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  1. #61
    SigmasonicX's Avatar
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    I read the Spike microseries issue. The story is a case where "The Simpsons did it", or so people say, because I don't remember that episode. In any case, Futurama did it too, but thankfully this turned out better for Spike than it did for Bender, though I was a bit worried when the giant sea monkeys started warring. While not the best micro-series issue, it was fun, and the art was cute. I liked that while Spike did mess things up at first, he was able to take responsibility for the giant sea monkeys and guide them into an intelligent society. It was also good to see Peewee be acknowledged
    Reality is only for those who can't handle Star Trek.

  2. #62
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    Just read issue 13 of the comic. It's surprising that the big time-jump required for this story to be after Magical Mystery Cure wasn't acknowledged at all, nor is any explanation for Twilight's new appearance provided to potential comic-only readers. With the start of this issue, we get the beach story that tons of people were looking forward to. I like the modifications to the character designs, including the flowers in Applejack's hair and the shells in Fluttershy's hair at the start, and Twilight's glasses later on. In general, Fluttershy was really adorable in this story, especially when she seemed to be blushing when held by Hoofbeard, though her clinginess to the fish didn't feel right, even if people say it follows her behavior in "Best Night Ever". In One Piece fashion, it seems like "pirates" are more like adventurers by default instead of criminals, given everyone's willingness to go along with Hoofbeard.

    The presence of pirate look-alikes of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Big Mac, and Granny Smith was very odd. Is it a joke about how since there are so many clones of background characters, then there surely must be clones of the side characters? In the first shot of the bar, you can see a Luffy pony in top left corner (standing next to possibly a Nami pony), and Zoro and Sanji being surprisingly friendly in the bottom right. Given the semi-famous Robot Chicken sketch, Apocalypse Ponies, it was surprising to see Rainbow introduce her group as the Four Ponies of the Apocalypse. There is a Goonies reference in the bar fight, with Rainbow yelling out, "Heeey yooou guuuys!", and there is a reference to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride with Twilight, Rarity, and Pinkie being chased by then chasing hoodlums. In general, the entire bar fight sequence was great. It was also good to see Princess Twilight actually being acknowledged, with the bar hoodlums wanting to take her hostage, followed by Twilight easily zapping them all into submission.

    The idea of Hoofbeard being on a quest for a moving X is quite clever, and I'm going to guess there will be a few Moby Dick references in the next issue regarding it. It's amusing how the issue ended with a giant ghost crab out of nowhere with Rarity present, but the writer stated that she had no idea Rarity vs. Giant Crabs was a thing. So, it's probably going to be Pinkie that solves the problem, given her crab obsession at the start of the story.

    Oddly enough, despite featuring the first comic appearance of Princess Twilight and having Rainbow Dash most prominently on the cover, it felt like the main focus character was actually Fluttershy. Overall, this was a very fun and enjoyable story, though Fluttershy's characterization felt off. Plus, surprise surprise, Twilight being a princess in the comics didn't make things implode.
    Reality is only for those who can't handle Star Trek.

  3. #63
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    In issue #14, the seaponies (or rather, mermares) appear, and it looks like we're supposed to assume the picture book featuring them is in continuity with the comic. I like the way they look and how they are characterized, for as little as we see them. I liked the twist that Hoofbeard was actually searching for his love, Jewel, but considering how long his quest was, the way it was resolved felt a bit weak. I suppose the mermares were mostly convinced by how Hoofbeard was still looking for Jewel and were just pushed over the edge by Fluttershy's speech. That said, Fluttershy's subplot was handled much better here than in the previous issue, and I particularly liked how Fluttershy continued to be nice to Hoofbeard after he was imprisoned.

    Still, I overall preferred the first issue of the story, which just overall felt more fun in my opinion. The encounter with the ghost crab was fun, though I was a bit bothered by the one line explanation where Twilight just says that magic doesn't work on the ghost crab. When the cover of this issue was first shown, I was wondering how the heck a single earth pony like Hoofbeard, even if he is a legendary pirate, could stand up to all of the main six, and yeah, he couldn't. The fight with him was fun, but it felt really disjointed, and it didn't feel like there was any drama to it when it appeared that even Rarity was able to take him on by herself. Also, this issue continued the trend of Fluttershy looking incredibly adorable in this arc.

    Overall, this was a really fun story arc, and I look forward to the next one with the magic bookworms. In particular, since it will feature the ponies encountering a fictional version of Daring Do, I wonder if the events of "Daring Don't" will be referenced at all. I suppose if the story took place before that episode, it would be reasonably understandable in-universe for the characters not to bring up the events of the comic story in the episode.

    The Luna micro-series issue marks the end of the micro-series series and the start of the "Friends Forever" series next month, and this was a great conclusion. By the way, do note that there is a bonus comic after the preview for the first issue of "Friends Forever" showing what happened the previous night. Excitable and irreverent Luna is definitely my favorite version of Luna, though unlike some people, I'll also accept the sad and emotionally distant portrayal as part of her character.

    I liked the new characters of Kibitz and Luna's pet opossum Tiberius (see the bonus comic), who would be nice to see in the show. I did think it was a missed opportunity that Luna didn't have to do anything in Celestia's school, but I loved the portions where Luna listened to disputes and played chess with Fancy Pants. I liked the gag of how after Luna resolved the first grievance with Flim and Flam, the very next grievance also involved Flim and Flam, and that Luna tried to resolve that dispute the exact same way as the previous one. The reveal that Luna and Fancy Pants were playing chess using ponies was great, and I loved Luna's anger at Fancy Pants beating her. Though it's played for comedy, Luna's attitude toward the "peasantry" and her anger does hint at how she could have turned into Nightmare Moon.

    Other scenes I liked were Luna being entranced by watching ponies through her telescope, her rushing off with Kibitz's list, her begging for a cupcake, and the scenes of Celestia relaxing at the spa. This issue does contain a cameo from Flash Sentry, and it's odd how the little interaction he has with Luna, or rather her pet, makes me more interested in seeing him and Luna interact than him and Twilight after the entirety of "Equestria Girls". The art was good in this issue, which I bring up due to the panels of Celestia's obviously hard-to-color mane receiving treatment at the spa.

    Overall, except for the first two issues (Twilight and Rainbow), the micro-series series was great. I liked the format of the main series sticking to a set production team while the micro-series will often bring in new writers and artists, which I'm glad to see continue with "Friends Forever".
    Reality is only for those who can't handle Star Trek.

  4. #64
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    I read issue #15, and I'll admit, the continuity references clouded my opinion of it. Spike references "Power Ponies", getting the details of how they got sucked into the comic a bit wrong, and then none of the characters appear to acknowledge the events of "Daring Don't" when Daring Do appears. It appears to me that the "Power Ponies" reference was based on the original season 4 preview, since I don't believe it would have been possible for the reference to have been added after the episode actually aired, and I'm guessing that it's for that reason that "Daring Don't" wasn't referenced. I know it isn't that big of a deal, but it bothered me. I was also bothered that Twilight had to constantly turn to Rainbow Dash for knowledge about the Daring Do book they were in.

    Anyway, besides those problems and perhaps the story rushing into the book adventures without focusing on the set-up too much, the story was very enjoyable. It was great seeing the ponies mess up the fairy tale and the romance story, and the Daring Do part was weaker, I felt, but still good. All of the effects of the bookworm eating the panels were neat, and one of those things that can only be done in comics. It was a bit disappointing that when the ponies were trapped in the empty void, no one suggested playing Oubliettes and Ogres (like in that one episode of Futurama).

    While this issue felt like mindless fun, I am looking forward to the next issue, with all of the fictional villains in the real world.
    Reality is only for those who can't handle Star Trek.

  5. #65
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    Reactions to the first issue of Friends Forever have been extremely negative so far. According to the solicits, it was supposed to be about Applejack and Pinkie Pie competing in a baking contest, but apparently that's incredibly inaccurate.

    Spoiler:
    Pinkie drops out of the contest early on in order to give a new character a chance and Applejack was never part of the competition in the first place. In fact, Pinkie and Applejack apparently barely interact, and are never competing. The actual story is that Applejack is confused for one of the competing chefs named Marine Sandwich, who looks nothing like her. Applejack and Pinkie both drop out of the competition to help another pony, and then Marine Sandwich rushes in with a Mr. Freeze-style icing gun to attack everyone, since she was upset about Applejack taking her place.

    Also, the dialog contains emoticons:


    As you can see, the art isn't very good, either.


    So yeah, I think I'll actually skip this issue. The only other issue I've skipped is the Equestria Girls one. Hopefully the next issue is much better.
    Reality is only for those who can't handle Star Trek.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by SigmasonicX View Post
    Reactions to the first issue of Friends Forever have been extremely negative so far. According to the solicits, it was supposed to be about Applejack and Pinkie Pie competing in a baking contest, but apparently that's incredibly inaccurate.

    Spoiler:
    The actual story is that Applejack is confused for one of the competing chefs named Marine Sandwich, who looks nothing like her.
    Spoiler:
    Heck, if any of the Mane Six can easily be mistaken for Marine Sandwich, it wouldn't be Applejack, but rather Fluttershy (as Marine pretty much looked like an "evil" version of her).
    Joe Klemm
    Toon Addict for Life and "gated community" member since August, 2002.

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  7. #67
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    Just read issue #16, and while the genre parodies continued to be amusing, I was left relatively cold by this story arc. Pinkie using her imagination to create The Lord of the Rings with some A Song of Ice and Fire ice zombies mixed in was fun, but I felt Rainbow Dash imagining Star Trek was dull outside of Rarity copying Uhura's hairstyle. Rarity's noir parody was fun, and an unexpected but fitting genre for her. I would have preferred if these genre parodies got more focus, though. All of the villains in Ponyville also had potential, but it didn't have nearly enough focus to do much with it. It was amusing to see an explicit reference to A Song of Ice and Fire with Daenerys and her dragons in a children's comic, though. The real world section also manages to muddle the continuity even more. The previous issue explicitly referenced "Power Ponies", but then here, Sweetie Belle and Applejack both act as if they still have the Element of Harmony gems, even if we don't see them. Although I suppose you could interpret it as Sweetie Belle being airheaded and Applejack's reaction as meaning, "Oh great, now they're tearing apart the library for gems that we don't have!" I felt the conclusion was somewhat rushed, especially since there was no big confrontation with the storybook villains. Overall, the story was decently fun, but even on the fun scale, I thought the previous pirate arc was much better.
    Reality is only for those who can't handle Star Trek.

  8. #68
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    Just read Friends Forever #2, my first issue of that series, and I found it quite enjoyable. At first I felt Discord was a little restrained, especially in his expressions, but he got better as the story went on. Similar to the bookworm arc of the main series, the CMC found themselves in new situations every few pages, but I think I actually preferred this to the bookworm arc, probably because there was more "comically failing at things" involved. My favorite was probably the Power Rangers parody. Strangely, this story features a Star Trek parody like issue #16 did, though this is specifically a parody of The Next Generation as opposed to The Original Series. While Discord's, "This seems familiar," is obviously a reference to John de Lancie playing both Discord and Q (who he is dressed up as), it also works as a joke about how issue #16 made a similar parody. The sequence of the Main 6 reacting to Discord's sphere of influence expanding probably wasn't necessary, but I thought it was a good way to show just how into it Discord is getting, that he is doing things he isn't even intending. In terms of characterization, I thought Sweetie Belle was a bit too much of the "sweet and innocent, but dumb as a brick" type, but it wasn't too bad. The sequence of the CMC thanking Discord was nice, but Celestia suddenly appearing was odd. Discord's line, "Nobody likes a know-it-all," partially made up for that, though.

    The art was simple, but I liked it. The artist's previous issue used colored outlines like the show, as I hear, so the switch to black outlines for this issue was definitely a good one. Colored outlines work on the show and not the comic due to the characters moving around, because otherwise objects start to blend into each other.
    Reality is only for those who can't handle Star Trek.

  9. #69
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    Friends Forever #3 (oddly coming out before the main series issue) was quite adorable. I enjoyed the way Celestia let Spike handle things, and I liked how an explanation for Celestia's hands-off approach was given that even brought up the Trollestia and Tyrant Celestia interpretations, rejecting them. It was nice to see Spike's ability to eat gems (and other rocks by extension) and swim in lava be used in the story. The rock lobsters were fine as minor threats, but they weren't that memorable. The "quick, grab my tail" meme was referenced when Celestia rescued Spike from the lavafall, which was cute. Overall, there really isn't much to say except that it was cute.
    Reality is only for those who can't handle Star Trek.

  10. #70
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    Issue #17 of the main series was great, and I love how much it's going into things like Starswirl and Celestia's history, and even hinting at Celestia having major character flaws that will likely be explored more as the arc goes on. As usual for this artist/writer duo, there were tons of fun background gags, including Luna disguising herself as pink Celestia (as seen in toys until Cadence's introduction) and the innumerable things in Starswirl's lair, including a gun(!), presumably from one of the alternate realities. And of course, the beat panel with Tyrannosaurus Fluttershy was great; I appreciate that they saw no need to add any dialogue or roaring there and just let it speak for itself.

    For complaints, the dialogue was edging on being too wordy, and while it's understandable enough, the Main Six other than Twilight largely felt like they were just taking up space. There was also a continuity error in that Starswirl's lair was specifically under Canterlot Castle, yet Celestia's constant presence there before Luna was sealed implies that Celestia was ruling from there instead of the Castle of the Two Sisters like "Princess Twilight" showed. This can be resolved by assuming that someone else was ruling from Canterlot Castle at the time and Celestia was just visiting, though.

    One thing I especially liked about this issue was what it said about Twilight. She always imagined herself growing up to be Celestia's new Starswirl and is conflicted on whether she should continue on Starswirl's path or become more like Celestia, and she just becomes more nervous when Rainbow Dash tells her to do both. I liked how during the usual scene of the main character saying something cryptic about how she feels and then saying she'll talk about it later, everyone said that no, they're going to talk about it now. The gag of Fluttershy originally wanting to be a dentist was amusing, and makes sense since she had no interest in animals at all until she fell to the ground.

    I liked how Starswirl was presented, as a sort of combination of Doc Brown and Merlin as seen in Disney's The Sword in the Stone. The gag of Starswirl asking for a hydra guard in the past and cutting to a hydra skeleton in the present was amusing. Luna's conversion with Twilight about how Celestia viewed her as being like Starswirl also sheds a lot of light on their relationships despite how brief it was. Luna says that Pinkie reminds her of Starswirl more, showing how she only interacted with Starswirl enough to see his absent-minded side and never saw the more serious side that Celestia saw, and tells Twilight that she reminds her more of young Celestia. We'll probably see the implications of that more, but now it seems that both Celestia and Luna see the same qualities in Twilight, but Celestia believes those good qualities were stronger in Starswirl than they were in her younger self.

    Celestia and Starswirl's adventures in other dimensions were fun, though it was a bit odd that they went on for decades before any problems appeared and that Starswirl didn't age during this time, though we can assume his great magic is the reason for that. It's amusing that Celestia and Starswirl constantly bringing things back from the other dimensions actually provides an explanation for all of the anachronisms in Equestria. As for what thing caused Starswirl to close the portals and Celestia to start crying in the past, is it possible that she was in love with alternate King Sombra?

    The side story at the end showing how Starswirl got his hat was also amusing.

    I'm definitely looking forward to what comes next.
    Reality is only for those who can't handle Star Trek.

  11. #71
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    Friends Forever #4 was OK. The flashback to young Twilight and Shining Armor "hunting monsters" was cute, but there wasn't as much focus placed on Twilight and Shining interacting as I would have liked in the present. King Sombra's rule was presented in kind of a weird way. The writer seemed to have gotten some details about the Crystal Empire wrong, with Twilight telling the crystal ghost that Sombra hasn't ruled for thousands of moons when time should have stopped for the ghost during that time like with everyone else, and Shining saying that Sombra was the one who built the castle, when the episode implied that Sombra corrupted an existing castle. It's kind of weird that Sombra's traps would exactly match what was in that monster textbook; I was expecting an explanation that the crystal ghost was the source of that information, but I don't recall that being stated. Others thought it was weird that Sombra would want to capture a crystal ghost to tell him stories, but it is a crystal ghost after all.

    The cameos from Dr. Forrester, Pearl, TV's Frank, Mario, and Luigi were cute, though it was kind of odd that they were given speaking roles. Mario saying that he'd rescue Twilight if she gets kidnapped was amusing, though it was odd that both he and Luigi were portrayed as cowardly. I liked the librarian character, Lexicon, though probably more for his concept than his execution, with the gags involving him distracting from the story a bit too much for my taste. This edit amuses me, though. Still, I did like seeing Twilight interact with another librarian.

    While I suppose it was nice to see that Shining Armor's rule actually does involve some ruling, I feel like too much time in the issue was taken up by all the advisers trying to get government work done, and that time should have been spent on Twilight and Shining's adventure. Still, the issue was decent enough.
    Last edited by SigmasonicX; 04-10-2014 at 10:26 PM.
    Reality is only for those who can't handle Star Trek.

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