Publisher: Oni Press
Writer: J. Torres
Artwork: Corin Howell, Maarta Laiho
Release Date: 6th April 2016
Every so often, a comic comes a long and catches you completely off-guard in the best of ways. The latest to have that effect on me is J. Torres’ and Corin Howell’s The Mighty Zodiac, which is the most enjoyable and surprising first issue I’ve had the pleasure of reading since Wild’s End. Furthermore, much like that particular comic, this is an anthropomorphic adventure that is unlike anything else on the market right now. Take notice, people.
Set in a mythological feudal world occupied by animals, the story focuses on the Mighty Zodiac clan as they battle the evil Moon Rabbit Army, following the death of The Blue Dragon. The Dragon’s passing caused six stars to fall from the sky, and the race is on to collect them before they fall into the hands of the renegade rabbits. The Mighty Zodiac need the stars to cure their masters ailing health; but the bad bunnies aren’t prepared to let that happen. Therefore, the race is on and some kung fu fighting that’s as fast as lightning ensues, as chickens, tigers and other creatures go to war.
While the notion of a world occupied solely by animals is fairly left-field, The Mighty Zodiac should go down well with fans of traditional kung fu and fantasy stories; especially ones set in feudal China and Japan. It’s actually quite reminiscent of Kung Fu Panda, albeit unique in its own right due to this having more edge and less goofiness. That being said, The Mighty Zodiac is has many moments of comedic brilliance, and it’s a great read for kids and adults alike.
The art work is another treat. It’s sketchy at times, but it does a marvelous job of creating another world and pulling you in and exuding a sense of mysticism and history, without even explaining it. The expressions on the characters faces expertly convey their range of emotions as well; there are panels which tell the story without the use of words, and the lack of full exposition works well to the overall strength of the story.
The Mighty Zodiac is off to a great start and it seems like it could be a potential classic in the making.
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The writer of this piece was: Kieran Fisher
Kieran Tweets from @HairEverywhere_