When the Blue Dragon dies, six stars fall out of the night sky! Ailing Master Long, leader of the Mighty Zodiac, orders his warriors to gather the stars, lest they fall into the hands of the malevolent Moon Rabbit Army. With the stars, the Mighty Zodiac may yet revive their master, rescue their world, and restore the light. Without the stars, the darkness threatens to divide the tribes and destroy Gaya…
At first glance that sounds like a pretty deep fantasy universe to delve into and I haven’t been one to get too into that much mythos since my days of reading Tolkien. But I trust Oni Press to deliver a good story and J. Torres wrote DC’s Teen Titans Go! comic (among other great titles) so I jumped in.
Damn glad I did, this all-ages title shies away from fart jokes and crazy antics and instead takes a deep interesting myth and makes it accessible to a younger audience. J. Torres added a bit to the summary we received.
J. Torres says,“Zodiac means “circle of animals” and The Mighty Zodiac are a clan of animal warriors based on the Chinese Zodiac who act as peacekeepers, defenders of the weak, righters of wrongs. While other myths explain why those particular twelve animals were chosen to be in the zodiac, we have our own explanation and backstory as part of our world building. It’s a big, diverse cast of characters who have been fun to flesh out and make distinct and entertaining in a sprawling world of magic and fantasy and butt-kicking action. Who doesn’t want to see a dog wielding a samurai sword and a cat with a bow and arrow take down some rabbit invaders from the moon?”
Corin Howell (Transformers: Windblade, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) and colorist Maarta Laiho (Lumberjanes, Adventure Time) have given such a smooth tight style to the book that reading it is effortless and entertaining. The four main anthropomorphic characters embody both the animal and human qualities so well I had no problem suspending my disbelief immediately. They had some comments on the book as well.
Corin Howell: “The most exciting things to draw have been the action sequences, anything with movement is a lot of fun to draw. The most challenging is a giant crowd scene full of bunnies and I have to draw each of those bunnies as a ninja.”
Maarta Laiho: “There are so many great characters, it will be impossible to pick just one as your favorite. The story itself is so rich with magic and mythology, that I hope readers will find themselves drawn into this world.”
Our main characters, Tan (a rooster), Ko (a cat), Kane (a fox), and Mal (a horse) are four of the twelve warriors who have heeded the call of Master Long, to go and find the fallen stars and defeat the Rabbit Moon Army. But they aren’t the most popular, or adept, heroes. Will they be able to save the light? And in doing so save the world? The story is heavy but it’s very well done and I’m looking forward to following along on Tan, Ko, Kane, and Mal’s quest for the fallen stars.
Get your copy of The Mighty Zodiac #1 at your local comic shop on Wednesday 4/6. In the meantime enjoy this preview, and a peek at all the covers, provided by Oni Press.
The Mighty Zodiac
(W) J. Torres
(A/CA) Corin Howell with Maarta Laiho
Retailer incentive alternate cover illustrated by Gurihiru
Fried Pie Comics interconnecting variant cover illustrated by Leila Del Duca
Age Range: 7 and up
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure