Dark Jem: Part Five
I'm a Hex Girl, and I'm gonna put a spell on you.
|"Dark Jem: Part Five"|
|First published||May 25, 2016|
|Written by||Kelly Thompson|
|Art by||Sophie Campbell|
|Colors by||M. Victoria Robado|
|Letters by||Shawn Lee|
Two bands regroup and prepare to fight back against Silica.
While her sisters are busy chasing each other around the pool, Jerrica is sent to get her father from his music studio by her mother Jacqui, who’s just gotten finished with his birthday lunch. Still hard at work, Emmet tells his daughter he’ll join them in a minute, but when Jerrica returns and says as much, her mother gets up to pull her husband away from the project that’s been keeping him from his family. Watching her parents from around the corner, Jerrica sees her father apologize for his behavior but explains that there’s something wrong with his project, some virus in the code making it act out. As he starts a holographic projection to illustrate what he’s talking about, a shocked Jerrica takes off running but trips on a water gun one of her sisters left on the ground, causing her to fall on her face and then into the pool. As she begins to drown, she sees Jacqui pulling her out of the water, the image of her face slowly beginning to turn into Synergy’s…
Back in the present, Jerrica is the first of her sisters to wake up after they were attacked by Silica, Synergy having used a mind controlling soundwave like the one used by the other AI to put them to sleep until Silica’s infection could wear off. Synergy apologizes for abusing her powers, but Jerrica thanks her for it, also commenting on her resemblance to her mother. Jerrica then notices that they all seem to be inside some kind of tent, which Synergy explains she constructed to hide Jerrica and her sisters since they were all outside when they were attacked and she was unable to move them. As the other three begin to come to, Jerrica thanks Synergy again, only for her to begin blaming herself for everything that’s happened, explaining that Silica has been inside her all along. While her sisters come to Synergy’s defense, Shana asks what the deal is with The Sickness, having noticed that they’re all real people who were mind controlled like they were. Synergy explains that while The Holograms were being controlled and spreading Silica’s virus, she used this control over others to form The Sickness and instruct them on how to build a system of her own so she could live on even if Synergy was destroyed. While on the bright side this means Silica is no longer part of Synergy, when they were still together Synergy got a glimpse of what Silica has planned: to use The Holograms’ live broadcast concert that night to further her goal of controlling all of humanity! After receiving and somewhat blowing off a panicked call from Rio, Jerrica turns to her sisters and tells them she has a plan… or at least half of one.
Walking onto The Misfits’ tour bus, Eric is surprised to find Roxy and Jetta restraining Clash and Blaze, both of whom have come under Silica’s control. Following Eric, Techrat asks if he should go, but Eric orders everyone to stay still. Turning to the hacker, Eric asks if he got the file of the mind control infused music he was sent, which Techrat finds fascinating but can’t do much about if he can’t listen to it. Noticing a conspicuous absence, Eric asks where Stormer has run off to, Jetta and Roxy loudly informing him what she’s gone to get help from The Holograms. Just as he begins to fly off the handle over her going to the ones responsible for this whole mess, Stormer returns with them and explains that they’re better now. Though he’s slow to trust “the enemy”, Eric eventually lets Jerrica have a chance to explain what’s going on. Meanwhile, a disoriented Shiver wanders around backstage, but just as Silica's hold on her begins to break, the AI appears behind her and tightens her grip. Sending her off to reassert her control ove Scream and Synth, Silica begins thinking on the future she has planned for humanity...
While Kimber is busy keeping an eye on the tied up Blaze and Clash, both of whom attempt to sweet talk her into letting them go, Jerrica explains that a traumatic event was able to shock her out of her hypnotized state and that she believes that any sufficiently shocking event, positive or negative, would be able to do the same. While he appreciates progress being made, Eric complains that they still don't know what's actually happening to these people, prompting Techrat to step in and explain that Silica, whoever she is, is using saccular acoustic sensitivity to control people, burying unusual sound wavelengths in her music to make those who listen to it malleable and open to her control. With this understanding, Stormer feels they need to snap Blaze and Clash out of their haze now, unable to stand thinking of her bandmates being like that for another moment. Jetta and Roxy volunteer to take care of that, both of them knowing exactly what could scare them out of Silica's mind control, furthering their case by calling it hazing. Two incredibly loud screams later, Clash and Blaze emerge from the back of the bus returned to normal.
Though they've confirmed people can be shocked out of Silica's control, Jerrica reminds everyone that still doesn't solve the problem of how they'll find something shocking enough to get an entire audience worth of people to snap back to reality. With everyone else at a loss, they suddenly hear the voice of someone they haven't heard in quite some time offer up a plan... Pizzazz!
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
|Jem and the Holograms||The Misfits||The Sickness||Others|
"Everyone but me is so dumb. God, it's tedious."
- The flashback that opens this issue is the first time we get to see Jacqui and Emmet Benton. Because of this, we get to learn just how much of resemblance there is between Synergy and Jacqui, as Kimber remarked upon back in issue 7. Hmmm...
- Techrat makes a reappearance in this issue, here being revealed as the person Eric had called and ordered to get on a plane last issue. He hasn't been seen since issue 9, wherein he discovered that something was wrong with Synergy.
Hasbro franchise references
- The toy guns used during the poolside flashback are distinctly Super Soakers, a line of water guns owned by Hasbro.
Real world references
- Saccular acoustic sensitivity is a real thing! Jury appears to be out on whether it can be used as a form of mind control though.
- Jerrica wore glasses when she was a child.
- The cover of the issue features a quote from article by Oliver Sava of the AV Club.
- Regular cover: Silica and The Sickness, by Sophie Campbell.
- Subscription cover: The Holograms and their darker selves, by Jen Bartel.
- Jem #16
- Numerous fine comic vendors.
- Back to The Future comic series Citizen Brown.
- Strawberry Shortcake comic series from IDW(back cover)