Out now, Jem and the Holograms: Dimensions is a collection of short stories set in and around the Jem universe. Before each tale are notes to let you know just when it takes place, using the latest comic Jem and the Holograms: Infinite as a reference point. With two stories per issue you won't find the complex, sci-fi plot of its predecessor, but Dimensions has plenty of charm all on its own.
Issue #1 starts with "Catnap", a story written and illustrated by well-known Jem artist Sophie Campbell. It follows mega-groupie-turned-assistant Clash as she finds herself stuck with the arduous task of babysitting Pizzazz's prized cat, Madmartigan. Throw in a ski trip, a jaded Clash annoyed by the whole ordeal, and a trio of Misfit hating baddies, and you end up with a recipe for disaster.
As is usual when Campbell is involved, the art of "Catnap" is stunning and true to the series. Each character expresses their unique style with a burst of dramatic '80s flair, even when bundled up against the elements. Misty, Clash's companion in this tale, is designed with a bit more subtly in mind, yet still fits into wacky style of the Jem world with a technicolor hijab and dramatic eye makeup.
Aside from the bright wardrobe, "Catnap" is a fun story that finds its home in Dimensions easily. It establishes the lighter air and more compact storytelling of the anthology while giving underutilized characters time to shine.
The second story, "Roll With It", is set after Infinite and finds the girls trying to relax from their stressful life with a quick game of Dungeons & Dragons. Of course, as anyone who has played knows that "quick" and "D&D" don't really go together. Jerrica, forced away from her work and into the role of DM, is fast to find that there are plenty of problems that come from running a campaign as well. With the addition of Synergy and the all-too-familiar problems that players face, writer Kate Leth nails this relatable story.
Tana Ford takes over art for "Roll With It", giving a more detailed and expressive look to the cast. Each action and reaction is drawn larger than life — perfect, given the drama that follows the Holograms through everything they do.
This anthology has a more muted palette than previous books, but that works for the series. It can be hard with the varied cast to stop the pages from looking like a technicolor nightmare. Colorists M. Victoria Robado ("Catnap") and Brittany Peer ("Roll With It") do a stellar job of keeping the pages balanced and aesthetically pleasing.
Jem and the Holograms: Dimensions #1 spells more good things for the universe; I look forward to picking up the next issue.
You can grab Jem and the Holograms: Dimensions #1 now for $3.99.