Outrageous Annual 2017

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Jem and the Holograms Annual 2017
JemCoverAnnual2017.jpg
"Outrageous Annual 2017"
First published February 1, 2017
Written by Kelly Thompson
Art by Gisele Lagace (An Exquisite Corpse/Epilogue)

M.J. Barros (Kimber)
M. Victoria Robado (Aja)
Katarzyna Witerscheim (Shana)
Savanna Ganucheau (Jem)

Colors by Jason Millet (An Exquisite Corpse/Epilogue)
Letters by Shawn Lee
Edits by Sarah Gaydos

In The Starlights' fan fiction, The Holograms do battle against the evil Majestrix Pizzazz!

Synopsis[edit]

An Exquisite Corpse[edit]

The Holograms have arrived at the Starlight Community Center for The Starlights’ rehearsal, but the girls are nowhere to be found. While her sisters try to figure out where they might be, Kimber notices a book sitting on the stage titled “A Starlight Girls ‘Exquisite Corpse Fan Comic’ Starring Jem And The Holograms”. Since they don’t understand, Shana explains to her sisters that an exquisite corpse is a project where multiple artists work together on a single story but must make their contribution with only the barest knowledge of the previous one, like only knowing the last line of a story. Though Jerrica isn’t quite sure if they should, Kimber opens the book with the other three Holograms surrounding her as she begins to read…

Kimber[edit]

In a far away galaxy, Majestrix Pizzazz has conquered the universe with the help of her four henchwomen with only a small band of pop star princesses as her opposition. Though these princesses steadily grew in power and fame, Pizzazz wasn’t troubled by these four until the day came that her most trusted advisor Stormer fell in love with Kimber, the youngest and fiercest of these rebels. Before cutting out her own heart so she would never feel again, Majestrix Pizzazz banished Stormer to a faraway planet, where she would never be found again…

Suddenly waking up, Kimber hurriedly gets dressed and calls her fellow Holograms to their ship’s galley but finds that they’re already there. She explains that she knows where Stormer has been banished to, having dreamt that they would be reunited on The Planet of Lost Souls. Though Kimber is raring to go rescue her lover, Aja reminds her that it’s not that simple, as The Planet of Lost Souls is shrouded in mystery. Jem speaks up and proposes they just modify their existing plan for rescuing Stormer to include solving these mysteries, but Kimber is surprised to learn they already had one.

After actually having said plan explained to her, however, Kimber is quickly demoralized. Aja takes offense at her sister’s doubts, saying that since it’s her plan it must be foolproof but quickly amends herself to say that it’s foolproof because it’s their plan. Aja reminds them that there’s much more at stake than just Kimber’s relationship, Pizzazz’s iron grip on the universe having only tightened without her compassionate advisor around. To drive the point home, Jem flips on the news to show a report on Pizzazz crushing an uprising against her by sending in a battalion of giant mechanical spiders! Still, Kimber isn’t quite sure how Shana thinks a bunch of fluffy pink stuff is going to help get them to The Planet of Lost Souls…

Aja[edit]

Curious, Kimber asks Shana how a bunch of fluffy pink stuff is going to help them get to The Planet of Lost Souls. Shana explains that that fluffy pink stuff is actually a costume for her to wear once they get there! Though she isn’t too happy about it, once The Holograms’ ship begins descends on planet Jetta-Rox for part one of the plan, she doesn’t have much of a choice. As they set foot on the gladiator world, Kimber continues to gripe about her disguise when Jem and Shana got far more comfortable ones and Aja isn’t wearing one at all. Aja tells her she needs to be able to move around, as she’s going to be fighting in the colosseum!

Stepping into the arena, Aja challenges Jetta to fight, catching her and Roxy off guard. Though Jetta has retired from her gladiator career, she can’t let it slide when Aja calls her chicken. Naming the stakes, Aja says that if she wins, Jetta must answer a question for her and if she loses, Jem and the Holograms will never play again! Things look grim for The Holograms (who were unaware of what Aja was putting on the line) when Jetta gets a brutal first punch in, but after an arduous, savage, knock-down-drag-out fight, Aja is declared the victor!

Coming down into the arena, Roxy comforts her friend, who asks Aja what her question is. Jetta is shocked to hear that she wants to know how to get to the Planet of Lost Souls and warns Roxy that she can’t tell her or else she’ll face Pizzazz’s wrath. However, Roxy feels too guilty over what happened to Stormer to care and whispers that to enter the Planet of Lost Souls, one must…

Shana[edit]

On the Holograms’ ship, Shana can’t believe that to enter the Planet of Lost Souls, one must be pure of heart and have good intentions! Jem points out that would actually make it impossible for some people to set foot on there, but Shana is still somewhat frustrated that they had to go to so much trouble to find that out when they now know they could’ve just gone there no problem. Jem, however, isn’t quite sure if Aja could get through, which she angrily denied as she sets a course for the planet. This makes Kimber worry that they actually won’t be able to get through, but Shana tells her not to worry.

As they approach the Planet of Lost Souls, which looks as severe as the name implies, The Holograms indeed have no problems landing, prompting much gloating from Aja. As they get ready to disembark, Shana promises Kimber they’ll stay as long as it takes to find Stormer, but to her surprise, they find her immediately after landing! Taking her into the ship, Jem asks Stormer for her help in taking down Pizzazz, Aja noting that ever since she was banished, it was like she didn’t have a heart. That’s all too accurate, as before she was banished, Stormer watched as Pizzazz tore out her own heart and was told that she would put it where it belonged. Jem believes that reuniting Pizzazz with her heart might help, but Stormer has no idea where it is. The Psi-Sensitive Shana, however, can sense something inside the ball and chain Stormer has been made to wear around her ankle ever since she was banished…

Though it takes some serious effort, The a Holograms are eventually able to get the shackle off of Stormer’s leg. However, there’s still the matter of freeing Pizzazz’s heart from the ball itself. Using her powers to scan it, Shana comes to the conclusion that it wants Stormer’s tears and regret. Though Stormer doesn’t understand how she’s supposed to be able to just cry on demand, Shana asks her to think about things from Pizzazz’s perspective. About what it must feel like to feel so alone and hurt so bad that you’d force the entire galaxy to suffer along with you. This being enough to make Stormer cry, her tears indeed begin to dissolve the ball, but as Pizzazz’s heart is freed and begins to float in the air, the organ suddenly crumbles into ash!

Jem[edit]

With Pizzazz’s heart having suddenly crumbled into ash, Kimber asks what they’re going to do now. Though nobody is quite sure at first, Jem eventually speaks up and proposes putting on a show! Though Aja isn’t sure what good that will do, Jem gives an inspirational speech on the power of music and believes that through their songs, they can regrow Pizzazz’s heart! Having convinced the other four, Aja sets a course for Planet Pizzazz, the capital of Pizzazz’s empire.

As they touch down, Aja sets up a signal that makes sure The Holograms’ concert will be broadcast far and wide before taking the stage with the others. As they begin to play, the enraged Pizzazz orders her guards to seize The Holograms immediately. However, Stormer then joins them, taking over vocals from Jem, and as she sings Pizzazz belays her previous order and sinks down into her throne. As tears stream down her face, Pizzazz soon grips her chest as her heart begins to reform, healed by Stormer’s soulful singing! Now reunited with her heart, Pizzazz soon became a fair and just ruler once again and peace was finally returned to the galaxy.

Epilogue[edit]

Having finished the comic, The Holograms are all majorly impressed with what The Starlights have put together, but soon after they finish discussing it, the young authors and artists finally arrive! Though most of them are mortified to see that the subjects of their fanfic read it, Ba Nee rushes to greet them, asking if they liked their story! Ba Nee and Shana call the rest of them over and, once they know that they enjoyed the comic, take credit for their stories. Jerrica asks where they learned to put it together, and The Starlights explain they learned about exquisite corpse stories in school and, rather than do a report on them like they were assigned, thought it’d be more fun to just make one!

As Ba Nee hands another copy to Jerrica, asking if she’ll show it to Jem, Jerrica suddenly realizes that she wasn’t actually in the comic. Shana tells her that she is, since Jem appears and Jem is nothing without her, but she’s still not convinced, feeling that she matters so little to the band as herself that they left her out even though the girls know her way better than they know Jem. Shana sympathizes with her sister, but she also tells her that they knew there would be trade offs like this. Jerrica tells her that it’s no big deal, but before she joins everyone else as The Starlights set up for practice, she sadly sets the comic back down, repeating her claim that it’s no big deal to herself…


Featured characters[edit]

Characters in italic text appear only in the Starlight girls' story.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Quotes[edit]

"Shana, what is all this fluffy pink stuff anyway and just how is it gonna get us on the Planet of Lost Souls?"

-Kimber, at the end of her story and the beginning of Aja's


"To rescue Stormer and get through the mystery surrounding the Planet of Lost Souls you have to..."

-Roxy at the end of Aja's story and Shana at the beginning of hers


"Pizzazz's heart has crumbled to ash!"

-Shana at the end of her story and Jem at the beginning of hers


"We always need music. And I think right now is when we need it more than ever. It's one of the only things that can move the soul, maybe even save the soul... and maybe even re-grow a heart. And for us, for this universe, nothing less wil do"
"Hell yeah."
"Ohmigod. Shana cussed. This is serious."

-Jem's inspirational speech gives Shana a potty mouth, much to Kimber's surprise


"I bet I know who did the Aja story... all the punching, had to be Ashley."
"I thought you'd like beating up Jetta."
"I do. I really, really do."

-Aja and Ashley

Notes[edit]

Continuity notes[edit]

  • Given Shana's presence and Raya's absence, it seems safe to assume the annual's frame story takes place prior to the "Enter The Stingers" arc that took place between Jem issues #19 and #23.
  • The Starlights are back! When last seen, they were being infected by the Silica controlled Holograms in issue 12. Thankfully they don't seem any worse for wear! Ba Nee, who isn't a member of The Starlights, also hasn't been seen since all the way back in the second issue!

Real world references[edit]

  • As explained in the issue's opening page, both the Starlight girls' story and the comic itself are an example of an exquisite corpse, a single work assembled by a group of people who are all working from a common theme or only know the ending of whatever the previous person's contribution was. However, the comic technically isn't a true exquisite corpse, as the stories all share a single writer and only differ in artist.

Other trivia[edit]

  • Each of the stories gets credited to one or two of The Starlights at the end. Ba Nee and Becky did Kimber's, Deirdre and Lela did Shana's, Ashley made Aja's, and Becky was behind Jem's.
  • Included in the back of the issue are five pages dedicated to showing the processes of each of the book's five artists, showing how their pages evolved from the initial sketches to final inks.

Covers (2)[edit]