Magical girl story arcs are definitely a guilty pleasure for many us (including me). Decades later, most of us are still obsessed with Sailor Moon or Cardcaptor Sakura. Many of us had our hearts bleed out with Puella Magi Madoka Magica. The current generation is enjoying a new level of magical character story arc in Star vs the Forces of Evil and even the shininess of Stevens Universe.
Roar comics (affliated with Lion Forge) released their own contribution to the magical girl universe with Crystal Cadets. The series promises an all ages comic that has a mixture of all of the above with five tweens as the main characters.
Crystal Cadets truly capture the magical-girl elements. There is the shy and awkward, light haired main girl who finds herself right in the middle of a mystical battle. She is suddenly saved by the appearance of three other girls, the Crystal Cadets, wielding magical powers obtained by gems. This comic even throws in some Power Rangers influence since their powers are specific to the gem that is awakened by them. Each person has a gemstone that can call upon a creature (like a phoenix or even a butterfly) that they use to aid in battles (sounds like the battle zords, huh?). They even have a head quarters manned by the elder sister of one of the cadets. To add some flair, the cadets are using powers without having any prior knowledge or training. They move forward just by pure luck
The major plus to this comic is the obvious diversity on the characters minus the stereotypes. Each of the characters is definitely an individual and comes off naturally as tweens with all the levels of awkward. Crystal Cadets is not really an all ages comic. It is a safe comic for young children, but is not likely to capture an adult audience. The story is simple, predictable, and lacks any real story arc. The art is a especially frustrating to look at. Those who enjoyed, say, the vitality of the Lumberjanes art are unlikely to find this noteworthy.
Crystal Cadets may be more fun animated instead of print. This is definitely a comic for those who want a very simple and silly story to entertain their young children.
Here’s the real kicker: no cat. Why no cat?!
Crystal Cadets is available as a trade paper back October 2015 at your local comic book retailer.