The best Magic Girl genre book returns this month. I know there’s several other Magic Girl genred series out there, but for my money only Zodiac Starforce is getting… well my money. It’s the relationships people! Though I will admit this issue takes a major dip for me because of the relationships and for the forced characterizations. Emma is sick and probably going to die. We learned that last time. This time around we find our Zodiac warriors reunited and all of them really concerned about Emma. So much so that they continue to text her during class checking in on her. Two of the warriors are on the Volleyball team with our lead mean girl that we meet before. At the Volleyball game, our lead mean girl reveals that she’s a monster. Like an actual monster. After this fight we see that Emma isn’t doing so hot and her friends may cause the end of the world in order to try to save her… which is the opposite of what she wants.
I enjoyed this issue, but there was so much focus on the sub-characters and our main character’s interactions with the sub-characters that it got to the point of overkill. At one point we learn that Savi is either bi-sexual or gay. I’m not really sure what that has to do with the story, but there’s a lot of focus on it. Also I could be reading it wrong since it’s never explicitly said, but it’s so heavily implied for over half the issue that I feel like I’m right. You know why this exact same situation worked for Sailor Moon? They didn’t force it. The characters just were, kind of like real life, but here its heavy handed and not doing anything for the story and overdeveloping one of the characters while the rest are left to sink.
We really don’t have a strong impression of Emma and the rest of her friends. They’re pretty one-dimensional at this point and that’s a damn shame. I was hoping that we would dive into their personalities and find a balance. Instead we have Savi’s life crammed down our throats and it’s not the most interesting part of the story. You know what is? Emma dying! Sure it’s mentioned a lot, but it didn’t feel like anyone’s actual concern; just a conversation piece to remind the audience.
The art is good, but it dips a little this issue. Maybe it’s just me on that, but the linework felt looser, less in control. Don’t get me wrong, the coloring is still fantastic, but it’s a shame to see that the art could dip because it is the strongest part of the story. Overall it just looks too inconsistent. Almost like the artist didn’t want to illustrate the boring stuff, but had a blast with the action and scenes they enjoyed.
There’s definitely a dip with this issue. Seems to be happening a lot at Dark Horse and other companies so I can’t say that I’m too terribly surprised. The big difference is that I’m going to actually return to this series whereas other new series lost me after the second issue. Time will tell if this is a keeper though.
Zodiac Starforce #2 Writer: Kevin Panetta Artist: Paulina Ganucheau Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/30/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital