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On the heels of Sailor Moon's return comes 'Crystal Cadets'

The upstart comics publisher Lion Forge has launched launched a new entry in the classic magical girl genre with its new series Crystal Cadets.

Created by writer Anne Toole and artist Katie O'Neill, Crystal Cadets follows a middle-school student named Zoe who's gifted a magical crystal that gives her powers and membership in an elite but discreet sisterhood called (of course) the Crystal Cadets. Featuring members pulled from across the globe, this multicultural story shows these girls of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds learning and mastering special abilities in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their world.

Crystal Cadets follows in a long line of magic-centered female stories that comprise a genre dubbed in Japan as "mahou-shojo" or "magical girl," with its best-known representative being Sailor Moon. While manga didn't pioneer the concept it's been a much-used element in such series as Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura and Magic Knight Rayearth.

Lion Forge released the first issue of Crystal Cadets last month as a digital series, with plans for seven more issues in the coming months to complete the first overall arc.

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