Enter The Stingers: Part Three
|"Enter The Stingers: Part Three"|
|First published||November 16, 2016 (digital)
November 23, 2016 (print)
|Written by||Kelly Thompson|
|Art by||Meredith McClaren|
|Colors by||M. Victoria Robado|
|Letters by||Shawn Lee|
|Edits by||Sarah Gaydos|
As a joint performance between The Holograms and Stingers approaches, the line between Jerrica and Jem begins to blur.
Having begun her internship in Milan, Shana struggles with both the language barrier and with her errand getting food for the designers at Airō Zangari. When she finally returns, Shana’s fellow intern Regine complains that Shana always gets the fun errands while she’s stuck in the office answering phones, not understanding why they’re both only getting to do busywork instead of actually designing. Sure that they’ll get their chance eventually, Shana delivers the designers’ food and is sent back out of the room as quickly as she came in. Feeling demoralized, Shana goes into the bathroom, slides down onto the floor, and calls home.
Inside the pool house, The Holograms are all too busy practicing to hear the phone ring. All except their new drummer The Fox, who quietly erases Shana’s teary eyed message. While her bandmates discuss how they’re sounding, Fox slips back in and is asked by Jem if she thinks they’ll be ready in time for 5x5’s masquerade ball next week. Confident that they will be, Fox begins inspecting some of the various musical instruments and other decorations up in the study, including the jukebox. Panicking that she might discover Synergy, Kimber and Aja are quick to try and convince her the jukebox doesn’t actually work and try to get her away from it. Back in Milan, Shana sits down to eat with Regine, who’s still feeling disappointed with what the internship has turned out to be. Though Shana tries to show her the brighter side, Regine can’t help but feel bitter that she’s not actually getting to do any design work. As she flips through her sketch book, Regine eventually comes to a dress she’s drawn up that catches Shana’s eye. It then occurs to Shana that just because can’t do any fashion design at work doesn’t mean they can’t on their own time…
Back at her home, Pizzazz is holding another secret meeting with The Misfits (minus Stormer), neither Roxy Pelligrini nor Jetta seeming too thrilled with her latest plan. Going back over the plan, Pizzazz explains that she has Fox embedded with The Holograms to gather up some dirt on their rivals and has also learned that both The Holograms and Stingers will be playing at 5x5’s masquerade ball. Since they won’t be able to get in otherwise due to being blacklisted, The Misfits are going to sneak in disguised as waiters and then take their revenge. Blaze expresses concerns over people getting hurt, remembering what happened the last time The Misfits tried to sabotage a Holograms show, but Pizzazz promises her that nothing like that is going to happen again. In reassuring her bandmate, however, Pizzzazz lets it slip that she doesn’t know what they’re actually going to do just yet and threatens to fire Roxy when she voices concern over this before asking Blaze if she’s with them or against them. Stormer, meanwhile, is with Kimber at a coffee shop, still feeling devastated over The Misfits getting dropped. When Kimber asks if there’s anything she can do to help, Stormer asks if she can talk to Riot or 5x5 about undoing it, though Kimber isn’t sure what good it would actually do. As they hug, they’re suddenly hounded by paparazzi and forced to leave, Kimber telling them off as they run for it. Ducking into an alley, Kimber promises she’ll talk to her sisters and see what they can do.
Elsewhere, Raya is eating with her father, telling him that even though getting to drum for a band as big as The Stingers is a dream come true for her, she still doesn’t feel quite like she belongs. Her father reassures her, telling Raya that it can be tough to find a place to belong but that she still has plenty of time to find that place and that he believes in her. However, he also notes that if she really doesn’t think that she belongs with The Stingers, she owes it to them to tell them. While they talk, Riot arrives at his penthouse to find the other two Stingers sunbathing out on the patio. Asking them where Raya is, they explain she got tired of waiting for him and left, as he was two hours late for their scheduled rehearsal. He excuses himself by explaining he was attending to other matters, Rapture and Minx both understanding that he was actually just busy chasing after Jem. Though he claims he can’t help but be smitten with her, his bandmates have both had enough of his crush cutting into their rehearsal and recording time. Minx also holds up a tabloid that has made Jem and Riot, or “Rem”, their cover story, annoyed that their relationship is also eating up all their publicity.
At the Benton home, Kimber shows her sisters the same magazine, demanding to know when Jem even went out with him. Meekly replying that she’s actually gone on a couple of dates with him, Aja calls her out, asking how she could do that when she’s still with Rio. Worryingly, she responds that it was Jem who went out on those dates with Riot, not Jerrica. Unbeknownst to the three of them, Fox had been listening to them from around the corner, though her position is soon given away by her phone going off. Not knowing how much she heard, Aja and Kimber rush Jem out of the kitchen as Fox awkwardly steps outside past them to take Pizzazz’s call. Answering her, she complains about her timing but confirms that there’s definitely something strange going on with The Holograms, though she’s not quite sure what.
Looking rather shellshocked, Jem/Jerrica is taken to her room by her sisters. Sitting her down on the bed, Aja gets on her knees and looks up at her sister, telling her that the fact that a minute ago she seemed to think that she and Jem were two different people has got her scared out of her mind. Though she tells Aja she knows that isn’t true, she also admits that it’s a little confusing for her sometimes, something that concerns all three of them. Aja tells Jerrica to turn off Jem and she obliges, letting her sisters tuck her into bed once she’s back to being herself. In the hall, Aja begins freaking out, wishing that Shana was there to tell them what to do, in turn causing Kimber to freak out since she thought Aja would know what to do. While Aja kicks herself for recognizing that something was going on but saying or doing anything, Synergy suddenly appears before them. Though Aja tells her she needs to go before Fox comes back in, Synergy says that the whole reason she’s there in the first place is that Fox has come back in… and that she’s in the pool house, messing with the jukebox!
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
|Jem and the Holograms||The Misfits||The Stingers||Others|
- After having pretty much gone completely unremarked upon since the first issue, the jukebox that serves as the cover for the door that leads to Synergy's system returns as a plot point in this issue.
- Blaze brings up Clash's sabotaging of The Holograms' show for the Starlight Benefit, which happened in issue 4. Pizzazz is quick to tell her to shut up about it though, evidently in the name of wanting to keep plausible deniability over the affair as she wanted to in issue 6.
- Aja had first begun noticing that Jerrica was spending a bit more time than normal as Jem back in issue 17.
- This issue was released digitally a week ahead of it's print release.
- Digital versions of this issue contain a "Digital Ashcan" for the first issue of M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, giving a preview of the first five pages of the issue.
- Regular cover: Rapture, by Meredith McClaren
- Subscription cover: The Fox, by Jen Bartel
- Retailer incentive cover: Jem, by Gisele Lagace and Jason Millet