Review: Zodiac Starforce #3

Emma is in serious, life-threatening trouble, and the Zodiac Starforce have just opened up a portal to get her help. Problem is, the portal went a bit bonkers, and now there are monsters everywhere. Not to mention Diana and her crew are making things even more difficult for the girls. It’s up to three-quarters of the Zodiac Starforce to fix the portal situation, stop Diana and her coven, and save Emma. This issue was heavier on the action than the previous two- with danger coming at them from all sides, the girls are putting out fire after fire as they try to get Emma help and also stop the portal-monster-Diana nonsense. It’s a tall order, made tougher as their leader is out of commission, but the Zodiac Starforce are the girls for the job. Astra chose them, after all.

Diana reveals her own backstory in this issue, and we hear another side to Astra. This new perspective gives the girls and the readers something to chew on: is working for Astra worth it? Are the Zodiac Starforce valued, or are they nothing but dispensable soldiers as Diana claims? Getting to hear more about Astra and the Zodiacs was pretty interesting coming from the villain, whose version of events isn’t quite so rosy.

Zodiac-Starforce-#3-1Lily’s involvement in the Zodiac Starforce grows, and it seems like she’ll be the next recruit. For one thing it’ll be interesting to see the Starforce through fresh eyes; so far we’ve been treated to the veterans’ perspective. Lily is new to all of this, and it would be great to watch her figure it all out and find her place with the Zodiacs. The other issue is that Lily and Savi are on the brink of a relationship; the question then becomes whether there’s room for romance on a super-team such as this one, and how a relationship within the team might change the dynamic.

One of my favorite aspects of Zodiac Starforce is how it rings true, even in the face of superpowers and monsters. The teenaged girls in this comic talk and act like teenaged girls, no matter whether they’re in class or talking to a crush or facing off with an immortal villain. My love for the characters largely stems from the dialogue and the interactions- they are very real, and they feel true to teenaged girl life. As I read this issue I kept thinking about how much I wanted to go back and gift this to my teenaged self. I truly hope that this comic inspires girls to start their own girl gangs, or at least to cherish their female friendships.

I’m thoroughly enjoying Zodiac Starforce. This comic is fun, bright, and colorful, both in terms of visuals and plot. The characters are entertaining and diverse, the friendships feel real, and the superpowered zodiac aspect is just so cool and badass. This is a really fun story, but it’s not all rainbows and happy vibes- there’s plenty of action, dark threats, emotional tension, and monsters to balance out the cheery colors. Zodiac Starforce has a touch of everything, and it all blends together to create a truly exciting story.

Score: 5/5

Zodiac Starforce #3 Writer: Kevin Panetta Artist: Paulina Ganucheau Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/11/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital