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Zodiac Starforce #1

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By Kevin Panetta, Paulina Ganucheau, Savanna Ganuchaeu

“Part of a long line of mystic defenders, the Zodiac Starforce is an elite group of teenage girls with magical powers who are sworn to protect our planet against dark creatures.”

Remember that shows Totally Spies? Combine that with Sailor Moon, add maybe a hint of Mean Girls, and you have Zodiac Starforce. It’s like, this group of girls that totally saved everyone their freshman year of high school, but now, like, the monsters are coming back and they literally can’t even right now.

Writer Kevin Panetta gives you a first issue that is loaded with a lot of background info to how things were their freshman year, to the point where at the end you feel as if you’ve been reading this comic for years. The dialogue is oftentimes based on stereotypical teenage movie lingo, which works well given the situations the girls find themselves in (parties, talking with friends, fighting monsters). Something he does quite well though is introduce these characters in a manner that gives each one a distinct personality and fleshes them out fairly quickly from one another. Since their freshman year the girls have moved apart from one another, but recent circumstances will bring them back together.

The artwork (and lettering) is done by Paulina Ganucheau, with Savanna Ganuchaeu assists on colors. The costume designs as well as the choice of colors throughout give the Sailor Moon vibe. A great scene comes when Emma, one of the Starforce members, is touched on the arm by another girl at the party, something mysterious happens to her as she’s sent to a dreamlike state. The panels are jagged as they cut into one another and we see Emma staring at the back of a mysterious figure. In horror-movie like style the figure turns around to shows off a terrifying face – as her speech bubble is filled with a jumbled mix of overlapping words that resemble white noise. When Emma’s friends are finally able to pull her out of it she doesn’t seem to know what went wrong… is this something that will continue for her into the next issue?

Zodiac Starforce #1 does a great job at setting up the world and team while giving a significant amount of background info into how things “used to be”. These girls have a lot to work out amongst themselves, but when something happens to their friend they all jump into save her… but is it too late?

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