Zodiac Starforce by Kevin Panetta and Paulina Ganucheau is about a group of highschool girls battling maths, homework and otherworldly monsters. It has a classic magical girl premise but jumps right past the origin story and straight to the action! We meet team leader Emma as her study is interrupted by a monster crashing into the library and we get our first magical transformation and our first sign that we’re in for an action packed, thrilling and completely stunning read.
The girls are seasoned vets who’ve already saved the world and are trying to settle back into a normal life, this gives a totally new perspective to a classic story. The backstory is dished out so liberally that for a lot of the first issue I was worried that I had unwittingly stumbled into a sequel. I had a quick google halfway through just to make sure! A lot of the early backstory also felt a little premature and would have had more of an emotional impact if we’d had more time to get to know the characters first. But that’s my only criticism!
It’s such a fun comic, packed with interesting characters. It’s always great to have comics about girls supporting girls and Zodiac Starforce has that in buckets. The art is beautiful, the colours are breathtaking and the characters are instantly likeable. The outfits are adorable, typically magical-girl inspired but stylish and practical. The story is vibrant and dramatic with a lot at stake from the very beginning, and it only gets more intense with each issue. New romances are introduced sweetly and by issue #3 I had constant heart-eyes. Queer relationships in all-ages media are hard to find but this one is so lovely and so well received by the other characters that it became an instant favourite.
I can’t recommend Zodiac Starforce enough, it’s the perfect book for any age and any interest. I can’t wait for the trade to be released, it’s going to be such a beautiful addition to my shelf!