I am absolutely loving this graphic novel reboot of the old 1980s cartoon. Jem and the Holograms #2: Viral picks up where Showtime left off.
Despite being disqualified from the Misfits Vs. competition for starting a food fight with the hosts, the Holograms' popularity is steadily rising. Unfortulately, not all is well with with the ladies of the band. Jerrica is feeling overwhelmed by all the duties that go along with managing (and also fronting) her sisters' band while trying to keep her identity as Jem a secret. This is becoming increasingly difficult with her investigative reporter boyfriend, Rio, poking around for an exclusive story. Kimber is depressed because things have not panned out so well with her starcrossed love interest (and also Misfits member), Stormer. Aja is caught up in a romance with Craig and Shana is (secretly) considering applying for a fashion school internship that will take her far from her sisters (and her band). Tensions are high in Camp Hologram. Seems the sudden fame may be taking its toll...
Meanwhile, at Camp Misfit, things are no better. The band's popularity has plummeted since the Food Fight Incident and they are taking the heat for everything that went down that day (even though it kind of was their fault, indirectly). The ladies are fighting amongst themselves and diva frontwoman, Pizzazz, is not dealing with her anger and frustration in the most constructive way. In attempt to turn the band's failing reputation around, the head of FiveByFive records assigns the ladies a new manager who definitely does not play by the rules (and is pretty much pure evil-at least so far).
Things come to a head when the two bands learn they will be sharing the bill of an upcoming tour. The Misfits crash a Halloween party hosted by the Holograms, hoping to dig up some dirt on their rivals, but end up fighting amongst themselves instead. Pizzazz storms off, Roxy and Jetta bicker about petty things, and Stormer finds Kimber and they have a very adorable make-up (and make-out) session. Meanwhile, Techrat snoops where he doesn't belong and discovers some very disturbing news about Synergy.
The whole drama cumulates with Pizzazz getting into a car crash and sustaining potentially career-ending injuries to her vocal chords.
Can you say Cliffhanger?!?!?!
OMG!!! How can I wait until the third volume comes out?!?!?!?!?
What I really love about this series, aside from the colors (OMG, the colors! so pretty!!), is the character development. Unlike the old cartoon, where good and evil was very distinct and one-sided, these characters have actual depth. They're like real people. The "good guys" have flaws, make mistakes, get angry, and say/do things they regret. The "bad guys" aren't all bad and, actually, have a lot of heart (they just don't always show it). I especially liked the development of the Misfits in Viral, and look forward to getting to know their characters better in future volumes. In fact, they're quickly becoming my favorite part of the series.
Another great thing is the humor. I loved all the little jokes and quips. And the pop culture references (the Karate Kid bit was one of the best things about this book)!
This series just gets better and better! And I'm very excited for #3! --AJB