Zodiac Starforce: By the Power of Astra!

I discovered this gem in an article on cool graphic novels and immediately put it on my order list last year. I finally got around to reading it, and let me tell you, it is awesome!

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The Starforce girls defeated evil two years ago, now they’re just trying to survive high school. They drifted apart a little, but when evil strikes again and leader Emma gets sick, Kim gets the band back together. The girls work together to battle the monsters plaguing their community and stop their evil classmate, and save their friends in the process. All the while proving that Zodiac Starforce lights the way!

Don’t let it’s cute, pink appearance fool you. This book deals with female friendships, budding love, and even how we deal with death of loved ones. Plus it’s got cool action sequences, and of course, magic girl transformations and powers.

This series is clearly inspired by the magic girl genre of anime/manga, but is more homage to the genre than copy cat. It has a diverse cast and ages the girls up than most in the genre for a more modern feel. All the characters have distinct personalities and looks. I also love the choice to put the girls in shorts and sneakers instead of unrealistically short skirts and heels. Definitely a step up from it’s manga counterparts.

I loved the artwork here, it’s cute, but not too cute, and I love the color choices. It makes for a beautiful volume. My only disappointment is the length. Four chapters felt rushed, I would have preferred the story got another chapter or two. Fortunately, Dark Horse has commissioned a second series witch premiers next month, unfortunately it’s also only four issues. I’d really like to see this as an ongoing series.

Four Lightsabers to this one.

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