Enter My Little Pony: Fiendship is Magic, the latest trade paperback from the series. This book follows a deeper tradition in comics, that of the villain origin story (five of them to be exact). In this volume, readers learn about the start of some of the show’s love-to-hate characters. With stories from veteran MLP writers and artists (listed below), this book is an easy guide into what makes some of Equestria’s Fiends tick.
Having been my first venture into MLP comic books, I didn’t know what to expect. What is apparent is that this book is a true extension of the animated series in both tone and artistry, which is often not the case for cross-medium properties. The likeness the characters have to their animated counterparts allows for true immersion which (in MLP:FIM fashion) is easy to follow and hard to forget.
At the same time, the art is also exceptional. With multiple variant covers laced throughout the book, fans that first fell in love with the animated art can be inspired all over again. The various artists on board for the individual stories all imbue their take on these MLP villains, which is a fascinating study. You start seeing just how much darkness an artist wants to put to page, how eerie these characters can go. The gift of comic books is there are still gaps left for the imagination to fill, and each artist’s interpretation opens up different avenues.
From Sombra’s struggle with destiny to the humbling of Tirek, the mastery of these books is to offer stories easy enough for young readers, but thoughtful enough for causal adult fans. Unhappy endings and the struggle of evading fate are tried and true subjects found in comic book worlds much darker and complex than those of five magical ponies, and yet the messages within can still be read loud and clear.
This book is a wonderful supplement to the animation that has taught and reminded so many what it is to be 20% cooler. For first-time readers such as myself, My Little Pony: Fiendship is Magic is a great jumping-off point into Pony comics. For continued fans, it’s another fantastic reminder why what started as a children’s show has become beloved by so many. At its heart, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has always been about lessons on being a better person (or pony), and just because we grow up doesn’t mean those teachings no longer apply.
Writers: Jeremy Whitley (#1), Christina Rice (#2), Ted Anderson (#3), Heather Nuhfer (#4), Katie Cook (#5)
Artists: Brenda Hickey (#1), Tony Fleecs (#2, #4), Agnes Garbowska (#3), Andy Price (#5)
Colorist: Heather Breckel
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Editor: Bobby Curnow