Sunday, March 23, 2014

March of the Ponies: MLP Comics (Applejack One-shot)

[NOTE: Links to other March of the Ponies stories will go here as they are published.Part 1 - Abridged MLP historyPart 2 - Review of Lauren Faust's prior works, Part 3 - MLP Comics (Micro-series of TwilightRainbow DashRarityFluttershy, Pinkie Pie, CMCs/Celestia, Spike/LunaNightmare Rarity arc (main series)), Part 4 - Equestria Girls reviewPart 5 - Fan-made episodes (Dusk's Dawn, Double Rainboom, Snowdrop), Part 6 - Fan works (MusicDoctor Whooves, Parody/Abridged Series, Fanfictions), Part 7 - Season Reviews: Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Magical Mystery Cure, Season 4 (to date)]

Applejack concludes the Mane 6's one-shots, and I feel like the title is a little off. It really should have been an intro to the entire Apple family. (I do review the trade as a whole in the audio, too, hence the longer run time.)

Only two-thirds of the characters
pictured are used.
The only real insight I took away from Applejack is that she's stubborn, she wants to do things herself so that her family members' lives are easier, and she's the reincarnation of Wil E. Coyote.

This story focuses on Applejack's attempts to catch a Sass Squash (yes, that's a thing) without the aid of her family. The lesson being taught is apparently that it's ok to ask family for help.

The main issue with this story is that this issue was kind of already touched on in the first half of Season 1. I like that we get an issue focusing on the Apple family and like that Applejack loves her family enough to inconvenience herself so that they can be comfortable.

All that said, though, while the slapstick and sarcasm used in this issue were great, they felt more like an homage to Chuck Jones than a story that exemplifies Applejack.

In the audio, I talk about how Applejack's Element of Honesty is similar to Wonder Woman being the Spirit of Truth. I'd like that to be explored more, with Applejack unknowingly acting hypocritically and needing to take a harder stance on a situation.

But that's a wish-list thing, so I'll stick to the book at hand, and I will say that Applejack does come across as a likable character here. She's focused to the point of driving herself crazy, and I actually could see a path where she could have been a Looney Tunes character at some point. That's a high compliment.

Applejack's humor is far underused, this issue showed me, and there really should be more issues/episodes done with the Apple family as a unit.

Overall, the issue is kind of all over the place and the art kind of dipped a little compared to previous one-shots. Still, though, a lot of good is there and I think people could have fun if they read this. I'll give it 8.5/10.

As for the TPB itself, the issues seemed to constantly raise in quality and then tail off a little at the end. Looking back, I'd have opened with Rarity and then closed with Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie at the end. Still, I liked the format they had and all the alternate covers were cool.

As a whole, I'll say the trade is worth a pickup. These issues give a good feel for the world and a good amount of the characters, so you can make a well-reasoned opinion on most of them by the end of it.

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