A new series of Zodiac Starforce, the super stylish and beautifully illustrated series by Kevin Panetta and Paulina Ganucheau, with colors by Sarah Stern and letters by Christy Sawyer, arrives in shops for its first issue on July 5th for “Cries of the Fire Prince“.
In this all-new storyline, our elite gal teenagers with magic powers are back to protect our world, but there are some basic difficulties to overcome–like going to high school, and monsters. The monsters might be the easy part. New baddies are lining up to challenge the Starforce and with their local downtown in danger from demons, it’s time to find out what they’re made of.
[Variant cover by Jen Bartel]
One of the great themes that’s placed front and center in this first issue of the series is how we all change–to ourselves–and have the capacity to look back and wonder why the hell we made the choices that we made as young people. When we see that stranger in our past, it reminds us how much better we know ourselves now, and who we want to be. These girls are in that stage where they are already capable of looking back a little, but are trying to navigate decisions that they may find formative or regret later, depending. That’s part of the dramatic structure of this first issue, and presumably we’ll see more of that in Cries of the Fire Prince.
Another feature that makes this a meaningful issue is the use of realism in how the Starforce girls handle their daily lives. We actually don’t spend a vast amount of time engaged in their lives with them in this first issue, but the time we do spend coasts neatly between funny elements like Kimberly Rose practicing wrestling with her pillow-clad boyfriend and quite serious and potentially relatable elements like her caustic and undermining father. It seems like Panetta goes just that little bit further in his dialog to break through to the emotional elements of family relationships in a way that helps keep the fantasy elements of the series grounded in empathy for the characters.
Otherwise, this first issue also sets up a bigger plot for the series, with the mysterious arrival of demons to fight, getting the girls ready to flex their skills, and the more significant calling up of a dominant force who may be something or someone far different than they might be expecting.
This is a series that is set to capture your imagination and your emotions, and is well worth picking up this summer.
Zodiac Starforce: Cries of the Fire Prince #1 arrives in shops on July 5th, and reaches FOC today, June 12th, so time to get those orders in!