The Mighty Zodiac #1

Writer: J. Torres
Artist: Corin Howell
Colors: Maarta Laiho
Publisher: Oni Press

After the death of the Blue Dragon, six stars fall from the sky, and the evil Moon Rabbit army descends to the land of Gaya. It is up to The Mighty Zodiac to retrieve the stars and defeat the Moon Rabbit Army!

The Mighty Zodiac presents a magical land of anthropomorphic talking animals based on Eastern culture and folklore, with the titular group based off of the Chinese Zodiac signs. The land of Gaya is protected by the Zodiac, but lately they’ve been traveling the land engaging in various misadventures, since no imminent threat was present. With the death of the Blue Dragon, the Zodiac’s teacher, Long, sends the call to the rest to find the stars and bring them back to him, as that is the only hope they have of defeating the Moon Rabbit army.

Writer J. Torres and artists Corin Howell and Maarta Laiho create a world that mixes Eastern Culture and fantasy, the result of which is a unique aesthetic that draws readers in. Despite the high stakes, the tone is light-hearted, and the anthropomorphic animals combined with the fact that “death” is represented simply by characters turning into real animals makes The Mighty Zodiac feel “family friendly”.

The characters are likeable, though it’s hard to get invested in any of them just from the first issue, as it busily sets about introducing all twelve of the Zodiac. There simply isn’t enough room for any one of them to stand out. The first issue seems to mostly focus on the “Unlucky Four”, Tok(The Ox), Ko(The Cat), Mal(The Horse), Kane(The Dog), Buta(The Boar), and Tan(The Rooster). And yes, I know, that’s six. I don’t know if four of the six are the “Unlucky Four” and the other two are just there as well or what, it’s not very clear. Either way, we get brief snippets of characterization, the fact that Ko has a quick-temper or that Tan seems to be the leader of the group, but like I said, there really isn’t much room for characterization alongside establishing the world and setting up the story.

The Mighty Zodiac is a fun, light-hearted fantasy world with a unique aesthetic and good writing and art. Issue #1 seems like a solid start for new series, and it’s definitely worth checking out.

Rating: 4/5

More Info: For more information on The Mighty Zodiac and Oni Press, check out their website, twitter and facebook page.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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