My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a cult phenomenon that has sparked the interest of children and adults alike. Now, I don’t think I need to stand here and tell you all what a Brony is, but just to refresh your collective memories, Bronies are a group of adult males ranging from 16-25 years in age that have fallen in love with the aforementioned TV series.
With this target demographic taken into account, Hasbro has slowly gone about pandering to them, in an attempt to keep the demographic and sales numbers alive. They have accomplished this through various means, such as MLP trading cards with Brony in-jokes printed into them, mature storytelling through the TV series, and now even a comic book!
The MLP: FIM comic series began in 2012 and was written by Katie Cook and drawn by Andy Price. Their stellar storytelling and artwork caused the book to SKYROCKET in sales. Due to this great success, a spin-off series of the MLP comics called the MICRO-series was created.
While the main MLP comic surrounds several on-going story arcs that can last up to 4 or 5 issues at a stretch, the micro-series takes a different approach. The micro-series can be described as a series of one shot issues that each surround a self contained story revolving around a different member of the MLP cast. Each issue is drawn and written by a different creative team, thus keeping the series fresh and ensuring each issue has a different feel to it.
The first 6 issues revolved solely around the main 6 ponies, who are the main characters of the TV show. And while the series was meant to end there, the sales for these books greatly exceeded IDW’s expectations, thus calling to turn this series into an on-going adventure. Each issue has still remained as a self contained story, but they have now begun to branch off and tell the stories of other ponies, such as the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and the hero of today’s book, the almighty PRINCESS CELESTIA.
This particular issue revolves around Celestia’s average life in Canterlot as she deals with the events at her magic school for gifted Unicorns (think of Hogwarts for Ponies). The issue particularly centers around one of Celestia’s most trusted teachers, Professor Inkwell. Inkwell is, to put it bluntly, an OLD as DIRT pony, roughly around the age of Granny Smith. With age comes experience, but age also brings mild senility. Sadly, the Pony Teachers Association doesn’t believe she is fit to teach anymore, so they petition for her retirement.
Celestia, obviously disagreeing with the PTA, decides to hold a test to show how competent a teacher Inkwell truly is. After the parent ponies realize how foolish they have been, they decide to keep her on as a teacher, and everypony walks away, realizing that just because she may be old, doesn’t mean she doesn’t know what she is doing. This plays out very much like the MLP: FIM episode, “Family Appreciation Day,” where we discover that even though an older pony may have different ways of doing things, they are still some of the wisest ponies one can know.
The MLP comic series never ceases to amaze and impress. The art style BEAUTIFULLY emulates that of the TV series without becoming an outright copy. Unlike the show, the comic makes wonderful use of shading and color contrasts. Another fun bit to each issue are the Easter Eggs hidden throughout the pages. With each issue, the artists allow themselves to add in just about any pop culture reference they can imagine.
Like I said earlier, this school is meant to emulate Hogwarts for Ponies, so what else would be included but the gang from Harry Potter? We are treated to ponified versions of Prof. Snape and Trelawney. We even see a young black haired colt with a pair of broken glasses alongside a scared ginger pony and a brave book wielding filly. During a dining scene, the head chef pony can be seen strutting about the hall critiquing another chef’s food. If you look closely, you will notice that it is none other than a ponified GORDON RAMSEY.
Several other pop culture icons such as Darkwing Duck, alongside Huey, Dewey and Louie, can be seen throughout the book. It is quite obvious that the artists and writers have a lot of creative freedom and fun making these books, and it makes it that much more enjoyable for the reader. If I have any problem with this issue, it is the fact that the story seems re-hashed from a previous episode of the TV series. That aside, I have no plans of putting down this series anytime soon.
-Bright and colorful artwork
-A fun one shot storyline
-The story is slightly rehashed from the TV series