It’s time to take a look at one of the My Little Pony spinoff comics. This one is about the Cutie Mark Crusaders so right away you know that it’s going to be pretty good. These guys have always done a tremendous job of holding their own stories and I don’t expect that would change here. I was right and these are quality adventures. The mystery angle is also really nice since it adds that extra element of tension into the mix. Lets take a look at the various stories here.
In the first story the Crusaders learn that someone is stealing supplies from a hospital. This is pretty big news since you wouldn’t expect that kind of behavior from anyone in Ponyville. The new nurse is also being blamed for this so the crew have to solve the mystery very quickly before things get out of hand. Fortunately they have connections with almost everyone in town so they get to work on finding out what is happening here. It’s a pretty good way to start off the volume. The hospital actually has a bit of a point with the nurse being partially responsible for the thefts though. After the fist few times you would expect her to keep a closer guard on the supplies. suppose it may not be entirely her job to be security as well as being a nurse but to keep your job it’s worth doing a little extra for a while.
These are mainly fun issues so don’t expect big villains or the like. Typically there are just a lot of misunderstandings going on, but that doesn’t take away from the fun factor here. The next story has a pony getting ready to break the bowling record, but the pins keep being stolen at night. As a result he isn’t getting any chances to practice and this could hurt his chances at smashing the record in the real game. The Crusaders are put on the case and suspect that it may be a rival team. After all they would stand to gain quite a lot from knocking out this team. When it comes to sports sabotage is definitely a big deal so if anyone is responsible for this they may end up being banned from the sort. The crusaders have to be extra careful not to catch the wrong person here.
This next comic likely had the highest stakes. That’s because a fire appears in the Ponyville retirement home. Whoever is responsible for this could have easily destroyed a few ponies even if that wasn’t the intention. Due to this it is unlikely that anyone will fess up for the crime so this is another job for the Crusaders. Naturally they have a hard time believing that any of the nice elders of the village would do such a thing, but the evidence is pointing that way. They have to put aside their feelings for this one and just dive in. While my favorite issue is the second one, this story definitely continued the comic’s solid level of quality.
Following that up is an issue where the spa water in Equestria is being drained away. This isn’t good for the ponies who all look forward to a quick spa visit so the Crusaders try to figure out what is going on. They follow some pipes over to the Apple farms and Apple Bloom is saddened to learn that her own family may be stealing the water. She decides not to question them though and the group run around town trying to figure out what is going on. Have the apple family finally become criminals or is it possible that someone is framing them? This is a fun issue, but definitely one where things would have been solved quite easily if the ponies had either confided in the Mane 6 or just followed the pipe to the end. They sort of just stopped at the tree rather than making sure that the pipe actually stopped. They didn’t see any water so why would they assume that it just ended abruptly on the farm? Once a certain villain shows up then you’ll quickly realize what just happened.
Finally we come to an issue where Rarity is forced to ask the group for help. Songbird Serenade is coming to Ponyville in 2 days and she wants a lot of outfits to be ready. Rarity was also looking after her priceless artifact, but took her eyes off of it and so naturally someone stole it. The crusaders need to figure out who would do such a thing and put a stop to it right away. There are a lot of people who have openly stated that they would like the artifact, but sometimes the true crook isn’t the one that you initially suspect. This was a pretty fun story and the heroes definitely cut it really close. A few more minutes and they likely wouldn’t have made it in time to stop the villain from making a clean getaway.
As expected the artwork is pretty good here. It actually beats the main series as it just feels more consistent. I won’t say that it’s absolutely top notch but it gets the job done and the character designs are on point. You’ll always know what’s going on and it makes for an enjoyable read. The writing is on point here and none of the stories were weak. They all had their charm and an interesting story to back them up. Ultimately what else could you ask for?
Overall, Ponyville Mysteries was fun. It’s a shame that it never got another volume, but I suppose at the time the series was trying to have a lot of mini titles as opposed to multiple ongoing stories. That’s fine, it’s a legitimate strategy so long as the others one shots are solid as well. If you haven’t checked this comic out yet then you definitely should. Whether you are a fan of MLP or not, this is just a fun comic to read. It’s good entertainment to sit and read on a weekend. It’s long enough to tell complete stories while still being short enough where you can down it in one shot. I’ve rented a few more MLP comics so you can expect more reviews on the way!