REVIEW: Zodiak Starforce #1

Zodiak Starforce is one of those books that always draws me in, mostly because of the colors. Bright…shiny…colors. Either I’m a bear or I just have great taste.

ZS is all about a group of five young women – four with superpowers and one who’s still developing hers. They all have different codenames taken after Zodiak signs and they all are completely different and different. No cookie cutter women here, thank goddess!

The team lives in a city called Le Reina, which is typically a peaceful place, but that is soon to change. The goddess Cimmeria lies dormant, though a group of her worshippers are on a mission to bring her back, and let’s just say these followers aren’t the nicest people. They don’t seem to have any hard limits to get their goddess back, insert foreshadowing here.

All heroes have down time, they are human after all. Wait, are they? Whatever, they still have to deal with relationships, parents, and their own personal difficulties. My favorite part of the book was seeing the dynamic between Kim and her boyfriend Josh. He doesn’t treat her like she’s a delicate flower, and she doesn’t treat him like he’s a masculine broot. When she wants to go punch stuff and beat up the bad guys, he has no problem with it. He shouldn’t, of course, but it’s nice to see women being treated as people instead of fragile princesses.

This story is all about having strength as a person first, and these people just happen to be women. It’s a story that Kevin Panetta writes well, and I got sucked in quick as a licorice whip. It’s detailed enough to be interesting, but keeps the pages flowing as smoothly as possible. Like the previous Zodiak Starforce, I expected to like this one as well, but I got drawn in and didn’t want to get out from the first page.

Paulina Ganucheau is a master illustrator, point-blank. While I don’t think that stereotypical “female” bodies are a thing of the past just yet, it’s artists like Paulina that are stomping them into extinction. In a world where women are varying heights, body types, and skin colors – you know, like REAL life – comic books should follow suit. It doesn’t matter that these women have superpowers, they still have to walk without their backs or ankles breaking from added weight from exaggerated body parts. When a character isn’t presented as a different species or anything other than human , I feel that “human” rules apply. Everytime I see artwork like this, I get extremely giddy because it’s so flawless and beautiful. There is no panel that gets less love than another, and everything is completely on point.

I already mentioned the colors, but damn, the colors. Sarah Stern knows how to color and she needs to educate the world on what complementary means. Every single detail in this book is smooth and this woman can blend like no manana.

Needless to say, I’m really excited to see Zodiak Starforce back in action and hope I fall in love with every single issue like I did this one.

Story: 5 Stars
Illustrations: 5 Stars
Colors: 5 Stars
Cover: 5 Stars

(W) Kevin Panetta (A/CA) Paulina Ganucheau

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