Kimber and Stormer in Jem and the Hologram comics

Jem & the Holograms Should Get the She-Ra Animated Treatment

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As I nursed my sorrow over She-Ra and the Princesses of Power coming to an end, I ended up rereading one of my favorite comic series—the Jem and the Holograms reboot comic released by IDW in March 2015 that was written by Kelly Thompson with art by Sophie Campbell.

Jem was an animated musical television series that ran from 1985 to 1988, a joint collaboration between Hasbro, Sunbow Productions and Marvel Productions (does this mean Jem is in the MCU?). It was a show meant to help sell a line of toys (as were many cartoons of its day), which got so popular that even Barbie responded with her own rock girl group. Despite not lasting that long on-air, the show had such a legacy that even I heard about it despite not being born until ’92.

The premise of the show is centered around Jerrica Benton, the owner and manager of Starlight Music, who after the death of her father discovers a super holographic computer named Synergy. Synergy allows Jerrica to transform into Jem, who becomes the lead singer of the rock group the Holograms, along with her younger sister Kimber and her foster sisters, Aja Leith and Shana Elmsford.

During the series, they have two main music rivals: The Misfits (which, yes is a real band, but no they are not similar) and The Stingers. The Misfits have always been my favorite part of the show and yes, their songs are better.

When the 2015 comic book series came out, much like She-Ra, the series took the already existing queerness and diversity and elevated it for a modern-day audience—including giving us the Kimber/Stormer relationship that many of us wanted after seeing the episode where they split up from their subsequent girl groups and become a duo.

The last attempt to reboot Jem was with a horrible, widely panned 2015 live-action movie that still makes me mad when I think about it too hard. What it really needs is to be reborn in animated glory with a modern sensibility. With all the ways that Dreamworks Animation and others have revived things like She-Ra and Voltron, something like Jem would not only have that same nostalgia audience but it would be fun to work on. The music videos, the weird hair. The fashion. If they decided to still make it an ’80s show setting they can really have a lot with that—just update it the way Thompson and Campbell did.

I didn’t grow up with Jem obviously, but since I first watched the show, I’ve been obsessed with it and its unexplored potential. I have the complete series, I have the Funko pops, and I even listen to a lot of the songs (a bunch of them are actually really good).

If there was a show people were looking to make to fill in the queer, colorful space that She-Ra has left behind, I nominate Jem as the ’80s product to reboot. It’s got the fanbase, it’s got the style, it’s got the rebooted template to pull from—why not?

(image: IDW)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.