Zodiac Starforce #1

Writer: Kevin Panetta Artist: Paulina Ganucheau Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Release Date: August 26, 2015 Cover Price: $3.99 Critic Reviews: 24 User Reviews: 4
7.7Critic Rating
9.8User Rating

An elite group of teenage girls with magical powers have sworn to protect our planet against dark creatures . . . as long as they can get out of class!

These high-school girls aren’t just combating math tests. They’re also battling monsters! But when an evil force infects leader Emma, she must work with her team to save herself—and the world—from the evil Diana and her mean-girl minions!

  • 10
    GWW - Jgalette Jul 28, 2015

    Zodiac Starforce #1 not only managed to avoid some of the biggest pitfalls which can sink a new series before it leaves the dock, it completely shattered my expectations for the kind of quality a first issue can and should deliver to readers. Go read this comic. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Bastards - Dustin Cabeal Jul 29, 2015

    Frankly I don't know if any of those other publishers really need a magic girl comic after reading Zodiac Starforce. This book is pretty damn perfect and the perfect pallet cleanser after reading other attempts at the genre. More than likely I'll still check out any other magic girl book because I'm a huge mark for Sailor Moon, but Zodiac Starforce has set the bar extremely high. Read Full Review

  • 10
    We The Nerdy - Jack Johnston Aug 25, 2015

    Zodiac Star Force #1 is the comic of the month in my mind, taking a cool spin on the Magical Girl genre in order to make it more accessible to a western audience in a manner that doesn't water down any of the conceptsthat make the genre so fun but rather, enhances them and adds a few more to the mix. It promises to be a fantastic journey for people who love magical girl stories, those who have never read one and even those who don't necessarily care for them. I wish that the second issue was already out and am dreading the wait for it already. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Major Spoilers - Ashley Victoria Robinson Aug 3, 2015

    Zodiac Starforce #1 is a bright, brilliant debut issue of what promises to be an exciting new series. It's lots of fun and smarter than one may expect. Well worth picking up. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Project-Nerd - Sarah Aug 10, 2015

    Starforce isn't 100% original in its content, but it has pulled together what looks to be a promising storyline with interesting characters, each distinct in their own personalities and motivations. I'm interested in seeing where this goes and will definitely be keeping up with it as the issues come out. It'll be a bright, happy addition to my comic collection. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Graphic Policy - Brett Aug 21, 2015

    You can actually check out the comic on the Zodiac Starforce website, and get prepared for the new series' debut this coming Wednesday! And of course we'll have a review. This one is a buy though, if you can find it, and if not, you can read it at the link above. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    The Fandom Post - Aj Adejare Jul 29, 2015

    Overall, it's looking like a strong start for Zodiac Starforce. Panetta and Ganucheau have done will to create an interesting story with the art and the direction to match. There are some quibbles that might not make it the best but they are mostly minor. The vast majority of readers, however, won't be caring about said quibbles but instead will care about when the next issue comes out. Graphic novel fans from all areas (comics, manga, etc.) should pick up accessible magical girl series. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comics Bulletin - Michelle Kisner Aug 4, 2015

    Where this first issue really shines is Paulina Ganucheau's (Faces, Cadets) gorgeous candy-colored art style. It's seriously beautiful and totally befitting the magical girl atmosphere. Though Zodiac Starforcewears its anime influences on its sleeve, it doesn't just copy what has come before it. There is a western sensibility to the proceedings that might make this new generation of young girls fall in love all over again. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    ComiConverse - Magen Cubed Aug 26, 2015

    Despite a few soft spots, Zodiac Starforce #1 makes a strong debut. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Book Resources - Marykate Jasper Aug 5, 2015

    "Zodiac Starforce" #1 doesn't so much embrace its premise as give it a wholehearted hug. Though I didn't love Ganuchea and Panetta's first-issue structure, they've created a world and a premise that I want to revisit again. I can see plenty of other readers feeling the same way. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    AiPT! - Robert Reed Aug 25, 2015

    With an energetic script by Kevin Panetta and lovely artwork by Paulina Ganucheau,Zodiac Starforce#1 is a charming debut. While the characters haven't escaped their tropes yet, there's enough to keep readers interested.Zodiac Starforce#1 isn't a comic for everyone, but for fans of the youthful team dynamics seen in animation, this is a comic to look out for. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comicosity - Trilby Beresford Aug 30, 2015

    As the issue came to a close, I felt completely on board with these characters and their friendship circle, which, like all high school friendships, comes with a healthy dose of drama. I'm invested in their goal to contact Astra and investigate what the hell is going on, and I know their adventures are going to be treacherous.If you're a fan of Gotham Academy, Giant Days, or The Runaways, I strongly recommend checking out this book. It was a pleasure to read, and I eagerly await the second issue. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    All-Comic - Dan Leicht Jul 29, 2015

    Zodiac Starforce #1 does a great job at setting up the world and team while giving a significant amount of background info into how things “used to be”. These girls have a lot to work out amongst themselves, but when something happens to their friend they all jump into save her but is it too late? Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Geeked Out Nation - Jess Camacho Aug 26, 2015

    “Zodiac Starforce” #1 is, overall, a solid debut issue. Fans of the Magical Girl genre are going to be over the moon with this but more importantly,younger readers definitely have the potential here to find their new favorite comic book. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    SnapPow.com - Harrison Rawdin Aug 26, 2015

    Zodiac Starforce #1 is a sturdy start for a property that needs to find an audience. There were a few hiccups to note but the team delivered charm withpersonality in spades, so much so that I can easily recommend it. Long live this squadof magically powered girls! Read Full Review

  • 7.8
    Multiversity Comics - Jess Camacho May 23, 2016

    "Zodiac Starforce" is a cute and fun read but does feel a little overstuffed. Read Full Review

  • 7.5
    Florida Geek Scene - Brian Reed Aug 26, 2015

    This book could have a hard time finding an audience. I'm not sure it's strong enough to stand out in the magical girl realm, and I'm not sure it would pull in any one who wasn't already a fan of that. It's worth taking a look at, but they've got to do something to set it apart quickly, or I'm afraid it'll just fall to the side of the road and be forgotten about. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    The Rainbow Hub - Logan Dalton Aug 26, 2015

    In the last few pages, Panetta, Ganucheau, and Ganucheau show Zodiac Starforce‘s potential to be a more nefarious take on a mythos that is usually bright and cheery, and Panetta begins to craft distinctions between characters like Kim and Savanna, who have fun as Starforce Cadets versus Emma, who is starting to see the serious implications of her powers. These sequences go above and beyond the cliches of the still stylishly drawn and colored high school party scene and give hope for Zodiac Starforce to transcend its influences and be an original, emotionally resonant take on the teen superheroine and Magical Girl genre. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    ComicWow!TV - Bhavna Bakshi Jul 29, 2015

    This is a really cool book with an awesome premise. Astrology mixed with tons of girl power makes for a pretty good story, as it turns out. If you’re into a good story and cartoony artwork, this series is definitely for you. I’ll be keeping up, and you should, too! Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Newsarama - C.K. Stewart Aug 25, 2015

    For genre fans, this book will be a perfect introduction to a new squad of magical heroines you'll quickly fall in love with. For new audiences, this book may feel rushed or overloaded at times. But it's a fun read, and Panetta and Ganucheau have a clear vision for this world. They just don't seem to have enough space to flesh it out in a meaningful way in one issue. With luck, the heavy exposition is merely a first-issue hiccup, and the Zodiac Starforce team can focus more on giving the team more emotional depth as the story unfolds. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Pop Culture Uncovered - Harry C. Sep 2, 2015

    In summary, its a good start for this book. While some work is needed with the dialogue, the plot and the Ganucheaus' art really makes it worthwhile. Panetta did an excellent job at introducing us to the characters and laying the groundwork for a larger well-thought out universe. For those looking to have a good book with a female team as well as those who are manga fans wont go wrong here. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Newsarama - David Pepose Jul 28, 2015

    For many, Zodiac Starforce's premise and potential will be enough to keep them interested, and they're not wrong for feeling this way - this book feels targeted for a very specific demographic of anime-loving women, and that representation will likely go a long way with a lot of people. But I'd also argue that Zodiac Starforce's biggest sin is that it's preaching just to the choir, rather than showing any new converts why this genre is so compelling in the first place. Now that the team is back together, here's hoping Panetta and Ganucheau can work some starforce magic. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Comic Crusaders - Aaron Sullivan Aug 11, 2015

    All in all, I can't recommend Zodiac Starforce just based on this first issue. Perhaps with time it will grow into something more, but until such a time as it begins to develop real characters, that will be difficult. Younger children might find the simplicity easy to grasp onto, but to be honest, I don't know that much about children! That's your personal call. If you're seeking any type of depth however, give this one more time to mature. Read Full Review

  • 2.5
    We The Nerdy - Kierra Prince Aug 3, 2015

    Perhaps it can work out its problems one day and become worth reading. But I have zero hope fora series where even its own heroines don't want to fight. Read Full Review

  • 10
    OhHeyDJ Aug 26, 2015

    Zodiac Starforce is a love letter to magical girl anime and manga, with western take on it. It manages to do an excellent job of giving you enough information to set up the world, characters and mission but it doesn't beat you over the head with all of the tiny details that some other comics tend to do in the first issue. Paulina and Kevin make an incredible team as they both share the same love for these types of stories which makes everything a lot more convincing. The duo have done their research. The characters are fun and well rounded. Even though this is only the first issue, I feel like I already know these girls or have met these girls at some point in my life and I want to be friends with them! Paulina's art is gorgeous and the colors are like a cotton-candy bubble gum fantasy that I never want to be over. I'm incredibly excited to see how the rest of the story unfolds and hope that we get to see more of these characters beyond the 4 issue run.

  • 10
    MrCoinLaundry Sep 30, 2015

    Zodiac Starforce is one of the best comic series of today. As far as magical girl teams go, they're my favorite. Immediately you feel like you already know the girls and you find yourself rooting for them all the way. The art by Paulina Ganucheau is incredible and truly makes the story pop and come to life, the colors are bright and vibrant and the character designs are incredible. Kevin Panetta's writing makes you feel like you've always known the girls,and you were right there with them for every epic battle. The comic as a whole does a really good job of giving you a nostalgic feel, reminding you of every magical girl comic and cartoon you loved as a kid. It's also fun to look for the cameos they put in the backgrounds, I loved seeing the sailors in there. Zodiac Starforce is incredible, I will definitely be buying every issue and I plan to frame them once I'm done reading them, these comics are on point.

  • 9.0
    J.P. Polewczak Sep 8, 2015

    As an adult heterosexual male, it's almost assumed that I grew up with friends who if 10+ years ago (or even today) saw me picking up an issue of a comic book that was pink, bubbly, and with all due respect, might as well have some glitter element to it... well, I would surely be heckled. That being said, comics, the growing community of comics, and the evolving mindsets of people who read comic books now are less likely to assume and place a label on a comic book such as "Comics for Boys/Comics for Girls". There are many men out there who would scoff at the idea that they could be interested in a book about high school girls... meanwhile there's no doubt that they watched the Powerpuff Girls and Mean Girls just might be one of their top ten favorite films. To them, I say, "Scoff if it makes you feel better, but..." "Zodiac Starforce" is a treat in so many ways. Depending on how complex the storyline progresses, right now this series appears to be a great all-ages book, similar to other current titles like Lumberjanes and Bizarro. Kevin's writing in this has provided a great balance of action, drama, and buttfarts (I mean, comedy). In following the story as it develops, there's a tendency to forget these are high school girls with high school problems, but he finds a way to subtly and not to subtly bring the characters to the forefront, which is simultaneously a credit to Paulina's art. The way in which this story is illustrated keeps the reader in a place where it isn't strange to see these characters fighting other-worldly monsters and two pages later sitting on a couch at a house party. The first issue sets up nicely for upcoming conflicts both in the girls' high school and Starforce lives. I'm looking forward to seeing if this series can maintain the momentum it has started with.

  • 10
    Veido Oct 10, 2015

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