I love the way this book looks. It’s one of the things that kept me reading all the way to the end. It started off doing a great job of nailing the magic girl genre (it’s no Tomboy, but it was good), but ultimately favored generic story development and transparent character development. Towards the end of the series and definitely this issue, it feels as if it’s just playing it safe. Giving the audience all the homage that it’s wants rather than daring to blaze new ground. Also if you think that two female characters falling in love is new ground for the magic girl genre then oh boy… you’re really behind the times. This issue is the big conclusion. I’m going to tell you that everything is okay in the end. So much so that I stopped reading the dialogue for a while because it seemed hollow and pointless. There’s a new Zodiac member, her introduction to her powers was a cute moment. Evil loses and the girls journey starts again, just like the first issue, but now they show that they’re sticking together this time around. I mean until College because let’s be honest you always lose touch with high school friends in college.
I’ve said enough about the writing so I’ll just move on to complimenting the art. It’s gorgeous. It’s gorgeous from the beginning and Paulina Ganucheau is amazing. She illustrates, colors and letters everything and it feels like it. It feels like one cohesive style and it’s better for it. Her art is so fucking good that she needs two flatteners to keep up with her and that’s not sarcasm. That’s just mad fucking skill that Ganucheau has. I would pick up any book that she’s illustrating and I imagine she was heavily scouted by other publishers and we’ll be seeing a lot more of her. Hopefully it’s a book worthy of her talent and not like a Howard the Duck special issue in which he learns about anime or something equally stupid. Though is saying that I would totally write that issue if she was the artist… it would be terrible, but awesome. It would be your favorite worst issue.
At the end of it all, the story needed to be stronger. It was too shallow with its story and characters and that really hurt it. There was a sense of danger for one issue, but after that… well it really seemed like no matter what they’d win in the end and everyone would make it out alive and that’s exactly what happened. The art saved this book. Hell, the art made this book worth reading and buying. Imagine if the story was better? It could have been a mega hit, rather than just a great success.
Zodiac Starforce #4 (of 4) Writer: Kevin Panetta Artist/Colorist/Letterer: Paulina Ganucheau Flatteners: Kristen Acampora & Tabby Freeman Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/10/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital