Rio Pacheco: Boy Reporter

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Jem and the Holograms #10
"Rio Pacheco: Boy Reporter"
First published December 30, 2015
Written by Kelly Thompson
Art by Corin Howell
Colors by M. Victoria Robado
Letters by Shawn Lee
Edits by John Barber

After tragedy strikes, Rio uses his connections with The Misfits and Holograms.


Sitting alone in a hospital waiting room, Rio thinks back on how he’d wanted to be a musician as child, only to discover he didn’t have any talent for it. What he could do though was noticing little details, seeing beyond the walls people put up around themselves. He contemplates how people spend so much time putting up walls, but every now and then can still show you a glimpse at who they are inside. Just then, Stormer comes running in with tears in her eyes, embracing Rio as he approaches her.

Though Rio tries to comfort her, Stormer can’t help but admonish herself for how she treated Pizzazz, telling him that as abusive as she can be sometimes, every now and then she’ll show something vulnerable, like having her listed as her sole emergency contact. Sitting down with her, Rio relates by thinking back to the day when The Misfits first saw The Holograms’ music video, when he caught Pizzazz quietly admitting that they might actually have some competition after throwing her bandmates out of the room. Stormer then asks how Rio even knew about Pizzazz, who Rio had actually found after the accident. Asking if there’s anything more he can do to help, Stormer asks if Rio could get Roxy and Jetta, though she tells him she doesn’t know where either of them live and that they won’t answer their phones.

Months prior, back when he first began covering The Misfits, Rio manages to track down where Roxy lives so he can do a one-on-one interview with her, as it’s hard for him to get a picture of who she really is with Pizzazz’s tendency to drown out her bandmates’ voices. Though she invites him in, the interview starts of a bit awkward, and when Rio restates that he just wants to get a better idea of who Roxy is, she just tells him that the music she makes is what matters and that she doesn’t understand why he needs to know more. Just then Jetta walks in complaining about Roxy leaving the door unlocked, stopping dead in her tracks when she realizes Rio is there. Both of them quickly tell Rio he can’t let Pizzazz know they live together, wanting to avoid any potential reprimanding that revelation might come with. He agrees, prompting Jetta to take a seat as well and ask for an interview of her own.

Back in the present, Rio promises Stormer that he’ll get them there and asks if she wants him to get Kimber too. She tells him no for fear of upsetting the other Misfits but then expresses surprise that he knew about her relationship, the reporter having once stumbled upon them making out in public. Taking off, Rio arrives at Roxy and Jetta's home and informs them of Pizzazz's accident, both women wasting no time heading out once they know. Returning to the hospital with them, Rio receives a call from his editor who only just now got word of the accident and orders Rio to report on it. Rio tries to turn it down, not wanting to take advantage of them while they're so vulnerable, but his editor is insistent and threatens to fire him if he doesn't get him the story. Taking his frustration out on one of the potted plants outside the hospital, he takes off on his motorcycle again towards the Benton home.

Once arrived, he tells The Holograms he needs a favor and explains his situation, the sisters shocked when he mentions the information he got from his editor that they're to open with The Misfits on tour, Jerrica even going so far as to call Harcourt to confirm. Though enraged at first, Aja is calmed by Jerrica, though she still doesn't understand what Rio wants from them. He explains that he just wants a short interview with them about the tour, thinking that he can make that the bulk of the piece with only a brief mention of Pizzazz's accident, that way he can appease his boss and still not take advantage of The Misfits. Though they need to talk it over for a minute, The Holograms agree to the interview.

Back at the hospital once again, Rio finally answers his editor who'd been calling him all night, demanding to know where the piece was. Though he acknowledges it wasn't quite what he was assigned, Rio had already turned it in and hangs up after telling his editor that it'll be good enough. Inside, he finds Pizzazz's clipboard and learns the extent of her injuries: damage to her vocal chords and the possibility of a fractured larynx. As he goes to check up on Pizzazz, he thinks about how even if he doesn't like hospitals, there's no denying that they can bring out the best in people and, if you can make yourself invisible, you can see a side of people you never knew they had. As he finishes this though, he peaks into Pizzazz's room to see her surrounded by her concerned bandmates, all four women lighting up when they see that Jetta has snuck in Pizzazz's cat.

Featured characters[edit]

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)



"Jem" references[edit]

  • Rio kicking the potted plant is a reference to an infamous scene that soon ascended into an online meme.

Continuity notes[edit]

  • Though released later, this issue takes place before the holiday special, picking up later the same night as issue 9.
  • Rio's flashback to when he first saw Pizzazz's vulnerable side takes place after the scene where The Misfits first saw The Holograms' video for Misfits VS! back in issue 2.

Covers (3)[edit]

  • Regular cover: Rio puts his arm around Jerrica as Jem looks on in Jerrica's reflection, by Jen Bartel
  • Subscription cover: Jem and Pizzazz with a kitten, by M. Victoria Robado
  • Archie 75th Anniversary Subscription Cover: Betty and Veronica front row at a Holograms concert, by Tania del Rio; part of a company wide series of variant covers celebrating Archie's 75th anniversary.