Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March of the Ponies: MLP Comics (Spike and Luna one-shots)

[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 DashRarityFluttershyPinkie PieApplejack, CMCs/Celestia; Nightmare 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)]

We have come to the end of the Micro-series issues with the Spike and Princess Luna stories!

The audio for each will precede the issues' text reviews. So let's get to it.

If you didn't know, he likes gems.
Issue #9 (Spike)

Spike's story is pretty much straightforward. He wants a pet of his own so he gets mail-order sea beasts to take care of. Not satisfied with their progress, he creates magic food that basically allows them to experience evolution in the span of a week.

By the end of the story, the glorified sea monkeys have grown into sentient, humanoid lifeforms. Their gradual evolution runs alongside Spike trying to teach them the history of everything.

This is pretty much a ridiculous issue, but the over-the-top art is at least good for a laugh. Also, it's really good to see Spike step it up and be a leader of men, even if they are magically created super sea monkeys.

I was actually surprised that Spike using questionable magic was not a plot point addressed. It was glossed over and seemed at times like the story was totally cool with the decision. Not sure how I feel about that.

Anyway, rating this issue, I have to give it only a 7.2/10. There's good stuff in there, and plenty to call the issue 'good,' but I can't recommend people pay for it.

The stylized art on this cover made it
stronger than the original one, I think.
Issue #10 (Princess Luna)

I flat out believe my audio serves as a better review for this comic than my text will, but I'll take a crack at it.

Luna is excited at the end of her work night, and Celestia is taking about how she prefers the day shift. She takes it as a challenge and chooses to run the day for one shift while Celestia gets a proper day off.

The day is incredibly mundane and Luna goes stir-crazy. Eventually she acknowledges that Celestia is better suited for the day because she's got the patience for it.

What I like about this issue is not necessarily the plot. (The plot itself was pretty pedestrian.) What's great about it is it shows the difference in how Celestia and Luna rule and why each one has the shift they have.

I really go deep into this in the audio, but I never felt it was more clear that Celestia and Luna represent the yin-yang than in this issue, so I really liked that.

The art is pretty impressive, though I kind of wish it had gone even more over-the-top. (That seems to be a common thing with this artist.

I really enjoyed this issue and think it was one of the top installments from the series. I wavered a little on what number in the audio I wanted to give it, but here I'll lock it in for sure at 8.7/10.

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