Home Comics/Books Comicphiles: Witches, Magical Girls And Dead Superheroes

Comicphiles: Witches, Magical Girls And Dead Superheroes



There have been so many new series released recently! The three I’m going to talk about today have been on my radar for a while now, meaning I’ve spent the last few months in a constant state of grabby-hands. All three are creator-owned from Image, Boom! Studios and Dark Horse respectively. I had some pretty high hopes so read on to see if they were met!


Plutona001coverPlutona is a five issue mini-series by Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox and Jordie Bellaire about five suburban kids who stumble upon the corpse of the world’s greatest superhero, Plutona.

The very first page draws us right into the story as we see Plutona lying in the woods as a fly buzzes around her. These panels aren’t gory or over the top but instantly convey a still, somber tone that I loved. From there we begin to meet our main cast of characters as they get ready for school, and seeing the way they all go about the morning is a great way to show us their homes, families and give us a quick idea of who they are.  Most of this first issue is spent getting to know them and the world they live in. The dialogue (save one use of a slur I personally wasn’t a fan of) feels natural and flows easil,y but it’s the art that brings Plutona to life. Emi Lenox and Jordie Bellaire make a perfect team. Lenox’s line work is beautiful; it’s unique, distinctive and a lot of fun to get lost in but just familiar enough to feel comfortable. Bellaire’s colours fit perfectly with Lenox’s art style, with colours flicking seamlessly from warm and welcoming to eerie and sinister. As we get to know the kids it’s clear that there are some underlying archetypes, and while they may not be the most original characters I’ve ever read, they are endearing nonetheless. 

In terms of story, this first issue is relatively slow but the strong characterisation and world building make it a fun read, and the last page in particular made me impatient for more. It all has a very small-town feel and is definitely character-driven, but it teases a lot of adventure and promises to be a compelling read.

Will I continue to read? Yes! I need to know what happens!

Toil and Trouble

ToilAndTrouble-001-A-Main-09ae2Toil and Trouble by Mairghread Scott, Kelly Matthews, Nichole Matthews and Kyla Vanderklugt is a re-telling of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. In this version, all of the power lies in the hands of the three witches, here named Cait, Riata and Smertae. For centuries they’ve been the invisible force controlling the royalty of Scotland, ensuring fate gets its way.

As the story begins, we meet Smertae as she returns to Scotland after nine years of exile and reunites with Riata and Cait. The character design for all three witches is beautiful, unique and visually stunning. The dialogue switches easily between original writing and direct Macbeth quotes, and it’s subtle and rarely jarring or difficult to understand. The pacing felt a little slow in places but it was always lovely to look at, with sweeping ocean and lush forests.

Smertae makes for a really endearing narrator. Her emotional connection to the story is so strong that if you’re a little confused by the premise, she acts as an anchor keeping you in the story at all times.

This issue is a pretty solid start to a six-part mini-series; there are a couple of pacing issues and inconsistencies but overall it’s a really nice read!

Will I Continue to Read? Yes, I’m a sucker for Shakespeare adaptations!

Zodiac Starforce

Zodiac-Starforce-01-CoverZodiac Starforce by Kevin Panetta and Paulina Ganucheau is about a group of high school girls battling maths, homework and otherworldly monsters. It has a classic magical girl premise but jumps right past the origin story and straight to the action! We meet team leader Emma as her study is interrupted by a monster crashing into the library and we get our first transformation. The outfits are adorable, typically magical-girl inspired but stylish and practical.

Most of the issue is spent at a party where we get to know the rest of the Zodiac Starforce team and get some backstory. The girls are seasoned vets who’ve already saved the world and are trying to settle back into a normal life, which gives a totally new perspective to a classic story. The history is dished out so liberally that for a lot of this issue I was worried that I had unwittingly stumbled into a sequel. I had a quick google halfway through just to make sure! A lot of this backstory also felt a little premature and would have had more of an emotional impact if we’d had more time to get to know the characters first.

But that’s my only criticism! Overall it was a fun issue packed with interesting characters. It’s always great to have comics about girls supporting girls and Zodiac Starforce has that in buckets. The art is beautiful, the colours are breathtaking and the characters are instantly likeable. The story is off to a great start; it’s vibrant and dramatic with a lot a lot at stake from the very beginning. I’m looking forward to getting to know the team more and seeing where the story goes.

Will I continue to Read? Absolutely!

I think it’s pretty safe to say that most of my high hopes and expectations were met! I really enjoyed all three issues and they made for a great new comic book day.

Be sure to let us know if you picked up any of these comics in the comments!