On June 14th, JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS by IDW completed its run with 26 issues. But that doesn’t mean the girls have had their last show, as fans will get an encore in the new JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS: INFINITE. The INFINITE series is going to take readers for an even wilder ride though. While Jem and Holograms have always been characterized by fantastical elements, INFINITE plans to take these aspects above and beyond. Unlike other comics in the JEM series, INFINITE will take the characters off the planet earth and into an entirely new dimension. In addition, the comics will crossover with THE MISFITS: INFINITE, a series about their rival band. And judging from the first issue, this series is going to be one awesome ride!

Glam Sci-Fi

With inter-dimensional travel on the menu, INFINITE definitely has more of a sci-fi flavor than the previous comics. Hologram tech isn’t actually too hard to imagine, seeing as the long-deceased Tupac can still perform live. However, alternate universes are not immediately apparent, as issue #1 starts out with a conflict between bands. The Holograms have a fight with The Misfits at a charity event, which leads Jem to wonder how much longer they can keep up their high-tech secret from fans.

Image courtesy of IDW Publishing

But as the story progresses, telling the truth and facing The Misfits’ rage seems like the least of their worries. When a strangely out-of-character Techrat shows up claiming he’s from another world, the Holograms are quick to laugh at him.  But it doesn’t take much more than opening a literal portal in the middle of the room to convince them. We don’t get to see the alternate universe yet, but we learn that somebody is using the same tech as the Holograms to wreak havoc.

READ: Need more colorful girl heroes? Sit down with the creators of ANOTHER CASTLE: GRIMOIRE!

Friends Come First

Focus on female friendships is one of the JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS’ best feature. Of course, there are romantic elements. Jem and her (now ex) boyfriend, Rio, are in their awkward “can we ever just be friends?” stage. But in JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS: INFINITE, this isn’t a huge plot point. Even Stormer and Kimber’s relationship (though still very cute and queer) doesn’t overshadow the tight-knit bond between the Holograms. This is nothing new for the franchise, but it’s always worth applauding healthy female friendships. Usually, the media depicts female friendship as easily broken and prone to catty behavior. Not to mention, it’s such a relief to read a comic with female characters that doesn’t struggle to pass the Bechdel Test.

In JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS: INFINITE (and the series as a whole), it’s clear that the girls respect one another. When considering whether or not to confess their secret to success to the world, Jerrica/Jem makes sure to ask everyone how they feel. It’s not just up to her. There’s no fighting and bickering when there’s a disagreement either. As for The Misfits, though, that’s a completely different ball game.

jem and the holograms: infinite
Image courtesy of IDW Publishing

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JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS has always had a great aesthetic since the ’80s. And the current artwork retains that ’80s flair with neon colors and Cyndi Lauper inspired fashion without being as cheesy as an actual ’80s cartoon. INFINITE is just as bright and colorful as its predecessors, but the change in artist gives it a feeling of its own. Originally, THE UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL artist Stacey Lee was to illustrate the series. However, due to some changes, Lee only illustrated the first half of issue #1. Luckily, THE DEAD artist Jen Hickman took over the reigns for the remainder of the issue, as well as issues #2 and #3.

Image courtesy of IDW Publishing

Hickman’s style is consistent with Lee’s, so much that I barely noticed the switch at all. This is no surprise, seeing as the art for JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS has been stellar across the board. The only difference in Infinite is the tonal change. As opposed to other issues of the series, this one is less pastel and more chaotic. The swaths of absolute black also give it a void-like depth that feels pretty galactic. There’s definitely a sci-fi shift here, and it’ll be interesting to see how much darker this series will be in comparison to the main comics.

CLICK: JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS isn’t the only awesome girl group IDW offers! Check out KIM AND KIM!

Overall, JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS: INFINITE #1 is a great start to the mini-series. The creators implement the sci-fi elements well without beating readers over the head with them. And to top it off, we can look forward to two different interconnecting stories. The next issue will center on The Misfits with equally lovely work by illustrator Jenn St-Onge. But for now, we must wait and wonder what lies on the other side of that portal.

You can pick up JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS: INFINITE #1 June 28th from any IDW-friendly comic store or through comiXology!

JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS: INFINITE #1 by Kelly Thompson and Jen Hickman
JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS: INFINITE #1 is fun and colorful, but I can feel the conflict brewing. With awesome art and an intriguing sci-fi plot, INFINITE #1 leaves me with high hopes for the following issues.
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calm before the storm

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