Viral: Part Three
|"Viral: Part Three"|
|First published||November 11, 2015|
|Written by||Kelly Thompson|
|Art by||Emma Vieceli|
|Colors by||M. Victoria Robado|
|Letters by||Shawn Lee|
|Edits by||John Barber|
The Misfits infiltrate The Holograms' Halloween party.
Having gotten into The Holograms’ Halloween party, Stormer can’t help but ask her bandmates why they’re all dressed up like villains. Techrat also expresses some grievances with his costume, but more that the shower costume he’s having to wear isn’t thematically appropriate with The Misfits’ skeleton outfits. Clash then quickly reminds him that his costume’s bulk hides the computer equipment he needs to hack into The Holograms’ system as Pizzazz discovers that they’re too late to ruin the premiere of their rival’s new video and orders her bandmates to split up and find some other way to cause trouble. With Roxy and Jetta taking off together, Stormer is left alone and spots Kimber from across the room before taking off in the opposite direction, muttering to herself that she’s not ready to see her again yet.
After passing by the lovelorn Misft, Rio spots Jem in the middle of a crowd of fans. Sensing her nervousness, Rio takes to breaking up the crowd and ducking away with her in a side room. She thanks him for getting her out of there, having been unable to escape all the attention ever since they premiered the video, which Rio tells her she should probably get used to if she’s serious about her dreams of stardom. After they both note that they’ve come to the party dressed as themselves, Rio as an old timey reporter and Jem in an outfit not terribly out of the ordinary for her, Rio asks about the interview he’s been assigned to do with her, apologizing for taking advantage of the situation they’re in. While still reluctant to agree to it, Jem promises that once she finally is ready to do an interview, Rio will be her first call. Satisfied with that answer, Rio tells her he needs to go look for Jerrica and that he’ll disperse the crowd that’s gathered around the door so Jem can have a chance to escape. After he leaves, he runs into Aja, who’s listening to her friend Holly tell her about her break up, and asks if she’s seen Jerrica anywhere. Giving him a no, Aja turns and sees that not only has Craig arrived, but he’s also arrived wearing the exact same costume as her! Disgusted by the couple’s coincidental costume coordination, Holly leaves the two of them alone to flirt and run off to make out.
Having waited a moment, Jem finally makes her move and tries to sneak back to her room and change back to Jerrica. While she manages to avoid another crowd forming around her, she catches Pizzazz’s attention, The Misfits front woman following her back to her room and waiting outside the door to confront her. As she waits, Techrat approaches her to tell her he can’t seem to find anywhere to hack into The Holograms’ system. Sending him away, Pizzazz notices that the door she was waiting in front of is ajar, Jerrica having made her escape while she was busy with Techrat. She’s then further enraged when she suddenly receives a notification on her phone announcing the breaking news that Jem and the Holograms are to be opening for The Misfits on their upcoming tour! As Pizzazz’s screams echo through the house, Jerrica finds Rio and compliments his costume, finding its obviousness appealing, like he can’t hide who he is even when he pretends to be someone else. Rio then tells her that he owes her an apology for how he acted about the way he just sprung it on her that he’d been assigned to do a story on the band without even asking if she’d be okay with it first. Accepting his apology, Jerrica immediately jumps into his arms and kisses him. As she and Shana Elmsford watch this scene unfold from the balcony, Kimber expresses relief that she’s once again the Benton family’s only drama queen. Just then, Kimber suddenly spots Stormer and takes off after her, promising her annoyed sister that she didn’t invite her to the party. Once they meet up, Stormer expresses disbelief at Kimber’s costume before Kimber asks if she’s happy or sad under all the facepaint. Wiping the tear stained makeup off with a napkin, Stormer swears that she had nothing to do with the sabotaging of the Starlight Benefit and is surprised to hear that Kimber believes her. Kimber tells her that, while she understands why Stormer wants to keep their relationship a secret, she can’t lie to her sisters and that if they’re going to continue dating, it needs to be openly. Shana finally catches up with her sister as she and Stormer begin to kiss and then turns away throwing her hands up in the air, complaining that she needs to start dating again if all her sisters are going to be like this.
Following Pizzazz's instructions, Techrat checks out the pool house only to be greeted by blaring alarms and Synergy's voice telling him to remain where he is. Panicking, he runs off, elbowing past several other party goers, including Roxy and Jetta, the latter of whom he knocks into the pool to her bandmate's amusement. Less amusing is when they join back up with Stormer and are left standing in the Benton home's driveway, Pizzazz having taken off early with their car. While Roxy and Jetta don't believe she'd abandon them like that, Stormer says she wouldn't put it past her and calls the three of them a cab. Once inside, Jetta attempts to call Pizzazz but only reaches her voicemail and decides to leave a message calling her out on her behavior.
Meanwhile, as Pizzazz speeds back home with tears in her eyes, screeching around the winding, mountainside roads, she gets distracted by her phone ringing, realizing too late that her car has edged too close to one of those mountainsides and clips it, flipping the car over and knocking her out...
After the party, Techrat tells Eric that he wasn't able to get inside The Holograms' system, that whatever they have going on in there decades ahead of anything he's ever seen, decades ahead of anything that should even be possible at this point and that there's nothing he can do. He does note that there's a bright side, however. As far as he can tell, there seems to be something seriously wrong with it. And as he explains all this, Synergy is sitting alone in her facility below the Benton residence as the other Holograms are up above unwinding from the party, her eyes having gained an ominous green and black glow...
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
|Jem and the Holograms||The Misfits||Others|
"I'm still not sure why we're dressed up as the bullies. Why are we the villains?"
"Villainy is, like, a matter of perspective, Storm."
"Yeah, get over yourself."
- -Stormer's doubts aren't paid any mind by Roxy and Jetta.
- Rio first made his assignment to interview Jem known back at the beginning of this story arc.
- Aja's choice of costume shouldn't come as a surprise given the film her dream was based off of in the annual.
- Kimber and Stormer's relationship has been up in the air since the ending of the first arc, the one-two punch of Clash's sabotaging of The Holograms' performance at the Starlight Benefit and them stealing away The Misfits audience as payback seeming to drive a wedge between them. As seen in issue 6 and 7, Stormer was still trying to reach out to her but Kimber couldn't bring herself to reply to any of her texts or calls.
Real world references
What Halloween issue is complete without various referential costumes?
- As with last issue, The Misfits are dressed up as skeletons. While that in itself isn't too referential, Stormer asking why they're coming dressed as the bullies along with Techrat's shower costume would make these a reference to The Karate Kid. Techrat claims that movie doesn't have any skeletons or showers in it, which Pizzazz recognizes means he must have seen the 2010 remake instead of the original.
- Rio's reporter outfit is rather Clark Kent-ian.
- Kimber's rather timely costume references the shark costumed backup dancers from Katy Perry's Super Bowl XLIX performance. Interestingly, the bio for Stormer put out by IDW ahead of Jem's launch claims she loves "Super Bowl dancing sharks" and Halloween. Doing a bit of hopeful planning there, Kimber?
- Aja and Craig both came dressed as Furiosa, the breakout character from Mad Max: Fury Road.
- Once she's changed back from Jem, Jerrica's black ballerina costume could reference Odile, the Black Swan from the classic ballet Swan Lake. Depending on how dark you want to get with your dual identity parallels, it could also be a reference to Black Swan, a film about a production of Swan Lake.
- Though they were also given in the profiles published during the lead up to the book's initial launch, this issue's double page spread showing what the members of both bands are getting up to reveal the real names of each of The Misfits' members for the first time within the context of the comic. They are Phyllis Gabor (Pizzazz), Mary Phillips (Stormer), and Sheila Burns (Jetta). Also given are Roxy, Shana, Aja, and Craig's last names. Oddly enough, Stormer and Craig have the same last name! Hmm...
- Regular cover: The Misfits on a rope, by Emma Vieceli
- Variant cover: The Misfits tag some Holograms posters, by Jen Bartel
- Retailer incentive cover: An electrifying Aja, by M. Victoria Robado