Let’s just get this out of the way first: yes, there are bronies. Some of them are really weird.
Now we move on.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has obviously made an impact in pop culture lately, and even among my friends. I tried to watch the first episode to see what all the fuss was about, and I have to admit: I failed the friendship test. It was just too bright, happy, and friendly for me. I’m no grouch, but man, I have my limits. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the perfect show for its age range, and I was happy to move along.
Then I figured, why not try out the comics? What could that hurt?
It turns out I enjoy My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic a lot more in comic form. It’s a lot easier to ingest, and the bright colors and character design are perfect for the medium.
I haven’t read the first volume in the series, but volume two wasn’t hard to ease into. I was actually a little impressed at how each character was sketched out; for someone who wasn’t too familiar with them, I got their names and characteristic down right away. It did make me think about how fine a line the comic draws between character and caricature. This is where I’m always impressed when someone who writes for a younger age group manages to get the details across without going too far overboard. Enough for the youngest reader to understand who is doing what and why, without annoying the oldest reader. This series walks that line perfectly, and I can picture parents reading these books to their kids without getting bored themselves.
The pony crew faces something that everyone, whether big or little, has or will face in their lifetime: nightmares. Not just big scary nightmares that are obviously not reall and will go away when you wake up. These nightmares prey on the ponies’ wildest insecurities, and Rarity goes so far as to believe her nightmare entirely, becoming a vessel to the real villain of the piece. While the motto of friendship and loving one another is hammered in time and time again (that is the theme of the series, after all, and it’s a fantastic theme to be sharing with our kids today, but that is another story), the way the ponies come together to save the day is inspiring. Yes, as an adult I could see it coming, but you know what? I didn’t care. By the time I was at the end I was enjoying the story and let myself get carried away with it all.
Isn’t that what we want out of a story, anyway?
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the perfect antidote to the current trend of dark and gritty adult comics. It’s fun, it’s silly, and it has a fantastic message for kids.
My Little Pony: Pony Tales is a micro-series that spends time with one pony each issue. It’s a cute collection and a peek into the lives of each pony outside of the main group. While some stories weren’t as strong as others, as a whole it was a fun read. I’ll run through each issue here, since I liked a couple much more than the rest.
Twilight Sparkle is sent by Princess Celestia to help the injured royal archive librarian to shelve books. Twilight Sparkle’s enthusiasm and love for all things involved with the archive – despite the archivist’s constant grumpy mood – was destined to make me smile from the start, and their growing relationship as the days passed was great to see. One panel in particular, which shows them warming up to each other and eventually dissolving into book talk, is one of my favorites in the entire series.
Rainbow Dash tries to get rid of some cloud gremlins hanging over Ponyville, but fails and hurts her wings in the process. I think this was my second favorite in the series, mainly because it was interesting to see what makes Rainbow Dash tick. (Remember, I’ve never seen the show.) Also, there were tons of pop cultures references in this that made me giggle from time to time.
Rarity goes to what she thinks is a spa retreat, but it ends up being a hippie farm where she has to do a ton of work. I’m a bit indifferent to Rarity in general, but I really enjoyed seeing her so obviously out of her element in this one. And while the hippie ponies seemed a bit over the top at times, there were some great gags that made it all come together. (…always watching…) Tied for second favorite.
Fluttershy secretly enters an art showing with a huge knitted sculpture she made, but she’s so fears rejection that she hides her identity. This one didn’t really make much of an impact.
Pinkie Pie‘s story revolves around her seeing and meeting Ponyacci (tee hee), her favorite pony clown ever. While it was cute (a running theme) seeing her reactions and how she helps him out, this was another one that didn’t really do much for me.
Applejack‘s family crop during the Hearths Warming Eve season is being stolen and replaced with squashes, by the dreaded Sass Squatch monster, and AJ takes it upon herself to catch the wily Sass Squatch. The various traps that were set (and ruined) were fun to see, but this story just kind of was.
Overall, My Little Pony: Pony Tales was a fun look at each of the ponies on their own. Twilight Sparkle and Rarity’s issues were a highlight for me, and honestly, these are the perfect series to give to young readers who are just getting into comics.
Disclaimer: Both volumes were received via NetGalley, in exchanged for honest reviews. This has had no outcome on the review itself.