Review of Jem and the Holograms Outrageous Annual #1 (SPOILERS!)

Jem Annual Banner 2

Jem and the Holograms Outrageous Annual #1

IT’S SHOWTIME SYNERGY!!!!! The Jem Outrageous Annual #1 is here!!! Kelly Thompson and the talented artists Jen Bartel, Amy Mebberson, Arielle Jovellanos, Rebekah Isaacs, and Agnes Garbowska are kicking ass and taking names! Sophie Campbell’s art can be seen in the previously and guest list pages. It’s movie night, yet the sisters can never agree on what film to watch! Here’s my spoiler filled review of the issue! OH and ComicVine has the covers as well now that the issue is out. You can see that HERE.

Here’s the way the annual breaks down. There are 5 stories, so I’m going to write my review that Way. Talking about the writing and art in each story. If you haven’t heard THE PULL BAG’s JEM COVERAGE of the first story arc SHOWTIME, then CLICK HERE, to get all those podcasts! When you see the 5 cover images, I tried to match them to the stories! Well I matched th ones that fit to the stories. Now for the annual….

Jem Outrageous Annual Cover (3)


Jem Annual Page 1

Wired is the story that bookends the annual. It is the setup and after that we are taken through each sister’s dream sequence. I’ve not read the IDW MLP comics, so I have yet to see Amy Mebberson’s art until now. I’d seen all covers she did for the first two issues of Jem, and I fell in love with her art. So it’s awesome to see it here. Wired, and the rest of the annual takes place right after the events of issue #6. So the girls are coming home after the best night of their lives. Naturally they have too much energy at first, and then they decide to have a movie night. One problem they can never agree on what movie to watch. They all end up falling asleep. I love how Kelly Thompson wrote this introduction. It’s an awesome way to get into the dreams of the sisters. As Thompson continues to write this title… you can clearly tell that she loves doing it. I mean what comic writer will write “adorable snoring” as a description of the events taking place?!! My only question about this opening is how the heck did Kimber get under the coffee table??

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“Jem Wolf”

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So Thompson’s first story is a Teen Wolf spoof entitled Jem Wolf. It is always nice to see that the 80s still rule for Jem. Arielle Jovellanos and Josh Burcham are on art and colors respectively here. When I saw Josh’s name… I was like woah AWESOME!!!! Josh Burcham is an amazing colorist. It did take me a few pages here to get used to Arielle Jovellanos’s art. But I came around and really dig it. So this is the Jerrica-Jem story within the annual, and it explores her struggle with the dual identity. To those of you who were complaining about th whole stage fright thing, when the Jem comic was first announced…. get over it. Thompson writes the character to be very complex, and the issues Jerrica struggles with are very real. The way I see this Jem Wolf story is that Jerrica wants to sing with it just being her. Yet she can’t do it without Jem. The strange thing is that even her sisters point out that’s why they created Jem was because Jerrica needed a mask. My hope for the series is that at one point we do get to see Jerrica get over the stage fright, yet they keep Jem around to give Jerrica an outlet to express herself, without needing to feel vulnerable all the time. At the end of this story it makes me wonder what will Jerrica do? As far as the art goes really dug it… especially how Jem Wolf and the holograms looked together.

Jem Outrageous Annual Cover (1)

“Angry Aja Beyond the Thunder Rotunda”

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Kelly Thompson will fight me on this, but in reality we all know Aja is by far the scariest driver on the road! However after reading this story I really am digging Aja even more than before. Apparently we are living in the aftermath of the apocalypse in this story. Aja is the loner chick…. However it turns out that she doesn’t want to be that anymore. Rebekah Isaacs and Jonana Lafuente join Kelly Thompson for this story. Isaacs art is amazing and Lafuente’s colors always so awesome to see them!!! With Kelly’s writing here… again I love how she writes the descriptions of actions going on in each panel. So fun, and funny! So we are two stories into the annual, and what my take away from it is that these dreams are dealing with the inner demons of the girls. Something you normally wouldn’t see in a regular issue. I’ve never actually seen any of the Mad Max films, but I like the premise of it being used as a story for Aja. I loved the little girl who Aja gets to guard her car…. MIIIIIINNEEEEE!!! That was so cute. What I love most about this annual is various artists getting to put their own spin on the Jem comic characters!!! In one short story Kelly Thompson has given Aja so much character depth.

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“Shana Wars”

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“My Favorite movie, and I have to be stuck in this part!”

In a galaxy far far away! Well not exactly, maybe in a dreamscape far far away! Thompson is joined by Jen Bartel on art and colors here. This story read so well, and it is both funny, and sad at the same time. I was kinda wondering when we were gonna get around to exploring Shana’s love for being a fashion designer, and I’m so glad it was here. Again the format of having them dream what they want or their fears is a powerful story device here. Kelly Thompson writes this to be very funny, and I love that. Shana is serious, yet Yoda-Synergy is the funny Yoda from the beginning of the training. Shana has some great quips in here. Jen Bartel’s art is awesome!!! This is my first time seeing her stuff, but it works so well. The backgrounds, colors, shading, and designs on the characters are all well done.

Jem Outrageous Annual Cover (2)

“Jem Babies”

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The Final Story here in the annual is Jem Babies! It has Kelly on writing with Agnes Garbowska on the art and colors. Obviously a Muppet Babies homage, and it’s just so awesome!! First of all the Misfits and the Holograms living in the same house and getting along??? That’d never happen, but it does here. Synergy Nanny gives all the girls a kitten, we even see a brief appearance of Baby Rio, so cool!!! The girls have to share the kitten. Which neither group wants to share with the other. This story is more about learning a lesson overall versus any one character getting character depth. We see that kimber and Stormer team up to write a song for the new kitten whose name is Mis-Gram! Really loved this story it has all the cute you could want, it’s very funny, and interesting to se the Jem characters drawn as Muppet Babies style!

Jem Annual Synergy Nanny

Final Thoughts:

WOW that was such a fun read!!!! I freakin’ love the Jem annual. Each story had a little bit of something for everyone. So can’t wait to see what they do in the next annual! You can get Jem and the Holograms Outrageous Annual #1 from Comixology digitally or any of your local comic shops!

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Review Overview



The Jem Outrageous Annual is truly outrageous! It allows Kelly thompson the freedom to write something that connects to the story going in the series, at the same time it can also be fun and slightly outside the lines. After reading this twice and enjoying it both times... I am hoping all Jem fans will pick it up and get the same enjoyment out of it as I have.

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TFG1Mike is a geek with many interests. He has been podcasting for over a decade, and sees no stopping point in sight. From Transformers, He-Man, Batman, Comics, movies, video games, cartoons, and so much more, Mike has a zeal for the things he loves, and he will bring the hammer down on the things that he has a disdain for. He's generally a postive person, but negativity can creep in there. Mike is all about the innuendos and innuendon'ts too. You'll hear him on many of The GCRN podcasts!

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