It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed an issue of My Little Pony. After all the dark, gritty and non-fun comics I’ve been reading this week though, I think it’s high time I return. Let’s see what magic this series has for us this time around.
Is it good?
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #27 (IDW Publishing)
The Mane 6 are enjoying a lovely picnic one afternoon when suddenly — nature attacks them! From somewhere in Everfree Forest, something is causing a massive growth of plant life that is spreading beyond its confines and wrapping up Ponyville in tons of vines. The same thing is happening in Canterlot as well, so Twilight can’t call any of the other princesses for help in the case. So she and her friends decide to venture into the more dangerous forest to find the Heart of the Forest, the person behind everything, and find out what exactly is going on.
This issue starts off another two part mini-arc and and the setup was a lot of fun. The narrative added to the MLP lore, as we got to see even more creatures from the forest, including new deer characters, who bring their own interesting elements to the table. Sure, the existence of deer living in Everfree Forest does open a minor plot hole or two (if they have been living in there and care a lot about their home, why haven’t they ever popped up in the series before now?), but nothing really major.
The biggest thing to take note of from this comic was the fact that it actually had an environmental message/twist. Without spoiling the reason, we learn about who is causing all of these massive plant-grwoths and what exactly caused this individual to do so. That’s where the message comes into the story and to be honest, it’s a bit mixed to me; it was a bit blatant and at moments a tad heavy handed, but the issue does also balance it out with some counterpoints that are reasonable (plus, no one feels like a total villain when that would have been the easy route to take).
Sorry, wasn’t going to help until you did you trademark rhyming.
Writing-wise, Katie Cook’s story structure and pacing are just right: she crams in as much story and characterization in as possible. Not a single panel is without a good character bit, joke, or bit of story progression. After reading a lot of decompressed stories and comics recently, Cook’s narrative felt very tight and filling — it’s nice feeling like you’ve really got your money’s worth from a comic instead of being roped into seeing a resolution a month later when it could have easily been resolved in the present. The only negative to this storytelling is that it doesn’t leave much room for the audience to breath or take anything in, but that’s not a bad problem to have. The characterization felt on point, the sense of humor was great, and the dialogue was strong. Overall, the writing by Katie Cook is great like you would expect.
The artwork on the book was delivered to us by Andy Price this time around and it was as good as the previous issues he has drawn in the past. The characters are nicely depicted and extremely expressive. The layouts are solid and well put together, with even small additions, like the vines wrapped around the panel borders, adding much more to the look of the book. A lot of the designs and imagery in the book were very appealing to look at, especially for fans and younger kids, and the coloring was beautiful.
Is It Good?
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #27 was a great issue and solid start to this small mini-arc. While I’m unsure how the environmental message will be handled in the second half, the writing and artwork were very strong and great. Plus, some of the bonus additions were nice in adding more to mythology of the MLP world. Fans will certainly enjoy this and hopefully this little adventure wraps up on a good note.