Follow TV Tropes
I didn't notice this at first, but that's a rather interesting observation.
Okay, as per what seems to becoming tradition, semi-liveblog catch-ups:
I thought Friendship is Magic #48 (Accord part 1) was a pretty good issue. The art was great, with cute moments like Twilight eating cereal with her hair up, and creepy moments like the ending. I thought everyone accepted Discord's change into Accord a bit too quickly, but I liked how Starlight and Fluttershy were less enthusiastic. I like Accord's design, though the continued asymmetry is odd given his theme. Though perhaps that's foreshadowing.
All right for the reminder that extreme order can be as bad as extreme chaos, but I hope this isn't going to turn around and try to stick an Aesop on everypony else for not "appreciating" Discord as he was. Requesting he pipe down for a bit during the alignment was perfectly reasonable, not really being unwelcome.
That's the problem with We Want Our Jerk Back plots, that we're generally supposed to assume people were in the wrong for wanting assholes to have positive character development through an extremes straw fallacy.
Would be funny if the last page of this arc is Discord asking everyone if they now appreciate him more and everyone just looks at each other before silently staring at him as he gets more and more unnerved at their lack of an answer.
Friends Forever #34 (Pinkie Pie and Cheese Sandwich) was a pretty fun issue. I like the idea of this house going around eating party-goers, it was interesting how the story intercut with a flashback, and I liked the way Pinkie and Cheese interacted with the fillies. I thought the resolution was pretty good.
The art was fun and energetic. I like the new character designs, particularly Java Bolt.
One complaint is that, in the end, Pinkie and Cheese are too similar for there to be much benefit from both being in the story. This comic basically just has them do similar things, but they alternate who comes up with ideas. While Pinkie interacting with a similar character is actually pretty rare in the show and comic, I don't think Pinkie and Cheese's interactions were all that interesting.
Was gonna comment earlier this week, but realized that I missed a new issue from last week, so I had to pick that up and read it. Really wish the EqD's Official Comics filter left out that Silver Quill junk. Makes it that much more annoying to sift through to find releases.
It's been a bit since I read a couple, so these'll probably just be really quick impressions:
Friends Forever 35 (Twilight and Starlight) was a rather plain and straightforward issue. The heroes go somewhere, encounter a monster, then defeat it. Similar to last month's Pinkie and Cheese issue, Twilight and Starlight felt rather interchangeable in this story, and thus their interactions didn't feel that interesting. Given how far before release these stories are written, I'm guessing there simply weren't enough episodes out with Starlight to provide a good basis for how she acts, which can also be seen by the continued use of her old hair style. Spike also wasn't too interesting. It was nice to see Owlowiscious, though.
I agree with Silver Quill's review that the art style and story were a mismatch, especially with the lack of backgrounds.The monster and the spells were fun, though.
All I know is that we got a giant Glim Glam throwing down with some rock/plant golems. That's good enough for me.
IDW announces a new miniseries. Awesome.
Also looks like Katie Cook is back. Nice.
I see more potential on the same premise applied to Sunset Shimmer rather than Prince Blueblood.
To be clear, it's an event that many series participate in. For example, Star Trek is getting an issue about what if first contact was with the Romulans instead of the Vulcans. MLP is only getting one issue. As for using Sunset instead of Blueblood, I feel like that would be too similar to what happened in the actual episode with Twilight.
As for Friendship is Magic #49 (Accord part 2), I liked this issue, and in general, it looks like this arc will be better than I expected. The art was great here, with a lot of creepy Accord ponies and fun expressions and poses from the other characters. The part with Celestia kissing Luna on the cheek was adorable, with Luna's disgusted expression and Twilight's smile, though it made me think, "Woah, is Andy Price trying to provoke shippers?!"
Twilight and Luna going into Accord's mind is a very good plot development that made things more interesting than I was expecting. I didn't expect things to tie back into the Discord/Luna Friends Forever issue. Well would you look at that, Celestia isn't defeated by Accord's magic, but rather Twilight and Luna! Still, I'm expecting them to be faking it.
There were some odd moments, though. Celestia going "WAT?" was a bit too much. And there must have been some coloring mistake in the panel where everyone gets past a group of Accord ponies, because it depicts Starlight and Rarity teleporting past them... with Rarity casting the teleportation spell. WAT?
There was another Strawberry Shortcake preview at the end. I feel like more than any previous one of these, this one suffers from a real bad case of sameface.
I let the Rarity teleportation slide if only because saying "Rarity teleports herself and Starlight" sounds cooler than "Starlight teleports herself and Rarity".
Super late on impressions as per usual.
With the second Accord issue, it kinda felt like not a lot happened, even though there were a few remarkable events like going into his mind and finding Discord, then getting captured (effectively cutting off any way of relaying Discord's information). I guess that's a sign that the arc is taking its time to build up the tension (though it might have slightly overdone it). I hope this relative pacing stays steady throughout, rather than ending up with a rushed resolution because they ran out of space again.
I was a little bored by the Twi and Starlight FF and I'm not really sure why. It had a pretty effective way of delivering information without getting too telly. I guess it might be that the monster kind of comes out of nowhere, which, while fairly common in this series, ended up being a strong focus whereas the monsters are usually incidental. This kind of elbowed out character development while simultaneously not giving a ton of background on the monster. This might have left the issue stretched too thin. One thing I do find really intriguing, though, is that the monster was smart enough to specifically target the thing that could defeat it (although, that begs the question of why it waited so long when the castle had been abandoned for quite some time).
So, they've announced that they're ending Friends Forever with a Luna/Celestia story. But they are launching a new series titled Legends of Magic that is going to tie in with season 7.
Gonna miss Friends Forever.
Really hope something significant comes from the whole "tying into S7" thing. This keeping the EU separate from the show is dragging down every medium.
Read Friends Forever #36 - Rainbow Dash and Soarin. The beginning was a bit too wordy, but it got better once Rainbow left on her journey. Having Soarin want to prove himself after the events of "Rainbow Falls" is an interesting direction. The story reminds me of "The Last Roundup", which also involved a character leaving until they could prove themselves. The setting was pretty interesting, though the entire thing with ponies coming there to run away from something didn't get explained much. Given that there's an apparent need for strong fliers to deliver medicine at the mountain, it's odd that they just left at the end without a second thought.
This issue was alright, but I just don't find Soarin that interesting. I think it really comes down to the find that I don't like his voice in the show.
Read Friendship is Magic #50, the end of the Accord arc. Personally, I only had two big issues with this issue: * Twilight and Luna going into Accord's mind amounted to nothing. They didn't transfer anything they learned to the other characters, so it was purely a neat scene for the audience. * While I actually did like the use of the Elements of Harmony instantly corrupting its users (aside from the fact that they used the Elements of Harmony), having that also turn everyone in Equestria into Accord was too much of an escalation.
I really liked how they connected this evil Discord with all the previous evil versions to appear in the comics and show, especially with the realization that Accord wants the same thing Discord does. Thus, I thought Starlight's speech worked well. Overall, this was one of the better comic arcs, weakened by what I mentioned above.
Other notes: * Celestia got the Elements of Harmony from the Tree? If that was always a possibility, that really undermines the threat of Tirek. * Showing Sunset when Starlight talks about friends not being someone exactly like you is odd. That wasn't Sunset's goal, so it only makes sense as a jab at those two being similar, which is strange to do here. * Doctor Hooves saying that he can finally blink is a cute reference. * The final page of the main story was a reference not just to the first crowd shot of the comic, but various other bits of comic art.
In the backup story, Fluttershy's smug face when Discord realized he was challenged was super adorable. The actual plot, with Discord turning Celestia into a normal pony and her enjoying her day off with him, was really good.
FAKE EDIT: After reading Silver Quill's review, I do have to agree that the resolution doesn't work with what was set up. I get the feeling that all the focus on Celestia was meant to be a red herring, and thus make Starlight's victory a surprise, but that doesn't work at all when the audience expects Celestia to fail to prop up another character. The note about everyone else being made to look worse to prop up Starlight reminds me of my own complaints about Rainbow Rocks, but Sunset at least suffered some hardship there. I suppose the reason why I didn't notice it at first here is that, indeed, the only character Starlight interacted with significantly was Celestia, and the way Celestia acted here was in line with what we saw in the Reflections arc. I didn't like her portrayal there, but now it's in line with what I expect from the comics. In comparison, for Sunset to work in Rainbow Rocks, it was the actual main characters (or rather human counterparts) who were made to look worse. Also, really surprised he didn't mention that the presence of the Elements of Harmony is odd.
These are the same ponies who thought not bringing the Elements of Harmony to fight Sombra was a good idea. I guess if you need a explanation then I don't know, maybe they thought it too soon to pull the Elements from the tree? Or they didn't really consider Tirek a Discord tier threat until it was too late? Bleh.
I don't think it was a jab, though it probably was a nod to their vague similarities. Sunset does live on the other side of the mirror though, so it could've been an obtuse play on words.
As for my thoughts, I don't have much problem with the resolution, but it does have some toxic We Want Our Jerk Back undertones. If Discord could ever stop being a jackass this would've been a positive, but as it is it makes he ponies look back for not laughing when Discord does his crap.
Just read Friends Forever #37 - Rarity and Trixie. A big problem with this issue is that it took about 1/3 of the story before Trixie was actually introduced, and meanwhile there are other interesting character interactions that end too soon. We have Sweetie Belle and Babs Seed seeing each other with cutie marks for the first time, and then we have Rarity and Sapphire Shores getting ready for a concert. It seems like that second one just stops so Rarity can be mistrustful of Trixie, despite this being after "To Where and Back Again" (and the "Manehattan Mysteries" comic story), and Trixie can exposite about how she changed.
There is some interesting stuff with Trixie feeling like Rarity is outshining her and thus pushing herself to impress Sapphire, which causes problems. This causes Rarity to realize that things would have worked out better if she planned things out with Trixie instead of working alone. However, I feel like not enough time was spent on this. In the end, the real focus character appeared to be Sapphire Shores. I wonder if this was originally a Rarity / Sapphire story, perhaps with a new character in Trixie's role (some upstart that Rarity doesn't work with at first), but Trixie was swapped in due to being a stronger selling point. Still, this is a pretty decent issue overall.
There's also a preview for Guardians of Harmony at the end, but it's the same Shadowbolts one we got before. I still wonder what happened to the supposed early digital release.
Just read Friendship is Magic #51. I have to say, the scale on this story is much smaller than I expected, so far. A thief takes a history book from Twilight's castle, they wait until morning before actually going after him, they look around town, and they find him.
The relaxed pace is a pretty nice as a change from how story arcs usually go, though. I enjoyed seeing everyone encounter wacky new characters, and I like the design of the magic shopkeeper. Fluttershy getting information from the saloon by realizing she could just hoof wrestle someone else, and beating someone that was crushing on her, was a nice contrast with Applejack's stubbornness, but what was with her calling it a "wrestley-doo"?
Everyone choosing to just have a sleepover was odd at first, until it was revealed Twilight had a spell to track down her books. Still, I don't get the point of Pinkie's dream sequence, even if it was amusing. I also don't see the narrative point of spending so much time on Frankenstag at the start, if it was just meant to establish Spike's fear.
While there's nothing wrong with us being as in the dark about Shadow Lock as the main characters, I don't think the issue did a good enough job making him seem like a threat yet. He's doing something and nothing particularly bad has happened as a result.
Still, it was a pretty enjoyable issue.
Older Guardians of Harmony post:
At long last, the Guardians of Harmony comic special is finally out!
Shadowbolts - This was previewed before, and it's still fun. The part with Fluttershy was better than the actual Shadowbolts part, though.
Cheese Sandwich - Hey hey hey, wait a minute. While Bon Bon's real name is Sweetie Drops, no one in-universe knows this but Lyra! That completely breaks my immersion in this story /s. It was kind of odd that Cheese would be replaced by a changeling, only for Pinkie to see the real one being carried away and almost immediately figure it out. This was alright.
Shining Armor - This one is a bit odd. Shining Armor goes under the castle to find magic left behind by the first Crystal Empress, Amore. He passes an obvious test set by her, with Fluttershy appearing to be trapped with the sounds of changelings all around them and him choosing to stay behind to help her, but the only magic left is a potion with a dragon label.
Twilight Sparkle - With this one, I notice that Andy Price is the only one actually labeling his chapters. The previous two aren't given titles outside of the table of contents. Despite the title, a lot of the focus is actually on Lyra and Bon Bon, which is nice. There's a pretty odd explanation for Twilight's armor from the toys, with the castle bestowing it on her for bringing two friends who had their friendship tested. The use of the armor is absurd, with her literally just going around scooping up changelings.
Wonderbolts - It's nice to see more specific Wonderbolts members, including Surprise, who looks like her G1 version. She doesn't do anything Pinkie-like. This is another forced toy inclusion, with Spitfire unveiling prototype supersonic devices to bring them to the Crystal Empire more quickly.
Big Spike - Shining Armor somehow ran all the way to Ponyville with the dragon potion. Twilight tries it on herself, and uses it to grant the other ponies armor to fight the changelings. Spike tells her to use it on him, since it's clearly meant for him, and two pages from the end, she relents. Big Spike easily defeats the remaining changelings, the end.
So yeah, this is the most blatant "buy our toys" thing the show and comics have ever done. Some parts are fun, but a lot of it is really forced. I can't tell if it was intentionally like that, to resemble the old He-Man comics that came with toys and the like, but regardless, I can't say I was a big fan.
FAKE EDIT: Learned from Silver Quill's review's first part (the others are coming later), and from the comments below it, that in the final section, Fosgitt might have copied fan art for the armor designs. The common theory behind this is that that particular bit of fan art is from early in the fandom and has become so ubiquitous that he might not have even realized it was fan art. Still, not a good look.
And Deviations post from today:
Just read the Deviations special. This marks the return of Katie Cook to the comics. Or did she come back earlier? Honestly, I thought her claim that she was taking a break was code for her leaving forever, so I didn't expect her to be back this soon.
Anyway, this was a pretty fun story.
I'm not sure where Blueblood's pet dog, Bunny, came from, but he was an amusing addition.
For some reason, I always get a kick out of scenes where stallions hit on Fluttershy, which we only get sometimes in the comics and never in the show. Come to think of it, has the show ever had a stallion (not Spike) hit on Rarity? I can only think of the other way around. Anyway, this is canon-ish evidence that Blueblood did, indeed, find Rarity attractive in "The Best Night Ever", but he naturally acts rude regardless. There was some debate in the past about whether this was the case, or if he knowingly acted uncouth and wasn't attracted to her.
It was interesting seeing the Ponyville ponies come up with strategies to defeat Nightmare Moon in Twilight's absence, and they might have even succeeded if Blueblood was just a bit more reliable. Nightmare Moon explaining that she arrived early just so she could surprise everyone was amusing, even if it does feel like something added in after Celestia was written to be unaware of what was going on. I liked the way she was defeated, with everyone comparing her to Blueblood and her realizing what a monster she has become, thus reverting to Luna.
I did think the story continued past where it should have. Page 23 was the perfect ending, with Blueblood stuck on the moon and Celestia wondering how things are going. The stuff on the moon just felt like padding. FAKE EDIT: I was about to say maybe if it was presented as an epilogue and was drawn by a different artist, it'd fit more... but it turns out that's exactly the case. This part is drawn by Katie Cook herself, which I somehow didn't notice on first reading, and it's credited as a back-up story.
So the Deviations comic is pretty delightful. As Cook said in the back, Blueblood is the best worst pony. I mean, he's so awful that he got Fluttershy to yell at him. And this was episode 1 Fluttershy, before she started learning to stand up for herself. This was Fluttershy at her quietest and most spineless. That Fluttershy found Blueblood obnoxious enough that she yelled at him. He was so obnoxious that Nightmare Moon gave up evil and apologized to her sister, just because she was horrified at being compared to him. He redeemed Nightmare Moon through the power of douchiness, and that's amazing.
NMM turns good because Blueblood is that insufferable. Luna doesn't even get purified. NMM just realizes evil ain't worth it if it means being compared to BB.
That is hilarious.
Community Showcase More