By Stefania Rudd. Zodiac Starforce debuted in 2015, and it enamored us with its reimagining of the magical girl genre. Writer Kevin Panetta and artist Paulina Ganucheau are back with more of the series’ trademark magical kick-assery in Zodiac Starforce: Cries of the Fire Prince #1. In this debut, the Starforce is fresh off the action from the first series, though as soon as things start to cool down for our eponymous ladies, new troubles begin to bubble up.
While the team has become more comfortable finding balance with the two aspects of their identities, there is still a lot of growth left for the newest team member, Lily, who wants to figure out what exactly what her special power is and how she fits into the group. (Lily is also feeling pressure from her girlfriend and teammate, Savi, to do so.) Meanwhile, Alice and her followers are using dark magic to summon back the evil goddess, Cimmeria, but instead they conjure up something with a little more beefcake. Could this be the fabled Fire Prince?
Panetta settles into the groove between the fantastic and the conversational realism we’ve come to appreciate from Zodiac Starforce. The ease of the dialogue and the flow of the action makes revisiting this issue a rewarding experience. Ganucheau’s artwork, paired with Sarah Stern’s colors, are a part of the reason why this book is so polished. The bright and dazzling colors enhance the movement and expressiveness of each character — even the monsters.
Fans of the first series will definitely be pleased with this debut and will be happy to have the dynamic ladies of Zodiac Starforce back in action. For candy-colored thrills and aching charisma, go no further.
Dark Horse Comics/$3.99
Written by Kevin Panetta.
Art by Paulina Ganucheau.
Colors by Sarah Stern.
Letters by Christy Sawyer.
8.5 out of 10