DARK JEM [Amazon | The Book Depository] is the third volume of JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS, writer Kelly Thompson and artist Sophie Campbell’s take on the 80s icon. I must confess, I’ve been a bad Jem fan--I missed most of Volume Two, VIRAL. As per the comics tradition, though, this didn’t affect my enjoyment of DARK JEM. Yes, I’m sad I’ll have to read those vol 2 issues later than I might’ve done, but the story itself works perfectly well without them in the mix because Thompson and Campbell carefully seed their story with reminders as to the series’ overall premise and what’s happened in the recent past. I caught up easy-peasy and settled in to enjoy the ride.
Which is GREAT. Like, super-great. Like, all the Jemerrific goodness I loved in volume one with an extra dose of “let’s play with the wider comics tradition” in the mix. It delighted me and made me gasp in horror; my most favouritest combination, made all the better because it happened within one of my favourite comics.
The basic story is as follows: something’s wrong with Synergy, the AI the Holograms use to craft Jerrica’s stage persona and all their special effects. Really wrong. “Hey, let’s brainwash everyone,” wrong. Eep! Jerrica quickly falls under Synergy’s spell, and the other Holograms aren’t far behind her. With their new sound, they look set to infect everyone with Synergy’s pernicious virus and turn the world into a dark yet orderly hellscape.
Unless they can break Synergy's hold, round up a few helpers, and save everyone.