[Patreon Exclusive] Jem & The Holograms And The Balancing Act of Multiple Identities

Jem & the Holograms #4, Thompson, Campbell, Robado, IDW, 2015

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Originally based on a line of dolls of the same name, the ’80s cartoon, Jem and the Holograms tells the story of a young businesswoman named Jerrica Benton who inherits an advanced holographic A.I. named Synergy from her deceased father. Together with her biological sister Kimber and her foster sisters Shana and Aja, the four of them form the titular band in order to raise money for Jerrica’s foster home, The Starlight Foundation, and end up becoming huge stars. With stardom comes some rocky roads in the form of band rivalry with The Misfits and the struggle for Jerrica to juggle her alter-ego Jem with her civilian identity.

Although the Jem and The Holograms comic books published by IDW follow the same premise as the ’80s cartoon, it is set in today’s time and features fresh takes on the characters. One of the most prominent changes is a more insecure Jerrica Benton that gets performance anxiety when she tries to sing in public. As a result, Jerrica uses Synergy to create Jem in order to give her a more confident persona that can sing. Throughout the Jem comic books, Jerrica’s struggle with her dual identity can also be paralleled with two LGBTQ members of The Misfits: Stormer, a fat lesbian keytarist, and Blaze, a trans woman vocalist.

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