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Comic Book / My Little Pony

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My Little Pony refers to two different comics based on the original My Little Pony comics that ran in the UK during The '80s and The '90s, approximately coinciding with the run of the toyline's first generation (or "G1") in the UK.

The first comic, simply called My Little Pony, came out in September 1985, with one issue appearing every two weeks until its cancellation in December 1993 (save for a brief period in 1989 in which the comic switched to a weekly release schedule) with a run totalling 223 issues. My Little Pony and Friends (not to be confused with the American cartoon of the same name) debuted in February 1987 as a "sister" comic, featuring characters from alternate toylines of the period such as the Moon Dreamers, Glo Friends and Potato Head Kids in the vein of the similarly-named TV series. Due to its greater pagecount, "Friends" was twice the price and came out every two months, eventually shifting to a monthly schedule shortly before its cancellation in September 1994 after publishing 51 issues.

Initially set in a fantastical universe loosely based on the setting of the 1980s specials and TV series, the comics typically centered on smaller-scale narratives, albeit not necessarily in a manner compatible with the Slice of Life format: seemingly mundane situations such as harvest festivals, disco parties and beach trips were typically disrupted or defined by the involvement of an overtly fantastical force or creature (such as living furniture, elves with the ability to animate drawings in the sand and sentient beings composed of discarded junk) that contorted the proceedings in ...bizarre directions. Unlike contemporary animated incarnations, virtually every pony character wielded magical abilities (typically based on their rump symbols, which would not be termed "cutie marks" until the franchise's third generation) and the comic's continuous publication schedule obliged editors to conceive specific (and often deeply weird) introductions or origins for sets of characters recently released by Hasbro, heightening both series' quasi-surrealistic tone further. While the ponies' human ally Megan sporadically appeared (albeit far less frequently than her animated form), Molly and Danny were absent; however, Reeka and Draggle disguised themselves as the pair in My Little Pony and Friends #30. Many characters also have very different personalties from the ones they present in My Little Pony 'n Friends. It is not uncommon to see illustrated stories in the comics. The comics typically use vector artwork instead of original drawings for most characters.

As G1 decreased in cultural relevance across the UK during the early '90s, both comic series accordingly suffered noticeably more rushed artwork and increase dependency on recycled storylines. In March 1993, both series (beginning with issue 204 of "My Little Pony" and issue 38 of "& Friends" respectively) were resultantly hard-rebooted into a continuity strongly mirroring that of the later Slice of Life TV series My Little Pony Tales, which had first aired the previous year. Nonetheless, this ultimately failed to salvage "G1" in the UK, leading to the cancellation of the "My Little Pony" series nine months later (with "& Friends" following suit only months afterward).

There have been various Spiritual Successors for the generations afterwards. IDW's comics based on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic have their own page.

These comics contain examples of:

  • Alternate Continuity: The comics appear to be set in a different continuity from the show, but then again, there was a comic (MLP And Friends #30) where the Smooze, the Witches and Ahgg returned from My Little Pony: The Movie (1986). The story was even titled "The Return Of the Smooze" implying that the Smooze had indeed invaded Ponyland prior to the comic, contradicting the Alternate Continuity theory.
  • And I Must Scream: Chameleon the Enchanter wipes people's memories completely and irreversibly and then condemns them to slave away in his mines for the rest of their lives. He also has a mist trap that turns victims to stone.
  • Clones Are People, Too: The Baby Ponies are essentially clones of their mother born from Majesty's mirror. Their mothers simply see them as their own children.
  • The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: While the narration says Applejack accidentally collided with the Gem Wizard's throne and at the same time a crevasse just happened to open up, the image shows her deliberately kicking him into a preexisting crevasse.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Spike has bucked teeth.
  • Disney Villain Death: Applejack sends the Jewel Wizard falling to his death into a ravine.
  • Eye Scream: The Twinkle-Eyed Ponies were enslaved by a gemstone loving wizard, who forced them to labor in the darkness digging out luminescent gemstones, which basically drove them blind. When Applejack destroyed the Jewel Wizard's gem-encrusted throne and ended up kicking him down a ravine, an explosion occurred and drove shards of gemstones into each Twinkle-Eyed Pony's eye-sockets, giving them their trademark eyes.
  • Jackass Genie: Spotted four-leaf clovers. Luckily they can't recognize Reverse Psychology.
  • The Klutz: Applejack. However, she proved to be quite the Big Damn Heroine in "Applejack's Amazing Adventure" (the one with the twinkle-eyed ponies, whom she rescues singlehoofedly).
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: The final issues of both series feature a hard-rebooted continuity starring the cast of My Little Pony Tales, which, with its urban Slice of Life setting and tone, presents a marked contrast with the magical equines and bizarre fantastical humanoids of earlier issues.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Jewel Wizard is a radiant wizard dressed in beautiful robes and seated on a shining throne of jewels. He's also a thoroughly monstrous human being who enslaves ponies, forces them into hard labor, and works them until they go blind.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Most dragons (save for Sweetsaur, a love interest of Spike's appearing in several later issues) lack wings and are shown to come in different colors. Baby dragons (such Spike and the Princess ponies' six dragon attendants) are historically shown to be the assistants or pageboys of pony royalty.
  • Painting the Frost on Windows: To the same degree as FIM, and not just done by the ponies. For example, in one story, if the daffodil sorcerer doesn't get his gold on time, he can't use it to make the flowers and there won't be any this year, so the ponies have to get it back from thieves in a hurry.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: While yes, Majesty's punishments CAN be extremely harsh and cruel, a lot of the people she punishes with them are seriously vile. For example, Wanda the witch had turned three of her subjects into trees, and would've left them that way forever, so Majesty did the same to her.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: The "baby" versions of the ponies. In this continuity they're essentially younger clones of their mothers created from looking through a magical mirror.
  • Surprisingly Creepy Moment: The G1 comics are a lot like a children's storybook, which will often have dark elements written as if the writer doesn't get how dark they are. "You have gems in your eyes! Gems from the smashed throne! Now you'll see the way home too!" is how Applejack cheerfully describes what, as you can see, seems a lot more like Eye Scream to the rest of us. This not long after kicking the villain to his demise. Also, Majesty's punishments, though the villains have them coming, make her damn scary. The way characters return to being sunny so quickly after the darkness (one-panel wrap-ups of epic stories are common) serves less to defuse it and more to increase it with Dissonant Serenity and by showing just how much that for them it was Tuesday. Turn an enemy to stone permanently, the wording of the spell leaving it possible that he's a conscious statue forever, teleport back to the party like nothing happened! Ponyland was nearly eradicated, we solve the problem at the last possible moment, "Everybody Laughs" Ending two seconds after!
  • Taken for Granite: Happened to the ponies as much as it happened in the cartoon. Also, truly dangerous enemies of ponykind were punished this way by Majesty a number of times.
  • Truly Single Parent: More often than not. The fillies who are expies of the adults and named Baby [adult pony's name here] are clones, Baby Lucky was created by Majesty, and two more were created from drawings. One was found in another world with no word on how she got there. We have one two-parent family, the Apple Delight Family.