Comic Review: My Little Pony – Micro-Series, Issue #7
Oftentimes with a successful television series, 21st century companies will try to find some way to keep its audiences ‘faithful’ during the show’s down-time, until a new season of episodes starts. In the case of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the dry-spell has been relieved, with the release of several comics through IDW Publishing. While a regular series has covered multi-part stories with numerous cast members, IDW also has created a micro-series. Each of the micro-series issues is meant to focus on a certain character, or group of characters.
Issue #7 marks the first issue that doesn’t deal with the “Mane 6” characters of the series, and focuses on a trio of little fillies: Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo. The three comprise a small club called The Cutie Mark Crusaders, and it is their intent that together, they intend to earn their cutie marks (aka a symbol on a pony’s flank, that tells what their ‘destiny’ is to be).
As the issue starts, the three have spent a week trying all sorts of things to find what their special talents are, but have gotten no cutie marks to show for it. When Applebloom mentions they’ve tried everything in Ponyville, Scootaloo recommends they go searching the nearby Everfree Forest for something that might help.
Their journey leads them to an underground cavern, and the discovery of a large gem. However, upon taking it back to Ponyville, Twilight Sparkle claims that the girls have not found a gem, but a creature known as a Mimicker. It can take on the form of anything, except ponies. And since the one the girls found is not an adult, it can copy many things, as it attempts to find one form it will settle on upon becoming an adult.
Hearing that the Mimicker is just a young creature also trying to find one thing that defines it, the girls eagerly adopt it into their club, and attempt to help it. However, their good intentions quickly start to stray.
The story deals a little with ‘selfishness,’ and at times, ‘using others.’ That’s the best I can say without giving too much of the story away. Suffice it to say, I’m sure many will remember back to their own youthful days, and probably draw their conclusions there.
Writer Ted Anderson and Artist Ben Bates last collaborated on Micro-Series issue #5, which dealt with a story based on the character of Pinkie Pie. Issue #5 felt a little too manic (then again, it was a Pinkie Pie story), but issue #7 is probably my second-favorite story of the entire micro-series so far. It’s structured well, and flows in a way that makes it quite a page-turner.
To me, one sign of good writing is when the comic I’m reading, feels like it could meld perfectly into the television series/movie/etc it’s based off of. It does feel that given several more pages, the story could become a proper 20+ minute television episode (maybe even containing a song as the girls try to help the Mimicker find a proper form).
The Mimicker (dubbed “Imp” when the girls find it hard to call it by its scientific name, “Globulus Improbulus”), is also a nicely-added character to the comic’s canon. Imp’s forms are defined by its blue eyes, and word balloons containing musical notes. Also of note, is that Imp’s transformations are usually accompanied by a ‘Ploip’ sound effect, which helps give it some character. Imp’s eyes become a crucial element in helping us understand its feelings, and that comes into play several times over the course of the story.
Ben Bates’ art style this time around, is much looser and ‘sketchier’ than his last outing. The rough pencil-like lines, along with digital coloring, helps give the story of the young crusaders a more child-like quality. The style definitely helps enhance the story regarding these young characters. One has to figure that if the artist had had more time, the coloration could have been rendered with watercolor and ink.
Overall, Micro-comic #7 is an enjoyable read, but just don’t expect a lot of laughs. I found it a bit more of a serious story, with a few chuckles here and there. But, don’t let that stop you from picking up one of the Micro-series’ best releases yet.
*One thing most of the series’ writers/artists are known for, is putting little pop-cultural ‘Easter Eggs’ in their issues. This ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’-styled dress Applebloom is modeling, did give me quite a chuckle. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle’s reactions help complete the scene perfectly.*