Friday, February 21, 2014

Comics Review: MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDS FOREVER #1 (IDW Publishing, January 2014)

I'm a little behind schedule when it comes to reviewing this first issue of the replacement title for IDW's MLP MICRO-SERIES, but it's all good.  After all, the subtitle itself claims that MLP:FF will be around...


To ensure such a happy, long-lived fate, however, the creative tag-teams who will presumably be taking turns on this book will have to up their game a bit.  "The Pie's the Limit!", the Applejack-Pinkie Pie joint that starts the title off, isn't quite a complete misstep, but it's definitely something of a disappointment. 

* SPOILERS *

The plot setup here is frankly mystifying; Applejack gets involved with the shenanigans at the "Equestria Super Chef Competition" simply by virtue of delivering an apple pie to the contest site, but we never find out for whom the pie was meant or why it was delivered in the first place.  It's basically just an excuse to get AJ mistaken for a half-crazed "food performance artist" (if such people exist, I hope they're confined to one municipality; my money's on San Francisco) who subsequently vows revenge.  Said revenge comes in the form of an "icing gun" that paralyzes all and sundry (including Twilight Sparkle -- yep, the powerful alicorn princess who has mastered all sorts of arcane magic and battled dragons, Lords of chaos, and giant worms is supposedly undone by flying fondant). Applejack is among the victims of the cruel confectionary charge, leaving Pinkie to save the day with the help of the girls' newfound friend, Toffee Truffle.  You would think that an issue devoted to a specific teamup would allow the team to, you know, cooperate in the successful resolution of the plot.

Though her plotting leaves a great deal to be desired, writer Alex De Campi does capture the personalities of AJ and Pinkie reasonably well and throws in the occasional good joke (an offhand Pinky and the Brain reference is particularly bracing when delivered by Pinkie).  Carla Speed McNeil goes the Colorforms route in terms of art -- all two-D characters and flat backgrounds -- and the end product looks more like an actual MLP episode than most of IDW's previous releases.  Nothing wrong with that, but I'm hoping for better storytelling and more intriguing teamups in future releases.  The upcoming issue teams the Cutie Mark Crusaders with Discord, who's never before been featured in the four-color forum.  Its quality will tell us a lot about where this title is going.   

4 comments:

Pan Miluś said...

I'm finally catching on with the newest My Little Pony episodes (the last one about Fluthershy joining the band was beautyfull) and as I was watching those epiosde I realise that after Fluthershy my favorite character is AppleJack... (don't worry, Rarity is my third favorite ;) )


I wonder what happend to her parents... She such family centeric character yet we never got a single refrence to the fate of her parents. I think there is a interesting back-story there...

Pan Miluś said...

BTW -> I don't know did you seen the latest episode ("Twilight Time") yet but I found it just frustraiting.

I'm not the bigest Cuty Mark Crusaders fan in the first place (their not bad, I just find them the weakest part of the show) but man was this one bad.

It's just 20 minutes of watching the Crusaders being manipulated by Diamond Tira and presure by other clasmates (bully if you like) and geting into more and more akward situation without no real fault on their part. It's just unplesant to watch. It didn't help the way plot moved was pretty bland and there was little to no funny moments (in fact the more I think about it, it was very dialog centric episode with little on visual humor or action)


Also - I know Twilight is now a princess and all but her personality basicaly becomes Celestia II. She's the center of the episode but she dosen't do much out-side of being voice of the wisdome. She's just become a generic nice character in this episode and lack her usuall personality. She went from enjoyable character to a pretty boring one.


I would love to hear your opinion on this one...

Chris Barat said...

Pan,

I found "Twilight Time" underwhelming as well. We saw some decent character development on Sweetie Belle -- it was the first time that she really took charge of the CMC, plus (of course) she made some progress in her magic skills -- but it was a pretty dull and draggy effort with little to no humor. I also agree with you that Twilight seems to have stalled in terms of character development.

Chris

Drew said...

I agree that the story was no great shakes, but I'm a sucker for obscure references. In this case, the Milk n' Cheese cameo and Flaming Carrot's "Ut!" had me laughing and my daughters baffled at what Daddy found so funny.