The My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Annual has arrived. This year’s focus? The Power Ponies, superheroes from a comic book that Spike was reading last season.
Comic book characters within a comic book based on an animated series based on a toy line? Is it good?
My Little Pony Annual 2014 #1 (IDW Publishing)
Welcome to the city of Maretropolis, home to the Power Ponies — the super-team that brings down tough villains and has won the hearts of Maretropolis’ citizens. The thing is… the Power Ponies really don’t care for one another due to their personal problems, inflated egos, and frustrating personalities. Kind of hard to take down the bad guys when your biggest enemies are yourselves, isn’t it?
Eh, I like the narrator’s name better.
Like the episode it’s based on, My Little Pony Annual 2014 is a superhero parody/homage, Pony style. This time we actually get to see what the heroes are really like, as a group of villains comes together to form a supervillain league and challenges the heroes. There’s a lot of good jokes here, and also clever, subtle, and not so subtle gags throughout (the opening of the comic reminded me of an opening to Powerpuff Girls). It’s a pretty decent follow up to that episode in its own way.
The writing by Ted Anderson is pretty solid. The dialogue is decent and the pacing and storytelling are tight. Given the nature of the story itself, one could easily end up rushing through a lot of things and not make it feel as satisfying at it could be, and thankfully that’s not the case here. The humor is enjoyable as well and there were plenty of moments that made me laugh or smile. Overall, it’s a solid issue here with the writing.
It’s hard to comment on the characterization of the Power Ponies (they seem like versions of the main characters of the series, with personalities exaggerated to much more unlikeable levels), seeing as how they didn’t get much focus individually and we don’t have their TV show version to compare to. They are fun to watch and have a couple of good funny lines, though their dislike of one another strangely reminds me of Geoff Johns’ Justice League run. The villains are incredibly goofy and are equally fun to watch here, though Mane-iac (yes, seriously) didn’t feel as crazy or over the top as she was in the show.
Ponies with the power of Thor and Brooklyn accents… well, alright then.
Ben Bates is on art duty and his style is reminiscent of Andy Price’s work with My Little Pony in terms of the way he draws the characters and makes them so expressive, his use of dynamic layouts and the visual gags. As such, the comic is very visually appealing and helps a lot with the experience and humor. Probably most impressive is the action in the book, bolstered by fight scenes full of energy and fluidity. Overall, I hope to see more of Ben Bates’ work in the My Little Pony series soon.
Is It Good?
My Little Pony Annual 2014 is an enjoyable read from beginning to end. It expanded well on some of the mythology built in the series, the story and superhero homage was fun, the humor was great, and the artwork stellar. This is definitely a must read for the fans, especially the Power Ponies episode.