All Images: IDW Publishing

The Jem and the Holograms comic is nearing the end of its 26 issue “Truly Outrageous” run, and Issue #24 shows it’s not afraid to go where the original TV series was afraid to go. Jerrica’s finally laying it all out on the table, for the one person who deserves the truth the most.

In this modern take on the classic 80s cartoon, Jerrica is having a bit of an identity crisis. She’s getting tired of keeping her role as Jem, the superstar alter-ego, a secret from the people she cares about—especially Rio, her long-time boyfriend. Even though her bandmates know her secret (including newcomer Raya, formerly of the Stingers), they’re not immune from feeling like it’s taking its toll on the band’s harmony. It’s gotten so tense that Jerrica had to tell Kimber she couldn’t bring her girlfriend Stormer to their Hawaiian getaway, solely because Stormer is being filmed for a reality show.

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Jem has had enough of the lies, and she realizes it’s time to come clean. So, she does something the show never had the guts to do: Jerrica tells Rio that she’s Jem.

This is a huge deal. In the original Jem and the Holograms, Rio never found out about Jerrica and Jem’s connection. He got dangerously close, like in the episode “Broadway Magic,” but he’d always give up on his search by the end of the episode. While the Rio/Jem/Jerrica love triangle was always a lot of fun (especially when you added the Stingers’ Riot into the mix, whom Jem recently broke up with in the comics), it always seemed a little cruel that Jem never told him who she truly was. Her purple-haired paramour paid his dues, dammit, and deserved to know the truth about the woman he’d fallen in love with. Then again, Rio is kind of a dumbass.

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The big reveal is actually kind of funny, and further proves that Rio isn’t the sharpest purple crayon in the box. Jem takes him into the vacation house’s master bedroom, leaves the room, and returns as Jerrica. Rio just sits there like a dumbass, “Jerrica, when did you get here?” Really, dude? He then proceeds to honestly talk with Jerrica about their relationship issues, then act surprised that Jem would give up the master suite to Jerrica. Really, really, dude? You haven’t figured it out yet? They seriously look like the exact same person!

Luckily for him, Jerrica’s tired of hiding and uses Synergy to go into Jem mode right in front of him, leaving things on a bit of a cliffhanger as to how he’ll react. There’s also the matter of Stormer’s reality TV crew, who secretly followed Stormer and was warned by a member of the Stingers that Jem’s hiding a deep, dark secret. There are only two issues left of this current run, and it’s looking more and more like Jem is going to finally take off her Hannah Montana wig and reveal her true identity to the world. But how is the world going to take it? If Rio is any indication: with a bit of shock, awe, and exclamation points.

[IDW Publishing]