Nov 282012
 

The current season of My Little Pony kinda sucks. That opening two-parter felt like the worst kind of self-serious fanfiction a teenager would write during their first attempt at prose, and the other two episodes were lacking in the wit and charm that make the series fun. I was kinda hyped for these new episodes, so to see them be mediocre at best was pretty disappointing, and because of that I wasn’t too thrilled to check out the new comic that came out this week.

Nope. It doesn’t suck. It’s pretty solid stuff.

 

The story’s pretty much a sequel to the second season’s finale. That evil doppelgänger pony chick, Queen Crysalis, is back and she’s getting all body snatchery with the Ponyville peeps…

Actually, is “peeps” appropriate for ponies? It’s short for people, but it’s also the name of a animal-shaped confectionary. Yeah. If a chicken or a rabbit or a snowman can be a “peep,” so can cartoon horses with distorted anime faces.

So yeah, this big bad is turning all the pony peeps into pod people. The whole town’s been rounded up, save for the stars of the show, and they have to do their thing and save the day. It’s all pretty standard stuff– they find the pods, beat up some baddies, get some gags in, and save the day for the most part. The Cutie Mark Crusaders– the trio of kids who run around causing havoc in an effort to gain their Mark of the Cutie Beast– are being held captive by the evil doppelgänger monster thing. Said villain dares the cast to save them within three days because somethingsomethingcometcomingponyMayanendoftheworldprobably.

That scene leads to the best gag in the comic, and it illustrates why I dug this issue:

The kids talk about being kidnapped like it’s one of their little games. “Yeah, maybe we’ll get our cutie mark in being fillynapped!” As kid sidekicks, that’s pretty damn appropriate when you think about it. These sorts of characters exist to be tormented and help captive by the villain in order to make heroes look good. It’s their purpose in life to be fillynapped, so it’d make way too much sense for them to get branded as such for life.

But it isn’t just the situation gag that makes this little bit awesome. That look of exasperation and disappointment on Applejack’s face is great. You get some good outtakes in the cartoon, but the static permanence of a comic lets that irritated look sink in. Crysalis’ “I’m gonna kill these fuckers if you don’t hurry up and fall into my trap” look is pretty great as well. The entire comic has this sort of dynamic comic strip style to it. It’s easy to recognize it as something from the Friendship is Magic universe, but it also has its own distinct style. It’s doing its own thing while still being the original thing. That’s about as good as you can get from a licensed comic like this.

This is good stuff. If you don’t have some sort of misplaced psychological allergic reaction to the whole pony thing, check it out and stuff. It’s a hell of a lot better than the currently airing season, that’s for sure.

Also: Magnum P.I. and Higgins ponies.

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