Comic Book / Zodiac Starforce

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By the power of Astra, Starforce lights the way!

Zodiac Starforce is a Magical Girl comic published by Dark Horse Comics, written by Kevin Panetta and with art by Paulina Ganucheau. Part of a long line of mystic defenders, Emma, Kim, Molly and Savanna are Gemini, Taurus, Pisces and Aries, an elite group of teenage girls with magical powers who are sworn to defend our planet against evil creatures. Two years ago, they battled the evil goddess Cimmeria, but since her defeat, the team has split up. Now, monsters have begun reappearing...

Zodiac Starforce contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Alpha Bitch: Diana is every bit the stereotype, being a bully and gathering her own Girl Posse. And interviews with the creators imply that she may be the Big Bad.
  • Amazon Brigade: Zodiac Starforce, par for the course for a magical girl team, are composed entirely of young girls.
  • Arm Cannon: Molly wields one while transformed.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Emma does this to the monster in the first issue, pointing out that the glowing gem seemed pretty obvious.
  • Blade on a Stick: Savi's weapon while transformed.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The teens in Diana’s coven.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: “By the Power of Astra, Zodiac Starforce lights the way!” (The tagline hasn’t changed in thousands of years.)
  • Child Soldiers: The other side of the series’ premise.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Though the Zodiac forms are predominantly light blue and white, each member of Starforce has their own colour scheme: Kim is blue, Molly is red, and Savanna is green. Emma takes the cake, since her uniform is almost completely pink and red.
  • The Corruption: The first monster that appears infects Emma with dark energy that causes her to black out and have strange visions, and which Astra says will eventually lead to her death.
  • Disposable Intern: How Cimmeria regards Diana, much to Diana’s distress.
  • The Dreaded: Cimmeria is dangerous enough that Astra won't risk allowing her access back into our world, even if it means Emma will die.
  • Dual Tonfas: Lily’s weapons.
  • Evil Makeover: Alice when she appears as a member of Diana's Girl Posse.
  • Fallen Hero: Diana was leader of the original Starforce, but turned to Cimmeria when Astra refused to bring her friends back to life. Diana's spent centuries trying to destroy Astra and every new version of Starforce that emerges, aided by the brainwashed, zombie versions of her old teammates.
  • Five-Token Band: Emma appears to be darker skinned. Kim and Savanna are white, Molly is Asian, and Lily is black.
  • Girl Posse: Diana and her followers, which Josh describes as "a coven of mean girl witches".
  • Gone Horribly Right: Molly tries to open a portal to Nephos, the darkness dimension, in order to reach the source of Emma's corruption and destroy it. At first she doesn't think it worked, until Savi points out the giant hole in the sky.
    Savi: I think it worked a little too well.
  • Hates To Be Alone: A possible reason why Diana keeps her zombified teammates around after thousands of years, and why she brainwashes groups of teens in the present day.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Josh for Kim, and Lily for Savi.
  • Huddle Shot: Used when the volleyball team is fighting during their big match.
  • In Harm's Way: Kim misses everything about the days they fought Cimmeria's forces, but especially the monster fights. Savi is a little nostalgic about it too.
  • Kid Detective: The girl who was spotted spying on the team by Kim turns out to be part of the high school's Detective Club, which has been following Zodiac Starforce's exploits for years and have been gathering information to help them if needed. They've got information on Diana and her minions and even reveal they know about past versions of the group, as well as the other Starforce team revealed at the end of the series.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Emma is the leader, and has a uniform that is mostly pink and red compared to the mostly light-blue uniforms of her teammates.
  • Love Redeems: Savanna is able to break Diana's hold on Lily by declaring she loves her, and as the two kiss Lily is transformed into Libra.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Kim has a shield while transformed, and can use it to reflect attacks.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Emma/Gemini is the team leader, and her weapon is a sword.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: The Zodiac Starforce prefer brute force attacks with swords and the like.
  • Missing Mom: Emma's mother is implied to be one of the casualties of the girls' battles with Cimmeria.
  • The Needs of the Many: Astra’s response when the girls try and ask for her help with healing Emma’s corruption.
  • Nightmare Face: Emma sees one on a girl at Colleen's party when she bumps into her, possibly as a side-effect of the corruption she received.
  • Power Glows: The Starforce girls' weapons, which glow to the point that they seem to be made of light.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Kim really wants to do this, even though as far as the rest of the team is concerned they're done fighting monsters.
  • Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: The Zodiac Starforce, who were all fourteen when they started out two years prior to the series' beginning. The first issue implies it will be a deconstruction, as Emma points out that they experienced some fairly traumatic things and even witnessed the deaths of people close to them when they were fighting Cimmeria.
  • Refusal of the Call: When Emma turns down Cimmeria’s offer of power and resurrecting her mother.
  • Sequel Hook: The end of the last issue reveals some shadowy organization has intel on another Starforce team that's currently active. Said team has a version of Libra whose file is stamped "Deceased," which raises questions about how Lily got her powers and if there's any connection with the previous Libra's death.
  • Shoujou: Catered towards this genre, it features lots of magic, sparkles, bright colors, and kissing.
  • Shout-Out: Emma has a Sailor Moon clock in her room. Fitting.
    • When Lily becomes Libra, her hair turns purple and suddenly she resembles Shana from Jem.
    • A girl in the café is wearing a shirt with BB-8 on it.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Kim and Josh can be like this. Molly thinks they're disgusting, Savanna thinks they're adorable.
  • Star Power: The source of the Zodiac Starforce powers; Astra is (presumably) the manifestation of stars.
  • Tainted Veins: Emma gets these after her crystal gets corrupted.
  • Tomboy: Kim, with her Peek-a-Bangs, tattered vest, and Boisterous Bruiser personality. Her Zodiac form even has spikes on it.
  • Understanding Boyfriend: Kim's boyfriend Josh is much more nicer and supportive compared to how Darren treats Savanna. Kim also told him about Zodiac Starforce, so he knows to call and check that Kim's alright when the monsters begin invading and also let her know he's okay too.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Kim and Emma can't figure out why Savanna is interested in jerkass Darren. She eventually breaks up with him and starts dating Lily.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: One difference from most Magical Girls (with the exception of Subaru Nakajima) is that the girls wear shorts instead of skirts.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ComicBook/ZodiacStarforce