Friday, March 21, 2014

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

[NOTE: Links to March of the Ponies stories will go here: Part 1 - A look at previous MLP shows, Part 2 - Review of the works of Lauren Faust, Part 3 - MLP Comics (One-shots of Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, 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)]

This week on the March of the Ponies, I am reviewing comics based on the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series.

Some are probably wondering why I'm not doing the show first. The answer is simple, actually: I want to save the show as the main review.

Besides that point, this blog is predominantly comic reviews, so it only makes sense that the first review of the series itself are the comic titles.

Just a heads-up, though: I am NOT reviewing all the titles that have come out. Yes, I know there are currently two active MLP series produced by IDW Comics, but I still have a limited budget and so I will only be reading one arc from the main, self-titled MLP title in trade paperback form.

None of the events on this cover
happen in the comic itself.
Additionally, though, I picked up another trade set: My Little Pony: Pony Tales. And while the title is similar to the 1990s show, it is an FIM comic series.

As a matter of fact, it is a 10-issue (expanded from six originally) set of one-shots that delve into all six main characters, both princesses, Spike the Dragon, and the Cutie Mark Crusaders as a unit.

I'll be exploring these as a way to gauge the comic end of the Pony-verse. And for those curious, yes, these titles are all canon works. They exist as a way to make more money for Hasbro to give the older audience more in-universe stories that don't necessarily have to stick to the kid-friendly format of the show.

The first issue I'm tackling is Twilight Sparkle's, which kicked off the 10-issue series. Her one-shot focuses on her being assigned to help the capitol's injured librarian and help her to come out of seclusion.

There is real character development and growth in this issue... for the librarian. Twilight's role in this story seems to be an outlet so that Jade Singer isn't talking to herself. Glimpses of Twilight's canon characterization are seen early on in the issue, but outside of the fact that she's bookish, nothing really permeates through the entire issue.

As I said in the audio, the art is a
tad blocky, but it's passable.
To me, this is incredibly surface-focused for a one-shot that's supposed to define the character. If someone who had never seen the series read this, I think they'd be hard pressed to find words to describe her beyond "nice, bookish perfectionist."

I am using the scale I set to rate my normal comics for this, so to recap for newbies on this blog:

1- Terrible issue. Maybe one sequence worked and it's really only worth purchasing if you REALLY want the full collection
2- Same as a 1 except it provides some plot worth noting for future issues, or has something that redeems it.
3- Bad issue. No one would defend the issue, but fans of the character may enjoy it simply because it's their character.
4- Sub-par issue. Certain tastes may find it enjoyable, but it's not a book anyone can just pick up and enjoy.
5- Average issue. Some will like, some won't. I'd advise reading it in the store before purchasing.
6- Decent issue. Fans of the character will rate it as good while casual readers would probably be turned off.
7- Solid issue. Skim in the store to see if it's worth the money, but at the very least it's worth keeping up with what happened.
8- Worth buying. Customers won't feel short-changed, it should be read, but it's not necessary to buy it.
9- Must-buy. Absolutely worth the price of admission. A satisfying read all-around.
10- Must-own. At this point the book should probably be considered for Issue of the Year.

I give this issue a 7.5/10. The art is solid, but not great. The story is worthwhile, but it fails to meet the goal it set for itself. If you see it and you're a Twilight fan, you won't feel cheated if you buy it.

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