Jem & The Holograms

Cover2015 | IDW

Writing: Kelly Thompson
Letters: Robbie Robbins
Art: Sophie Campbell
Colour: Victoria Robado | Paul Mounts

With the future of the band threatened by breakup after Jerrica’s performance anxiety ruins another band audition, Kimber and Jerrica discover a gift left by their father: Synergy.

This had garnered a lot of squid hate after reading. Now, I remember the cartoon, I had a few of the dolls, but I hardly remember the story beyond a blonde girl has earrings that make her henshin into an idol via holographic projection weirds. I wasn’t big on the cartoon and remember I hardly ever watched it, but I still remember the theme song to this day. When I saw nostalgia striking the comic industry again, I had to at least see what it was and once I did, the hate flowed.

Let’s just start with premise. I don’t know if it was exactly this way in the show, but in the book, the band already exists and our main heroine has performance anxiety. In order to deal with it, rather than super rich daddy getting her some therapy to resolve the issue, decides to ignore it all by developing holographic technology. Now, Jerrica can hide behind a fake identity and be loved for who she’s pretending to be.  This is no Full Moon O Sagashite involving a 12-year-old girl with throat cancer aspiring to be an idol. This is just a spoiled rich brat with performance anxiety. Surely, there’s more interesting ways to reboot this series than that.

The other big object of my rage is stereotyping. Our two caucasian sisters, Jerrica and Kimber are slender. Shana, our african american, has a pear-shaped body type sporting quite the bootie. Aja, our asian girl, is chubby. … Yeah. Way to embrace all body types stereotyping.

I don’t like it. I really don’t like it. The idea of Jem being a holographic projection isn’t terrible. It’d be a good gimmick for the band. Hell, it sure shortens dressing room time. It’s a great idea for how idols could work in cyberpunk settings. That this all comes from anxiety just makes me roll my eyes and groan. Our non-perfect body typed band members seem to handle things just fine, so why can’t Jerrica just be okay with being herself and actually work on that anxiety? Oh, right, because no one can think of a better premise.

Done. I’m just done. Garbage.

Squiddy Thought Bites #1

My comic reading has been pretty steady, but there hasn’t been anything where I could write more than a tweet or two. I just haven’t been able to find enough things to say about things-even things I like. I’d hate to see this space vacant again for so long, so I’m going to start up a series dedicated to short, likely disjointed, and probably useless impressions.

Bat Lash. DC 2008. Issues #1-4.

This is a guy that has been around since the late sixties and one of few westerns I have read despite being a fan of a good gunslingin’ cattle drivin’ bar brawlin’ scalpin’ story. This mini was okay. After each issue I wanted to continue even though it didn’t really have a unique plot. Overall, the feel of the book fell more into the soap-opera variety revolving around a forbidden romance. It is the ending what ruined things for me. I half expected something along those lines, but not so… rigid. It also felt a bit on the rushed side even as comics go. For a formulaic feeling story, it still was a good read, but I’m not so sure these good feelings hold with my disappointment over the ending.

Lady Rawhide. Topps. 1996. Issue #1

This is very 90s. VERY 90s. I’m still in shock from the exposure. The exposition is really hard for me to get through. I could tolerate it back then, but now? You don’t even need pictures to know what’s going on and that really gets under my skin these days. Unless the art is crap, I can tell what I’m looking at and what’s going on without the narration. The content of the book is also very 90s and I could barely get through it. I still groan about it having to write this little blurb. I didn’t like it. I’m not sure if I will like it once I get used to it, but I do have more of it, so I may as well read them.

Marineman. Image. 2010. Issue #1

I don’t know what this is. Our hero is a marine bioligist tv-documentary star. The bulk of it seemed more of an educational thing than anything else. An event did happen with a free diver dying under mysterious circumstances, however, this issue doesn’t go anywhere with that. You get not villain introduction, no action, no build towards anything whatsoever, and no cliffhanger of any kind. It really didn’t go anywhere. It’s like watching a horror movie for 45 minutes waiting for something to happen. Nope. Don’t recommend it. Won’t be reading anymore.

Magnus Robot Fighter. Dark Horse. 2010. Issue #1

I had read some scattered classic issues of this guy, and I liked the cross-dressing guy well enough. I liked this one well-enough, but it didn’t pop. This isn’t anything I feel compelled to keep going with and there were a few places where I was a bit lost in what was going on. My interest just wasn’t held enough for me to want anymore. Also, I would never name my crayon red cat Tomato.

Chronos. DC. 1998. Issues #1-3

A time traveling thief gets into a lot of trouble. It reminds me of old shows like Time Trax, Quantum Leap, and Sliders. It’s not terrible as far as writing and art goes, but it also doesn’t grab me, either. I’m just not interested in the story or his problems or the interesting twist that’s there. I believe I have all of it, so I will read through it, but, again, 90s. Not that there is anything wrong with words, and this isn’t nearly as bad as Lady Rawhide, I still think some of them don’t need to be there.

Deity Requiem. Image. 2005. Issue #1

This was a hefty book with some pretty good Michael O’Hare art. It seems to be more-or-less a self-contained story, but it’s evident that it’s part of a much larger whole and I’m interested in seeking out more of it. It’s a nice blend of fantasy sci-fi with religion thrown into the mix of the whole dark world vs light world thing. Yes, it is a tired concept, but I actually enjoyed this. It had a nice fold-out cover, too.

Demo “The Waking Life of Angels”. Vertigo. 2010. Issue #1

Of the batch of things I’m reviewing this post, this is the best. This book is so far above the others in terms of storytelling, writing, and art. It captivated me after just a few panels and by the end, I immediately put it on my list for my next shopping trip. It has a very almost Hitchcock feel to the story in which you weren’t entirely sure what was going on, but you knew it wouldn’t end too well.

The Devil’s Keeper. Alias. 2005. Issue #1

Terrible. Boring. Done. I didn’t even make it through the entire issue before returning it to its sleeve and filing it away. Sadly, I have more of it. Oh, well.

Doc Macabre. IDW. 2010. Issue #1

This was another big winner out of this batch. This is a different kind of Ghostbuster and I really enjoyed it. He charges a fee for his services and uses tech of his invention to deal with the supernatural disturbances. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but I was pleasantly surprised. Will be getting more of this one, too.

Doctor Solar Man of the Atom. Dark Horse. 2010. Issue #1

This is another classic character I had been interested in reading more modern appearances of. I liked this one more than Magnus, but again, I wasn’t particularly grabbed by it. I felt bored reading it and didn’t care too much for the issue’s crisis. I’ll be giving this a pass.

Aside

X-Files Season 10 #1 – Believers Part 1

CoverJun 2013 | IDW

Story: Joe Harris | Chris Carter
Writing: Joe Harris
Art: Michael Walsh
Colour: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Robbie Robbins

After leaving the X-Files and starting a new life in anonymity, Scully and Mulder find themselves swept up in the paranormal once again as something weird starts sniffing around. 

So, we’re past the movies. They’ve left the FBI and have started a new life together to escape everything, but they’re like flypaper for this stuff. Skinner comes over with the warning that their systems got hacked and X-Files stuff possibly got compromised, and then he nearly hung himself because something got into his head. We actually saw them when Skully had to deal with them and things don’t look good. I’m not sure if it’s aliens, or something more interesting. The cover’s spooky and I expected aliens and some are given psychic abilities in various media so it could still be. I’m curious. I need to know.

I’m not digging the art very much, though. They roughly look like who they’re supposed to be, but… I dunno. I just don’t feel it. I’m in a weird state about it. I guess it’s from me expecting more detailed art than what it is. Oh, well. I still enjoyed the book. I always liked X-Files. The early stuff, anyway. It got pretty lame in the later seasons.  At least the movies went back to their roots.

Star Trek Infestation #1

Star Trek Infestation #1

Cover

Feb 2011 | IDW

Writing: Scott Tipton | David Tipton
Pencils: Gary Erskine | Casey Maloney
Ink:>Gary Erskine
>Colour: Luis Antonio Delgado
Letters: Chris Mowry

Kirk and his away team, Bones, Spock, and a couple of security officers, head down to a planet where Bones will be receiving an award for a medical achievement. Trouble soon begins when they learn the colonists have been infected with a strange disease.

After reading and being disappointed by Transformers Infestation #1, it was hard not expecting this one to not follow suit. Fortunately, this issue didn’t suck. Events progressed at a good pace, the characters didn’t act out-of-character, and it felt like actual progress was made, unlike the previous garbage. I’m fairly confident things will get better from here, but I’m still worrying about the remaining universes. Transformers Infestation still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

The only little problem I had with this book was Kirk’s hair. It’s way brown. I didn’t really recognize him until someone threw out his name. Other than that, I really enjoyed this issue. The scenario and how things unfolded was believable which is what I really needed after the scare Transformers gave me. I’ll be pressing on and hoping for the best.

Transformers Infestation #1

Tranformers Infestation #1 Cover

Cover

Feb 2011 | IDW

Writing: Dan Abnett | Andy Lanning
Art: Nick Roche
Colour: Joana Lafuente
Letters: Robbie Robbins

The infestation has hit Transformers’ Earth. The Decepticons had responded first, with the autobts following suit to put them in their place. To deal with the threat, a force dome is put up. They have twenty hours.

I’m not sure if I’m disappointed, or not. The issue pretty much busts right into the outbreak and the Decepticons demanding Prime and his autobats fall under his command to stop the zombie outbreak. The way the issue was handled with just a big fight and Prime taking charge of the scene seemed kinda lame. Why couldn’t they just work together? All that fighting just wasted time.

More happened in Infestation #1 than this. That’s upsetting. I expected as much content as the previous, and it just didn’t deliver. Fighting, fighting, fighting, we setup a force dome. We’ll start figuring things out next issue. It didnt’ really have a good cliffhanger, either, with Britt showing up, which brings me to another complaint.

I do not like Britt’s character design in this universe. She looks ugly and retarded and too much like a girl. If she’s going to be a robot, why not make her look more like a robot than a girl with robot parts snapped on? It’s so disappointing for me. I had been looking forward to seeing whether her apperance would be different from her Vampire one, and they throw that ugly piece of garbage at me.

So, the transformers infestation doesn’t live up to the quality and enjoyment presented in the previous issue. There’s still the other Universes, and there may be a chance at redemption, but I’m not very confident. A lot of time was wasted on Transformers autobot/decepticon rivalry. The little bits of meat you got about the infestation, like how it started when Galvatron tells his story, is actually pretty good. Why couldn’t we just not fight, or cut it short for more zombie goodness? Ah, well. Can’t win them all.

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