This is the 1st of two reviews of My Little Pony: Episode #20. Why two? Easy. One is my view of this comic from the perspective of a comic book reviewer talking about a children’s comic and giving it an honest assessment of its virtues and areas that might need work. The other is my sarcastic, direct, and very much adult, spoiler-filled review of the same comic. I’ve read the comic three times in a row now and feel like I might be ready for this . . . but your guess is as good as mine on how this little experiment is going to play out. That said, there is an interactive angle to this review, if anyone cares to finish the whole thing. Let’s see . . .
Friendship, loyalty, fabulousness – what many a parent would call the trifecta of public virtues – are the core lessons of this here piece of work. That said, picking up My Little Ponies at Episode #20 is not nearly as easy as I thought it would be. First of all, it’s the 2nd (or 3rd? Who knows.) of a two-parter. Second of all, there is a cast of characters to try to remember. It’s like West Coast Avengers, Young Avengers, Avengers, Secret Avengers, and the mid-west Avengers (lame) all got together. I had trouble differentiating between Squirrel Girl and Generous Rarity (an actual MLP). For kids, maybe this is easy, but if you’re a parent looking to get your kids into this book . . . maybe start with Episode #1, if you can find it. What I’m saying is that this children’s comic was about as easy to pick up as your average Spider-Man in mid-storyline.
Okay, that out of the way, let’s do the easy stuff. The art is fine. Think PowerPuff Girls but a little more equine. Will it win awards for its cutting-edge perspectives and views on flying pastel unicorns? No. But, it’s clean and easy and pleasing enough. Your (potential?) kids will be fine and likely enjoy the art. The story . . . is great. Yep, turns out a pony or two have been psychically attacked in the form of Nightmares (Insert groan here.), and through the power of friendship, loyalty, and fabulousness (I did just pick those, but I think those are the theme feelings anyway.), stuff may or may not work out for our fearless thoroughbreds. Since it’s called My Little Ponies, it might be obvious, but I won’t be the one to spoil the end.
Overall, this was a tidy, little package. Written by Heather Nuhfer with art by Amy Mebberson, the comic does what it aims to do with a good number of possibly “on purpose’ references to more adult/entertaining stuff for parents. Plus, if you get this for your little girl (or boy), they might get into comics and someday fall in love with Wolverine and GFT and be just like me and won’t that be swell? So, do it and buy this comic for your spawn/offspring and be a good parent.
Now, on to my other take on this little gem.
First of all, everything I just said is true. This is just an added view of the experience of MLP and my personal take-aways. Also, I spoil the crap out of this story, so stop reading if you’re afraid.
So, I am still confused a little by what actually happened. (Is it 1 pony or 2? I think they all kind of look alike . . . which I guess makes me racist? I don’t know.) Anyway, a pony or two totally got brainwashed by “Nightmares,” which are somehow related to the moon and Luna and Generous Rarity (actual names), and are kind of screwed. Yep, basically I think this is a metaphor for adolescence for chicks. I can’t go into more detail on why/what I think here, because my editor won’t publish it, so just insert gross jokes here and maybe a metaphor on the stereotype of girls’ scariness during certain periods of time. Savvy?
Anyway, we go straight from the crimson nightmare parable directly to some of the most entertaining dialogue I’ve read in some time. A few snippets with context provided by me:
“Every pony deserves a second chance . . . or even a third chance!” Seriously, so this pony was like destroying the world. We can’t go around teaching our kids to give criminals 3 chances – at best/worst it should be, like, 2 strikes and Guantanamo Bay. Just sayin’.
“Your darkness cannot survive the light. Loosen your grip on Generous Rarity’s heart and let her speak.” I am pretty sure my ex-girlfriend’s BFF said this to me when I made my ex cry after the 8th grade dance. Let this be a lesson to writers in the future: kids might remember this and use it (at 8th grade dances!). This has no bearing on the review, but I thought it was funny.
“I thought you’d forget me if I stopped being fabulous.” Yep. The tragedy here is they didn’t forget her . . . thus teaching our spawn that should they cease entertaining the world around them, a minimum wage job as a fry jockey is not one poorlytimed “cute smile” away.
“I can feel your bitterness, Luna! You can’t deny it. It’s part of you . . . give in”. Pretty sure that the evil MLP saying this (Rarity?) is also Luna’s father. And, Luna has a sister she doesn’t even know about . . . who she kissed!
“You’re the awesomest.” Need I say more?
So, this comic will teach our kids to break the law a lot (because they deserve THREE chances!), be melodramatic about Rarity’s heart, stop making an effort to be interesting, speak horrible English . . . and perhaps accidentally make Star Wars references. Make your kids read this, because if they do develop into what I just described, it will likely still make the world a better place.
Would you like fries with that?
Oh, 1 more thing. If I get 5 or more comments on this review, I will get a tramp stamp MLP blue unicorn. For real. I will provide proof.