Review by: MysterionRises
Story by Katie Cook
Art by Andy Price
Colors by Heather Breckel
Letters by Robbie Robbins
Cover by Andy Price, Stephanie Buscema, & Jill Thompson

Size: 32 pages
Price: 3.99

Some Background

While I have been listen to iFanboy since 2008 and have been trying to read comics for a while this is really the second one I felt like I should review one this site, coincidently the other one (Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 2009) is also a light week recommendation by Josh. While I am not really a fan of comics or geek culture I am a fan of Alan Moore and his idea that there are types of the stories that only the comic medium can tell that other forms can’t. I agree that stories should be created specifically for that medium it’s in to utilize narrative elements to its fullest potential; otherwise adapting works from one medium to another just becomes like a straightjacket. That was one of the issues I was concerned about when I first heard about the My Little Pony. One side of me wants to avoid this work while another wants to support it, so I will try to give my best unbiased review on the matter, but first little background for those unfamiliar with the modern My Little Pony show.

The New My Little Pony Show

A big issue I seem to agree with Moore on are that stories should be treated like art, and not dragged out like franchise products only to draw in money, this was his concern with modern superhero comics just rehashing the same story. My initial concern was that Hasbro and IDW were just trying to cash in on the new brony fanbase, especially with all those variant covers (I actually got both the Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle ones). It is important to distinguish this new My Little Pony from its previous incarnations. In fact comparing the new show to the older ones is like comparing the Christopher Nolan Batman films to the Joel Schumacher films. It would be better to see the new MLP as Western animations equivalent to Astro City, All Star Superman, or even Watchmen.

Lauran Faust, one of the animators from the 90’s Animation Renaissance, took one of the worst girl franchised products of the 80’s that has been the butt joke of recent culture, with constraints of the production companies and static flash animation, revolutionized modern animation and children’s entertainment. The new show proved flash animation could be used in the same manner as traditional animation, that girls’ and kids’ show did not have to adhere to any mold society puts on them, and that as long as a work as well rounded characters, innovative storytelling techniques, and original narrative, anyone could enjoy them and that there are no excuses for the creative slump Western culture seems to have fallen into. It was the new My Little Pony that was responsible for the new wave of unique animated works coming out now, reminiscent of the 90’s Animation Renaissance.

Fair and Balanced Review

Sorry for the backdrop but that’ is probably the best way to brief someone unfamiliar to the whole pony phenomena before moving on to the review about the comic itself. Now as I said I was afraid at first this would be a cash grab product aimed for the fans of the show; though I did later see that both Cook and Price are big fans of the show and want to honor it. Though another fear I had was the observation that fans don’t normally always product the best works since they have too much connection to their fandoms. Another concern is that these characters won’t suit the comic medium as most television shows that have been adapted into comics really don’t work. My other worry is that there would be too much fan service and references that might turn off new readers unfamiliar to the show as well as younger readers. And this seems to be true since almost every panel had a call out to minor fan favorite characters, etc.

At first I had trouble getting started, the character’s normal expressions seemed to be even more exaggerated in the comic, but after a while I felt it worked going along with Scott McCloud’s idea of exaggeration to amplify expressions. Another thing that took a while to grow on me was the art, at first I didn’t think it fit. I have seen a lot of My Little Pony fanart and fan comics that I thought looked better but continuing on I found that Andy Price’s art really worked well with Katie Cook’s writing, both a little zany at first later ending up becoming cute and exciting. Actually I felt like Price’s art is the only style that could have worked since it was so unique and different from the original show, which most fan comics seem to try and imitate. I really liked the use of blacks and high contrast in the artwork which gave a different feel from the show which rarely uses blacks; it gave the story a very different atmosphere.

I am also pleased to see that they made use of the comics medium. As oppose to most other TV comics, which just use simple panels which just one traced over screenshots, Prince made great use of the panels and set up leading the eye at changing paces throughout the story.

At the end I would say that I did enjoy it, though I probably will enjoy more after a few rereads without the initial worries I had. Like the show, I feel that this is a work that could transcend age groups and be read by younger kids and older fans alike. I feel that new readers will either be confused or enjoy it, though I must admit it seems that one has to know of the original show first to fully understand the characters and the context of how they were portrayed in the comic. Overall I liked it, though I do agree with Moore that these supplemental works are a little irrelevant. They are sort of like the Before Watchmen series for me. However for fans of the show, these are great extra stories to fill the void between episodes. Though do I think these stories needed to be told? No. But that doesn’t mean others can’t enjoy them. I am not sure if I will stick with the series as I get my fill of ponies from the show alone, but probably will for the gorgeous Price art and Cook writing. And for those who haven’t seen the show yet and want a break from dreadful mind numbing waste like Twilight, Cleveland Show, and Michael Bay films, then you should probably check out a few episodes of this innovative animated show.

I give the story 4 stars and the art 4.5 stars. Like its animated counterpart, once again I am surprised that a work about rainbow ponies have been better than the other comics I have read as of late.

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 5 - Excellent


  1. Thanks for the review. It was great.

Leave a Comment