Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #2 Review

I just don’t know how anypony could think I’m annoying…I’m delightful!” ~Pinkie Pie

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the hot ‘new’ franchise on the block, it easily has one of the biggest fandoms. A comic series was inevitable, and what better company than the property masters themselves, IDW? All the other Hasbro titles are there, G.I. Joe and Transformers. (I sense a crossover in the near future…) Issue #1 released last month to rave reviews from all over the place. Even people whom had not watched the show liked it, that’s when you know you have a good comic. I myself as a big fan of the show was impressed at how well the characters were portrayed. Like the show, it was legitimately funny and perfect for all ages, whether you be 6 or 16, there’s something for everyone. The Return of Queen Chrysalis continues, it was most definitely worth the wait. My Little Pony is quickly becoming one of the best titles in the market.
Here’s the official description from IDW:
Queen Chrysalis has returned!
Our ponies have no time to horse around, as they set off to rescue their friends from Chrysalis kingdom. What magical adventures await them, and where the heck is Princess Celestia?

It starts out with Twilight saying they’re in Macintosh Hills, and the fastest route to get to the Changeling Kingdom is through the Appaloosan Mountain Range. In that mountain they face some pretty impressive threats, including a cave troll, giant spiders and…themselves? Even the friendship of magic may not prevail in the end. Katie Cook handles the characters extremely well, you’ll hear the voices in your head as you read. The lines such as Twilight’s, “I can’t wait to add that cave trolls love toys to my reference books” to Rainbow Dash’s, “Did you just use the words ‘excitement’ and ‘research’ in the same sentence?” really makes this feel like you’re watching an episode. This issue also has plenty of fantastic Pinkie Pie scenes, from the quote above to randomness about snails, she (along with the other Ponies) never fail to inject a good smile. Fluttershy too gets some great lines, especially in the spider attack scene. Queen Chrysalis gets a little page-time, the scenes with her and the Cutie Mark Crusaders never fail to be priceless. However, none of this wouldn’t be as terrific as it is without the art by Andy Price.

They could have gone for a more realistic approach to this series and be like the show’s flash animation. But, instead it’s more cartoony in the facial expressions and reactions. It really works here. (Though in one scene Fluttershy’s wing is way too big, it actually manages to be a shield!) First of all, it’s genuinely funny when a character reacts to something. From
their cute eyes-closed smile to them gasping in shock at the sight of the giant spiders. That page was so great it’s used as the Dynamic Forces variant cover. (C’mon, it has the Mane 6 yelling for dear life as Fluttershy happily wants to pet the thing.) I like how even in the background you can see the expressions on the characters, such as when ‘Applejack’ and ‘Rarity’ are smiling evilly in the background. It’s truly astonishing how well the art works with the writing, Katie Cook and Andy Price are probably the best duo I’ve ever seen for a comic series. There are three main covers, all of which go together like the Mane 6 ones did for Issue #1. All of them feature two of the Mane 6 confronting little spiders in the woods. Even if the eyebrows look a little strange, they successfully capture how the Ponies would react to these things, from Rarity’s worry to Fluttershy petting them. The RI variant by Stephanie Buscema is my personal favorite and definitely one fans will want to pick up. The setting is Apple Acres, we see Applejack, Rarity, Spike (with hearts in his eyes as he looks at Rarity) and Twilight chilling in her hot air balloon, a great cover. Like with the first issue, there’s plenty of retailer exclusive variants, too many to go into. Not many comics can claim they have this many variants! So go ahead, choose your favorites. (Fluttershy fans should head to Jetpack Comics.)

Overall, My Little Pony has done it again. I was smiling and laughing the whole way through. You get a lot of content, it almost feels like you’re reading two comics for the price of one. For fans of the show, it easily captures the characters and makes for more fun adventures. For new readers, the dialogue is funny and a true ‘all-ages’ title, I’m willing to bet that this series will make more fans! Another incredible installment, I haven’t been this excited for a comic on a monthly basis in awhile, long live the Ponies! (And Optimus Prime makes a cameo, so there’s always that.)

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