle of things like this. Not a good jumping on point. I had some difficulty relating to the situations of the characters, because of a lack of investment. Aside from that, things are a bit slow in this episode up until the end. Not a lot of action to speak of, but coming from the events of the previous issues, that's understandable.

Also of note, if you don't know the characters, remembering who is who can take awhile, especially since the boyfriends didn't show up until the end. Thankfully, after more reading, with their distinctively colored hairs, remembering who is who in what band likely ceases to be a problem.

Taking all that into account, overall this wasn't a bad book, but if you're like me and more into your superhero books, this issue is a stark departure. If you like your media more slice of life, this is a solid book.

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Jem And The Holograms

Publisher: IDW Writer: Kelly Thompson Artist: Jen Bartel Price: $3.99 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital