Scooby Doo Team Up Volume 8: It’s Scooby Time! Review


It’s time to look at the final volume of the Scooby Doo Team Up series. It was definitely a series that had a pretty solid run. 50 issues certainly isn’t anything to sneeze at and it’s always fun to see how the gang handles teaming up with the various DC heroes. This time we even mix it up with some villains as the gang gets on the wrong side twice. Finally we have an excellent issue to close things out. This is certainly a series I’ll miss and hopefully they come up with another title that can capture this one’s energy.

The fist issue has the heroes meet up with Dick Dastardly and his crew. I’m not familiar with these characters but basically they’re always laying out traps for a bird the way that Wile E Coyote tries to catch the Road Runner. They’ve had no luck as usual so they decides to trick the Mystery Gang into helping by pretending that the bird is a ghost. This makes things tricky for the heroes since it means that for once we have to root for them to lose. It was a pretty fun story and seeing such obscure characters is nice because they may not get to appear much otherwise. While this issue can’t keep up with the rest, it was a good opener.

Next up we have the big issue with Mr Miracle. He is performing his daring escapes as usual until Granny Goodness shows up with another plot. The Mystery Gang get roped into this pretty quick and now they have to find a way to get Mr Miracle out of this situation. He can escape out of anything but with hostages involved he can’t act carelessly. This issue isn’t so much a mystery as it’s about the gang having to find a way to outsmart the villains. Fortunately the Mystery Inc are excellent at disguises which really comes in handy here. When you can change your appearance so easily it definitely means that you’re ready to foil these kinds of plans. This was a pretty solid issue for sure.

This third one was definitely the strongest from the opening issues though. The mystery gang head to a school where it turns out that the bullies have really started going overboard. They’ve turned into full fledged gangs who are picking on everyone nonstop. Then they get attacked by a ghost gang who seem to be defending the students but the heroes have to get to the bottom of this. Black Lightning shows up as well to help defend the school. He’s always been able to stop the gangs before, but bullies will make things a little more difficult. I liked the use of the school setting here. It was a pretty fun backdrop and one that you don’t see very often. Definitely a very relaxed feel to this story.

After that is a story about Mr. Peebles and how he has finally found someone to buy Magilla the Gorilla off of him. He’s been wanting to get rid of this animal for a very long time and this is his golden opportunity. The Gorilla seems nice enough here but I can definitely picture him causing a whole lot of trouble. The gang quickly realizes that the buyer is a little suspect though so they get into action. This is another case of guest stars where I didn’t really know the characters so that was pretty fun. It’s a little similar to the first issue although this time the heroes are on the right side from the start. Of course the Gorilla kind of got lucky here because usually once you make the transaction it’s not like you know what happens afterwards. It’s a little hard to sympathize with Peebles as a result since he didn’t do any vetting before accepting the money.

Following that is one of the highlight adventures of the book. The rogues gallery is being haunted by the ghost of a dead teammate. They have tried taking him down on their own but he’s proven to be too skilled. Every attack they launch is promptly countered and crushed. So as a result they are forced to rely on help from the Mystery Inc. After all, the gang is pretty well equipped to deal with ghosts. Usually the heroes wouldn’t help villains like this but they aren’t exactly given a choice and are forced to participate. That’s really what helped sell this adventure to me. I like the idea of the villains taking them hostage because it just makes sense. It’s not like the Mystery Gang could stop them. The villains also have a different dynamic than the average hero as they actually talk tough to the ghost and aren’t running away the whole time. The twist of who the ghost was at the end was definitely really solid.

Then we have the return of Metamorpho. Basically he has come to terms with his new elemental forms even if he and Stone are constantly insulting each other. Well, another monster has appeared and the gang have to find out who this is. Usually they could get to the bottom of this rather quickly but all the bickering among the guest star characters definitely puts them in a pretty tricky spot. This comic is mainly strong because of the dialogue. You don’t really see such intense arguments and sarcasm from the guest stars like this. I can see why Metamorpho resents what has happened although the powers are pretty awesome you have to admit.

Finally we get the big finale of the series. Batmite has returned to spin a little chaos in the heroes’ way. Batman and Robin show up and try to put a stop to this but then a bunch of alternate Scooby Doo personas appear. You’ve got guys from the comics, movies, and a whole lot of other incarnations. This isn’t Batmite’s doing so who could be messing with the heroes like this? Well, with this many detectives on board it should be a fairly easy case to crack right? It’s definitely pretty fun nostalgic to see how many different ways the Scooby gang has been presented over the years. The gritty version of the characters from that recent comic get to show up trying to shoot everyone down. Then you’ve even got the kids from a Pup Named Scooby Doo. There’s a new reference on every page and it really is the perfect way to end the saga. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. This might even be the best issue in the series.

As always the artwork in these stories were all very good. The pages really pop out at you and makes for easy reading. The writing is also on point which is part of what makes the format work so well. The stories all feel like they could be something right out of a crossover episode or something like that. A good deal of effort goes into these comics to be sure. At the end of the day it’s just a very fun read so I have no real issues with it. There has been a lot of variety in these past 50 issues and the Scooby Doo franchise lends itself well to guest stars.

Overall, Scooby Doo Team Up ends on a pretty high note here. This is definitely a volume that I could recommend to anyone. It’s got a good blend of humor, adventure, and mystery solving within. When you’ve got that level of balance you’re definitely in good hands. That final issue was definitely a goldmine of references. I’m not sure how the franchise will follow this series up but I’ll definitely be interested in seeing what adventures await the main characters. I feel like one thing we haven’t seen them do much is compete against other investigators or against themselves. A free for all competition within the group would be a blast. Well, that’s an idea for the future at least.

Overall 7/10

Spider-Man 2099 vs Venom 2099 Review


I haven’t read a whole lot of Spiderman 2099 over the years. I mainly just know him from the video games and comics but he always seemed like a pretty good guy. Definitely had a pretty neat costume which stood out. This comic was very enlightening in that Spiderman 2099’s actually not a good guy. He certainly didn’t inherit Peter’s morals that’s for sure and once the big twist occurs in the final arc it’s unlikely that his character will be able to bounce back from this.

The first comic is the main crossover and unfortunately that means you won’t see Peter again after this opening issue. Still, it’s a fun team up. Basically Peter suddenly finds himself in the year 2099 while Miguel appears in the modern day. Both of them need to find a way back to their own times and quickly although both of them seem to prefer the other location a bit. We get to see Vulture 2099 and classic Venom which was fun. The two Spidermen don’t actually get to fight each other here this time though.

It’s always fun seeing Peter and if anything you wish he could have stuck around a bit. He definitely holds up as a very solid main character and I wonder what was going on in his universe at the time. He definitely has no trouble taking down Spiderman 2099’s opponents and why would he? Peter’s got decades of combat experience up his sleeve which helps out quite a bit in fights like this. If anything the only part of the story that doesn’t make sense is how Venom gets easily taken out by 2099 in a few good hits. You can argue that he was not knocked out and just chose not to continue his pursuit but I find that pretty hard to buy. He just lost real quick since the comic was almost over but for that they probably shouldn’t have even had him appear.

In the main comics we’ve got quite a few plots going around. One of the main ones involves Alchemax. They’ve finally got a new head who turns out to be a future version of Dr Doom. He has quickly begun to reshape the image of the company. Surprisingly for the better as his methods aren’t quite as draconian as the previous leader’s methods. Doom doesn’t bother with destroying mobs or hunting Spider-Man. He’s focused on the bigger picture. In fact, he’s even offered to recruit 2099 to the force although the hero hasn’t decided yet. The offer expires after 48 hours and then things will really begin to change. Meanwhile Miguel has been promoted to one of the highest positions in the company. Now he can really help make the company a good one, but will he find himself corrupted in the process?

The new status quo has just started and there’s a whole lot they can do with this so it’ll be interesting to see how things shake out. Meanwhile we also have the debut of Venom 2099 who’s off to a good start. This guy’s definitely got a crazy design and an impressive power set. It’s fair to say that 2099 is weaker than the original Spiderman but this Venom could possibly hold his own with the original. His acidic powers are pretty great and he’s also got a solid amount of regeneration. Right now 2099 seems completely outmatched against this monster although the sound weakness is a good way to turn the tides. He better make sure he continues to play this smart though because if he messes up the timing even once then it’s all over. The volume ends with a big stinger as Miguel finds out who he is really up against.

The volume doesn’t say who it is, but my theory is that it’s actually his brother Gabriel. This is where we segway into why Miguel’s not a good character. So it turns out that Dana was with Gabriel but still decided to cheat with Miguel behind his back. While Dana also shares equally in the blame, there’s no way you can let Miguel off the hook on here. Not only was he knowingly being involved in a cheating affair but it was involving his own brother. I don’t blame Gabriel for not wanting anything to do with Miguel after that. Miguel mentions quite a bit how his family is quite fractured with his mother being an alchoholic and his father being a super corrupt business man, but Miguel is no different now. Then he rebounds with Xina afterwards or during. The timeline got a little tricky there. Either way one of them doesn’t live through this volume which will make Miguel’s decision pretty easy. It doesn’t make him a better character in the slightest though.

So that hurts the cast of heroes. Really there isn’t a hero to root for. Gabriel seems reasonable in his short comics that we see between issues but he’s not doing so well in the main ones either. If anything Miguel’s boss at Alchemax might be the best character. Miguel really doesn’t like him but the guy does his best to make sure people at the company are safe. At least he’s doing his job right? Doom is also very solid although I would still consider him to be a villain. He may be acting heroic now…but it’s Doom. He’ll show his true colors soon enough.

Miguel might be a disappointment but it doesn’t really hurt the actual comic. One thing I’ve always enjoyed about the Spider-Man comics is how there can be so many different plots moving all at once. The only other story where you tend to see that is with some of the classic X-Men comics. This also occurs in Spider-Man 2099. There is just so much happening in every issue. I always say the more the better. Why stick to one plot when you can have 5? The writing is solid here as well with a lot of interesting dialogue between the characters. The future world makes for a pretty unique backdrop as well. This future is definitely quite different from a lot of the others we’ve seen. It may be a bit on the corrupt side but it’s not nearly as crazy as some other timelines.

The art is solid. It’s got a very bold style so the panels really jump at you. The action scenes are solid and the comic as a whole is easy to read. The font is the right size and I definitely enjoyed this era of comic art. In general I’m not too hard to please in this area. So long as you’ve got striking colors and the proportions are right then I’d say you’re in pretty good shape. It’s important for a comic to have good art as well so you can just read it through.

Overall, It’s definitely fun seeing the 2099 era. During the crossover we see someone from 3999 which also looks interesting. I have a lot of questions on how the Goblin is the big force nowadays. I suppose if the heroes took him out they would have changed that world quite a bit. I already have questions for 2099 as it is like how all of the heroes got taken out of the picture. People still worship Thor and I presume he is alive somewhere in Asgard. With all of the comic events since then I doubt the 2099 timeline will ever come close to coming to pass in 616 but other Earths are fair game. The more possible futures the better because it’s fun to see how things could have been. If you’re up for a solid action/adventure title then I definitely recommend this one. The dynamic of having Miguel as the corporate leader now is bound to be fun and Venom’s definitely the biggest threat I’ve seen 2099 have to deal with.

Overall 7/10

The Flash: Starting Line Review


It’s been a while since I read a comic, especially a Flash one so it was good to see the ole speedster back in action. It’s a fairly modern one too so we get to blast through the origin stuff and get right to the adventures. The Rogues get a solid revival and quite a bit happens here. The story sets up a lot of future plot lines that’ll keep on going for some time so this line is off to a good start.

While each issue has a different villain for the most part there is still a larger plot in the background. The Flash used to be a very well liked figure in Central City but lately people have been turning against him. The cops think he is a wild vigilante who causes more harm than good and the reporters are all trying to frame him. One of Barry’s best friends even betrays him to run a social experiment. The guy has a point that they weren’t all that close though. Only Barry really took it hard while to the friend it was just good business. It’s why you certainly have to be careful on who you trust because some will turn around and back-stab you quite quickly.

It always makes for an interesting plot to see everyone turning on the Flash or whoever the hero of the adventure is. It’s annoying too as you can easily lose respect for these characters. The fact of the matter is that the Flash has saved all of these guys time and time again. It’s a bit late in the game for people to say that they’re better off without him. I could never comprehend the argument of the hero attracting trouble. If Flash wasn’t around then the city would have been destroyed many times over. You need a super hero when it comes to tricky cities like this. Otherwise the villains will just have their way. You also can’t do much better than the Flash. With his speed there is always a chance that you can be saved.

The first main arc deals with Mob Rule a lot. One of Barry’s old friends went missing one day. He has returned, but seems to now be a villainous sniper who is way in over his head. Barry tries to talk with him about this, but it’s a complicated situation. Some experiments were done on Manuel and now every time he is injured or a part of him is severed it turns into a whole other him. Now they are an army known as Mob Rule and they want to find a cure. The downside to having all of these clones is that they die after a few days. They kidnap Manuel and work on a bunch of cures but nothing is working and the group is getting more and more radical. Barry has to try and get Manuel out of this while he still can.

It’s more of a mystery thriller than the other Flash stories. Not only is the mob pretty discreet and hard to stop, but Flash has also been creating a lot of temporal anomalies lately so he is’t sure if he should be running full blast. I’m not a fan of Manuel though. He does seem to start a lot of the trouble which gets him into these sticky situations. He’s also quite quick to ditch Barry which puts him in a lot of danger. Finally the guy had no real gratitude to the Flash for saving him. Somehow he did the mental gymnastics of saying that it’s Flash’s fault that the cure didn’t work when it was obviously about to destroy him anyway. Everyone was really giving the Flash a hard time throughout the whole series.

The other big arc in the series saw the return of Captain Cold. He blames the Flash for the big blackout which prevented the hospital from helping his sister out when she was in critical condition. He now wants the Flash dead so their fights are a little more serious than usual. Flash just got done dealing with a crazy guy in the Speed Force who was messing things up so he doesn’t have a lot of time to worry about this. Captain Cold’s new freezing abilities make him much more of a serious threat than he used to be though. The fact that he naturally makes the Flash slower is quite handy in a fight. We also get to see the rest of the Rogues show up as they banded together under a new leader known as the Golden Glider. She wants the Rogues to be a purely evil group as opposed to what she considered to be weak tactics under Cold’s leadership.

They’ve got a very different approach on how to run a group. Cold believes that having an honor code is best and he does seem better equipped to be a leader. It is hard to keep that level of nuance while you’re a villain group though. I don’t see most villains really playing ball for very long. Most of them are in this business to murder the heroes and civilians. Captain Cold also isn’t a strong enough fighter to keep them in check. He was having trouble with Heatwave who isn’t exactly known as a powerhouse. Regardless, he does have a lot of experience and credibility though so people tend to listen to him. Golden Glider’s leadership was fairly short lived although I doubt her ambitions are over for now.

I mentioned him briefly before, but Turbine is a guy who was stuck in the SpeedForce for decades. I really don’t blame him for trying to get out. Flash guilt trips him because Turbine’s attempts for hurting the planet, but what else could he do? The Flash can’t reasonably expect this guy to just stay stuck for his whole life right? Turbine seems like he’s going to end up turning evil, but at least right now he seems pretty reasonable to me. The guy just wants to get home and Flash seemed to have absolutely no sympathy for him.

Meanwhile Iris gets a smaller role than usual as there is a new heroine around. This has allowed Iris to get her own plots away from Barry though. She’s now more of a detective/reporter like Lois Lane to the point where I’m sure they’re basing this interpretation on the iconic DC character. She’s an interesting character and this is probably her best portrayal. I think there’s a lot the series can do with her so hopefully she doesn’t go back with Barry. Patty is the new character involved with Barry and she seems reasonable. The relationship doesn’t seem too stable though since she can’t stand the Flash. Whenever the heroine doesn’t like the hero form you can’t help but think that things won’t really end well. That’s just too big of a split to remedy since the hero has to break the news at some point right? At least she does seem quite loyal when Barry is around and does her best to help him out. Patty has connections and skills in her own right so she can contribute quite a lot when it comes to detective work and solving cases.

There’s a whole plot with Gorilla Grodd which serves as his origin. It’s the least interesting part of the volume although it’s not like it’s bad or anything. I just can’t bring myself to care about them at the moment and the Flash getting amnesia felt incredibly convenient since otherwise he could have gotten out of there pretty easily. They’re clearly going to have a big role soon so we’ll see how that goes. I’ve never been impressed with Grodd’s strength even if he is technically considered to be one of Flash’s deadliest opponents. Give me the Rogues any day.

I basically talked about everyone except Barry so let’s take a step back here. Flash is a solid lead who does deal with some issues at the beginning but ultimately gets past them. He realizes that his speed is necessary to saving the world and stops overthinking things. He’s trying to learn how to speed up his mind as well and once he does this he should really be a super powerful hero. The Flash is already one of the strongest characters in DC if you ask me so if I were the writers I would make it take a super long time for Flash to actually master this technique. It’s effectively Ultra Instinct in the DC world. Barry’s always been my favorite Flash because he’s also got those detective skills on top of his super powers and he’s a very reasonable guy. His Barry Allen persona is simply interesting and the comic did a good job of showing that off.

The artwork is also pretty solid here. It may not be the most colorful I’ve seen, but it holds its own pretty well. I like the speed effects and there’s a lot of weight behind each hit. There was a good amount of effort put into the artwork for sure and it shows. It’s part of what makes this an easy read along with the quality writing. You’ll be drawn into the pages and ready for the next adventures to come.

Overall, This is a pretty solid collection of comics. The best issues are the ones where Flash is dealing with the Rogues and going undercover in the shady part of town. The Grodd stuff is less interesting but the comic does use him for a good cliffhanger. You can’t help but feel like Flash should wreck them all as soon as he wakes up so their gameplan should be to destroy him while he is still knocked out. If you haven’t checked this comic out yet then I’d recommend reading it. There are a lot of other plot lines going on that I haven’t even mentioned. While there are references to earlier comics you don’t really need to read them to get what is going on.

Overall 7/10

Fantastic Four: Fantastic Origins Review


It’s time to look at a recent take on the Fantastic Four origin story. It’s definitely a classic origin that everyone knows pretty well by now, but it hasn’t been remade quite as often as some other origins like Batman’s or Spiderman’s. It’s also been a while since I read it so it was a fun trip down memory lane. There are some new elements added like the Mole Man, but for the most part it plays it pretty straight and is certainly a solid comic.

So the book starts with Reed Richards deciding that he wants to be the first person to go to space with his crew and investigate some cosmic rays. He gets his Susan, Johnny, and Ben Grimm to go with him. His partner in science warns Reed not to do this, but he doesn’t listen and they all get blasted by cosmic rays. Now Reed can stretch, Human Torch can fly and shoot fire, The Thing has a rock solid defense and super strength while Sue can turn invisible and create powerful barriers. They are now going to be called the Fantastic Four and must keep the world safe from those who would oppose it.

The first half of the book is about the heroes getting used to their abilities and after that we get two main adventures. The first one deals with the Mole Man as he shows up to attack the city. His underground monster is certainly fierce and since the city has no real protectors at the moment he does a lot of damage. It’s a pretty fun first story and the direction they took the Mole Man in here was unique. It’s a nice spin on the typical adventure and seeing him as a supporting character would be pretty fun. He’s no Reed Richards but certainly quite smart in his own way.

The other story involves Namor as he regains his memories and decides to destroy the city. He also ends up falling for Invisible Woman in a sub plot. I’ve never been a big fan of the guy and that hasn’t changed now. He just feels really petty all the time and not very smart either. He’s like a very petty version of Aquaman. It’s still a solid follow up story though the first one wins on all fronts. This certainly won’t be the last time the FF have to deal with this guy.

There is also one bonus adventure at the end which works as a preview for another series. We see the FF deal with the Wizard and Reed then heads back to base where he has been quite distant for a while. The various clones that the Wizard creates disturbed him and so he heads to his secret place, a convention of Reed Richards from various parallel universes. A few of them even have the Infinity Gauntlet and they have invited the main version to join them. It’s a pretty compelling pilot and I did enjoy the artwork quite a bit. Reed’s current design would take some getting used to, but I could definitely see the arc being quite great.

Back to the main comics here though. One thing I liked here was how quick Reed was able to find a cure for Thing and his determination here. Part of why Ben was always upset is because Reed is so smart that he could do just about anything and yet curing The Thing always seemed to be something that was quite far off. That’s not the case here and in general Reed is just quite solid. He’s one of the more underrated geniuses in Marvel seeing as how I would actually put him as the smartest character in the verse.

Invisible Woman also looks good and her powers get a lot of credit. She’s always been the strongest member of the team, but the original comics didn’t always do a great job of showing it. There is no doubt who the power hitter is in this collection and that’s a good thing. How do you beat someone with near unbreakable barriers and an array of other force related abilities? Human Torch easily gets the smallest role of the 4, but he’s in character. He definitely has the most fun with his abilities.

The Thing is my only real problem with the comic. His bad attitude is usually not all that justified but other comics have done a better job of showing why he’s so upset. Here he goes from 0-100 as he tries to murder Reed almost as soon as they exit the ship. I thought that was a bit much and a total overreaction considering what just happened. There wasn’t even enough time for the implications of the crash to totally hit him. Reed handles this as best he can, but the Thing never truly came back from this rocky start.

Meanwhile the Mole Man looked pretty good and as I mentioned earlier he has a bit of a unique character arc here. I get the feeling that he would ultimately turn evil if the series were to keep going, but at least right here right now he wasn’t bad and gets to be in an adviser position. There may quickly get to be too many brains in the room though. In this version Reed has an assistant who doesn’t get along with Sue all that much. Fortunately the comic doesn’t even try to turn this into a romance triangle because Reed’s definitely not the kind of guy to waver and Sue’s not petty enough to actually get too upset at the assistant. Nevertheless, they don’t get along much and I wonder what the point of this character is. She doesn’t hurt things or anything, but if you cut her out then nothing really changes at all.

The intro also throws you a few easter eggs like a quick cameo from Dr. Doom. I’d say that the story did as much as it could within the page count and is one of the better origin stories. I also thought the art was really solid. It is definitely above average and the pages all flow together really well. I ended up reading the trade from cover to cover. Sometimes it’s nice to go back to the simple days of street level threats rather than galactic showdowns. This is a comic that new and longtime fans can enjoy.

Overall, This is a pretty solid comic. It takes us back to the basics of the series while keeping the adventures fresh. The Thing is still pretty ungrateful the whole timed you ask me but he definitely did get the worst transformation out of the 4. Reed brings up an interesting point that the other 3 can at least look normal through sheer willpower so it is odd that the Thing can’t do so. Maybe one day he would be able to control his power, that would definitely be a cool plot twist. If you haven’t read this comic yet then I would certainly suggest checking it out. The writing is pretty sound and it’s an engaging read.

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Volume 12 Review


It’s time for another My Little Pony comic adventure. Slowly but surely I’m getting close to reading all of the volumes. This one actually has a few stories that span several issues which is cool. I always like when the series goes for complete story arcs rather than one shot issues. With the extra page space there is just so much more you can do to flesh out the adventures and make sure everyone gets a role. It means there are less chances for other characters to get a chance to shine, but it is worth it.

First up we’ve got a long story arc with Discord. Things haven’t been going well for him as of late because he just can’t help but act rather rudely to everyone around him. Fluttershy puts up with it, but the rest of the Mane 6 do not. He decides to seal himself away and transforms into a being known as Accord. He just wants to bring stability to the rest of the world. At first this seems pretty good, but he starts to get a little too drastic when he begins mind controlling innocent ponies. The Mane 6 realize that they are going to have to stop him, but what if that means Discord will return? This’ll be one of their toughest cases yet and they may need to ask for help from the superstar Starlight Glimmer!

It’s been so long since Starlight Glimmer got to have a starring role so you can bet that I was super thrilled to see her return. As always she ended up being the power hitter here and the only one who was resistant to the mind controlling abilities of Accord. She’s often overlooked during the series, but when a crisis is at hand there is nobody more dependable than her. I think her presence is part of what legitimizes this as a real threat. We also get to see almost the entire rest of the main cast from the series which is pretty neat. It always makes for a good premise when you have someone slowly corrupting everyone in the town through magic. It’s like the Phalanx arc in X-Men.

By this point I can see why everyone would be tired of Discord in Ponyville. He seems to make a whole lot of mistakes which come back to bite everyone, but at least this time it wasn’t intentional. He doesn’t seem to have any control over Accord although it is basically him so I won’t cut the guy too much slack. It was also interesting to see the Elements of Harmony actually fail this time. Those objects usually work so it was a pretty startling moment. Accord was one of the most serious threats that Equestria ever faced and I hope everyone gave Starlight a proper thanks at the end. The whole volume would be worth checking out even if this was the only story in it, it’s just really epic!

A one shot comic after this has Discord at the helm once more. It is Celestia’s birthday and he is unsure what kind of gift to get her. As the princess she already has pretty much anything money can buy. That’s when Discord realizes what he should do. He transforms her into a normal pony so she can hang out in Ponyville and enjoy things without everyone being on guard. At first Celestia is reluctant, but gradually she realizes that this is a lot of fun. It’s not a big end of the world plot like the last arc, but it’s a pretty cool one shot. There does seem to be a possible plot hole here though as she acts like she had never gone to Ponyville before, but in another issue we find out that she goes into Ponyville undercover once a year for this exact reason. So…..that doesn’t hold up when you think about it. I guess you could assume that she just doesn’t want Discord to know this so she is overacting which is reasonable and it’s not like this is a big plot hole either way. It’s just a nice wholesome comic and it always does sound fun to pretend to be someone else for a day.

Then the rest of the stories here involves another story arc. One night Twilight and Spike are heading back home when they notice that the door is open. A villain is inside stealing some books and while Twilight attempts to stop him, the masked thief is too powerful. He knocks them aside and escapes. Twilight calls the rest of the team in and we discover that the villain has been going around Equestria and stealing a bunch of books only to erase the information within. The heroes have to catch him before he does the same to the rest of the realm, but how can they hope to defeat a mage who is this powerful? It’s definitely going to take everyone on this mission.

It’s a pretty solid group of issues. I’m always up for a new villain and the fact that he has powers is pretty cool. That being said I do think that he gets off rather lightly here. The guy damaged a bunch of irreparable books and they basically just told him to stop doing that. I know at the end of the day the heroes are rarely going to beat up on bad guys here since friendship is what solves issues, but this guy was a total crook. His origin story for why he was doing this was pretty shaky and at the end of the day it was really just an excuse to go wild on the town.

I also think the Mane 6 didn’t treat this too seriously for a while. Twilight should have put up a much better fight against the guy at the beginning and when she called in the Mane 6 they should have been investigating rather than turning the whole thing into a slumber party. I dare say that Applejack and Rainbow Dash took this situation the most seriously compared to the others at least. It was nice to see the group split up into pairs to dig up some dirt on the villain. It felt like how things would have played out in a two part episode. So while the ponies should have cracked down on this guy sooner, it was still a really solid adventure to end off with. Hopefully the villain will return someday and we did get an interesting cliffhanger of sorts so I wonder if that plot will be resumed.

The art tends to shift from arc to arc, but it’s definitely pretty solid. The only iffy one is the Celestia issue as that artist always draws everyone like little kids. Celestia should not look to be the same height as Twilight and pals. It has a nice cartoony look to it though so the colors are still on point. The series has always been very expressive and easy to read which the issue still captures. You’ll have no problem reading through these issues and just having a good ole time.

Overall, Friendship is Magic continues to be a solid series volume after volume. There’s really nothing bad to be said about it and the pacing is on point. This volume in particular has two different arcs making it one of the strongest volumes that I’ve read. In particular you’ll definitely want to read the story with Accord as it is played pretty seriously. I still think it would be a good idea for the show to come back and adapt these stories at some point. There are just so many good ones to choose from!

Overall 7/10

Scooby Doo Team Up Volume 7 Doomed Review


Time for some more team ups with the good ole Mystery Inc and some more DC heroes. The series has done a good job of grabbing so many DC characters. We’re 7 volumes in and still seeing new fighters. While you may be skeptical as to how the Mystery Inc will actually be of help, typically they are really here as distractions. Think of them as extra shields to buy the heroes an extra second. Usually that’s all the extra time that the hero needs.

One of the stories has the heroes head to the swamp where they meet up with another one of Shaggy’s relatives. They’re here to look into the Voodoo Woman so they can put the swamp at ease. They have to stop her meddling, but unfortunately she already has a whole bunch of zombies at her beck and call. The only being who can really help them out of this dilemma is the legendary Swamp Thing, but will he really be able to defend against such a powerful villain? Interestingly this comic also squeezes in Solomon Grundy towards the end although he is definitely way out of his league this time. Typically I would actually pick him to win, but in this comic Swamp Thing had the edge from start to finish. There was never any doubt as to how this would end.

It’s a pretty nice comic. It’s always good to see Swamp Thing getting some time to shine after all. The comic also poked fun as how the heroes have also defeated Swampthing in another issue. The space in between the words is the key to really knowing who you are dealing with. This is an example of an issue where the Scooby gang doesn’t really get to do much though. Mostly they just run away from the Voodoo Woman a lot or they’re in awe of how strong Swamp Thing is.

Another comic features the Doom Patrol and this was actually my favorite issue of the bunch. The team is bickering as usual, but the strange part is there enemy seems to keep changing form. At one point a whole group of enemies show up, but they all seem to be ghosts. This is a case for the Scooby Doo gang. There’s definitely a trick involved and they’ll have to figure it out fast. The Doom Patrol was always a fun X-Men sort of group but with a lot more in-fighting. I also like how their leader has a lot of weapons ready inside of his wheelchair. Honestly it’s just the smart thing to do when you’re the leader of a super hero team. This way at least you can defend yourself right? This story has so much action it feels like a real Doom Patrol story with the Scooby Doo gang just guest starring in it. It’s handled really well.

Another story featured Supergirl as she called the gang in to help her deal with the ghosts of her parents. She was quite serious too as she even told them her secret identity which was a bold move. The heroes know something is wrong because the parents keep calling her Supergirl rather than Kara or her kryptonian name. That seems like a scam and of course the heroes are right. I would have liked a more powerful Supergirl villain to have been the main villain here, but it does help reinforce the mystery element of the issue. Supergirl could have looked better here as she spends most of the issue getting outsmarted, but she did call in the crew to handle the mysteries so in a way she won the fight before it even started.

There’s a subplot with her cat and Scooby not getting along, but it doesn’t hold up as well as the main one. The cat is just annoying and Scooby really isn’t much better so they both end up being guilty in this one. The whole temporary superpowers for a few minutes thing is pretty fun even if the time range isn’t nearly long enough to be all that useful. By the time you are really getting into a rhythm you would be taken down for the count.

In our next adventure we’ve got the return of the Blue Falcon. The issue here is that he has been acting awfully shady the last few days. His dog sidekick asks the Mystery Inc for help on figuring out just what is going wrong. Unfortunately they all fall for one of those classic net traps and find out that the real Blue Falcon was actually taken down by one of his old cronies who is now impersonating him. Can the heroes stop this guy or is it already too late? It goes without saying that Blue Falcon doesn’t look good here. He went down off screen and apparently he is so nondescript that someone can easily change places with him and nobody can tell the difference. He’s clearly got a ways to go before he is known as one of the big leaguers. It’s a good comic, but a little less eventful than some of the others. It was nice to see the characters constantly taking shots at him by saying that he was copying Batman though.

My least favorite issue was the one with all of the apes. Basically it’s an ensemble cast with a bunch of DC monkey themed characters. It’s a pretty impressive bunch as they even got some I didn’t recognize like the guy in a cage who can switch minds with an ape. What hurts this one is that I don’t even like a lot of them. Gorilla Grodd and Detective Chimp just aren’t my cup of tea. I also have to question why the Mystery Inc was really called in. They try explaining that it’s because one of the gorillas is a vampire Nazi so that’s like a ghost, but is it really? If I were the mystery inc I would still be questioning that. This is way out of their power levels. Still a good issue, but it wasn’t quite as strong as the others. Also the ending doesn’t really make sense.

So as I mentioned the main guy can switch minds with a gorilla and it is through his amulet/ring of sorts. He somehow manages to switch places with Titano at one point, but how? Unless his powers work differently than how I had interpreted them he would have needed to get the ring on the other ape and I just don’t see how he could have had time to do that. It would have been too difficult and he was out of range. That part just stuck out at me and I read it twice, but still couldn’t put that chain of events together.

In the next story the heroes are confronted with a bunch of powerful spirits. Dr. Fate sends them to the past so the heroes can find a way to deal with them, but it means that they will have to survive some world war II adventures as they try to find the answers. This means that the old school version of the Justice League shows up. Green Lantern’s weakness to wood is still a huge liability to deal with but the others manage to pick up the slack. The solution to stopping the demons ends up being incredibly simple, but I suppose that’s why it was hard to note it. This was definitely one of the strongest stories. It was nice seeing all of the heroes and everyone got to contribute in some way or form.

Finally we have a team up with Penelope Pitstop. I’m not familiar with her character but her gimmick seems to be that she gets kidnapped a lot. As a result there are a bunch of mini mobsters who look after her as well as a real estate agent of sorts. The Mystery Inc are called in to help her as well but with this many bodyguards nobody is sure who should take point so there is a lot of in-fighting. The Mystery Inc needs to figure out who is planning to kidnap Penelope before it is too late. The clock is ticking.

This is definitely the most mystery focused out of all the stories and I dare say that the Mystery Inc is at their best here. They get to do some old fashioned detective work here and they aren’t out shadowed by the other heroes. This time they can actually hold their own since they are in their own element and it ends up working out quite well for them. Penelope is definitely the most obscure of the characters we’ve seen, but in some ways that helps with the mystery since I wasn’t as familiar with her supporting cast. I definitely won’t be forgetting this adventure anytime soon though so it’ll be fun to see if she appears somewhere else in the near future.

As always the artwork here is pretty solid. The characters all look like themselves and the fights can take themselves seriously when necessary. The colors pop out and it’s clear that the artist was putting a lot of effort into the drawings. It just looks really good and it manages to be colorful/vibrant while keeping the serious tone for the heroes’ side of things. I’ve definitely got to give the comic a thumbs up here.

Overall, Scooby Doo Team Up Volume 7 is yet another strong installment in the series. By this point you should definitely know if you’ll like it or not. It’s a steady formula that the series has going on in these adventures and it’s one that works quite well. The Mystery Inc are here for the humor as they get chased and one upped by all of the villains while the DC Heroes come in with a lot of confidence and save the day. That’s exactly how it should be and this works out quite well. The art is good as always so these volumes just go by in a flash. I look forward to seeing who the heroes get to team up with next.

Overall 7/10

Symbiote Spider Man Review


It’s time to look at a Spider Man trade. This one has him in the symbiote suit even though he denies it the whole time and claims that it’s just a robotic replacement. I think it’s fair to say that it’s the real deal based on everything it does in this volume, but I suppose I can’t say that with 100% confidence. It’s a fun adventure that should feel nostalgic to long time fans of this neighborhood hero.

Mysterio is sick and tired of being treated like a D rank villain. He’s B rank at the absolute worst. Unfortunately even his friends make fun of him so he decides that he’ll have to stop Spider-Man if he really wants to be taken seriously again. He has a friend who works for Kingpin and together they decide that taking Spidey’s new suit away is the first step. To do that Mysterio blackmails Black Cat into helping out. Will she really help him claim part of Spidey’s suit or will she realize that betrayal is never the right option and make the heroic choice?

This isn’t Peter’s best appearance, but before I lay into him I should give you guys some context. It’s been a really rough time period for him in general. Aunt May is no longer on speaking terms with Peter due to a lot of events that have happened recently which has taken a toll on him. He’s currently together with Black Cat but she only liked him when he’s wearing the costume which isn’t all that helpful. Right now the only thing that is really going well is his life as Spider-Man. Even so he does let his guard down quite a bit and doesn’t trust his Spider Sense the way he should.

There are two big times it would have helped him here. One of those times is with Mysterio. The guy wasn’t actually there at one point so the spider sense didn’t act up, but Peter ignored it anyway and jumped in which ultimately just led to a losing battle. The other instance which was a bigger issue is when Black Cat decides to trick him. This time his spider sense does flare up, but Peter doesn’t question it as he just wants to have a good time. Naturally this leads to Cat getting the last laugh. Peter may just think it was worth it, but without the suit looking after him things could have gone pretty badly. Peter does have an idea of what happened afterwards, but it was a little late for that. If Black Cat actually meant to hurt him that would have been it for the hero.

So he doesn’t look great when he’s around Black Cat. That’s really the bottom line here. Even after she talks to Aunt May she appears to be more reasonable than Peter in that discussion. He doesn’t even want to stay back to talk with her and just dashes off instead. While these scenes do hurt him, at least it is nice to see Peter as more of an adult. It’s an era of him you don’t see all that often anymore as in the Dan Slott comics he always acts like a teen anyway. At least in this trade this is peak Peter who’s got a lot of experience and knows how to fight with any of his enemies. It’s always good to see him getting that level of respect.

Meanwhile Mysterio looks good. He actually has some good plans and did know enough to blackmail Black Cat. The comic takes him seriously and the guy does a good job of getting some clout back. It’s not like he’s going to immediately rocket up the ranks as one of Spider-Man’s deadliest enemies but it’s still a nice appearance. I liked him in the recent film too so maybe things are looking up for the villain. His suit does allow for a lot of fun fights with all the holograms running around. Then we have Black Cat who doesn’t look quite as good. I think she did allow herself to get manipulated a little too easily. Honestly I think if she got to Spider-Man right away and explained her origins he would take it well. If he didn’t then she would be better off without him anyway.

Bad luck is a terrible power as it is so she doesn’t need to worry about someone else not liking it. Plus Peter already knows about the ability, he just doesn’t know the origins. It’s not as if the whole thing would be great news, but most of it wasn’t her fault. The parts that were aren’t downright terrible. By allowing herself to be blackmailed Black Cat just put herself in a tougher spot with Peter and also opened the door to letting others use the same intel on her. Until she confesses to someone it’ll always be live ammo and that’s really dangerous for anyone who’s not a total villain.

The art is definitely really good here. Spider-Man’s symbiote suit is really sharp and all of the colors are on point. This comic can hold its own with any of the others and this also makes for a lot of great fight scenes. You’ll be blasting right through the volume. Then you’ve got the solid writing backing it up as well. It seamlessly works in with the era where these stories take place.

Overall, Symbiote Spider Man is definitely a really solid trade. I always like seeing the symbiote suit in action and the fact that it can fight on its own is also really good. Even when Peter is knocked out it can think and fight which happens once here. The only odd scene was when one part of the suit didn’t want to join with the rest. It just struck me as odd that it wouldn’t readily join with the collective especially since Peter is usually its favorite host. I feel like it only left to force a big fight for the climax which was fun, but they could have written around that. Nonetheless, this suit is an improvement over the classic one, especially since it can turn into any other costume it wants to be. If you haven’t checked this comic out yet then you should change that. It’s not every day that you get to see Mysterio get a super form right?

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Volume 17 Review


It’s time to look at another MLP volume. This one surprisingly has a large story arc with only one stand alone adventure contained within. As a result I’d definitely say that this is one of the strongest MLP comics I’ve read in a while. The new villain is pretty epic and it’s nice to have some real action scenes in here. The only missed opportunity is that Starlight Glimmer didn’t show up even though she was mentioned a few times. Now that’s just a tease.

The first issue is about Zephyr being a little nervous about his mane styling skills. He goes to a whole event for it, but he just can’t find the confidence to get up on the stage. Fluttershy has to remind him that it’s always tough going up in a crowd, but you’ve got to do it if you really want to improve. Eventually he gets the memo and goes through with it. It’s a nice enough comic, but Zephyr was never one of the better characters. I also think adding in another pony who seems brave but actually gets terrified was a little cheesy. I get why she was included as it helps with the moral, but I would have been okay with Zephyr being the only one who was nervous and he learns that sometimes you just have to face your fears straight up.

The real story is about Cosmos though. A long time ago there was a being named Cosmos who was incredibly powerful. Together with Discord she nearly brought the planet to its knees. Unfortunately for her Discord was not quite on board with her violent tendencies. He likes causing chaos and at times that will hurt ponies, but Discord doesn’t like destroying them outright. As a result he betrayed her to Celestia and Luna who sealed her into a bunch of rocks. Discord hid the one that he found and then allowed himself to be turned to stone since he felt guilty. Well, thousands of years have passed and Cosmos has returned. She is currently possessing the body of Twilight Sparkle and commands Ponyville to find the rest of the crystal shards. Can Discord stop her plan before it’s too late?

This is the kind of story that would have really worked out quite nicely as an MLP special or even as a movie. Cosmos is a villain so powerful that all of the original pony powerhouses had to team up to stop her. That just makes for a great threat and her design is also quite fierce. She reminds me a bit of Tirek from when he first showed up before getting nerfed in the final season. Unlike the other villains she isn’t coming close to being redeemed either. All she wants is to absolutely crush the heroes beneath her heel. She will not be granting them any mercy and that’s really what you want to see in a villain.

This story also has quite a few parts so there is plenty of time to introduce all of the characters and get them set on their side quests. Some characters like Pinkie Pie can’t stay serious long enough to actually contribute but for the rest of the characters it’s just really great to see them up and about. Some characters like Zecora are suitably cautious while others like Rainbow Dash just run in without thinking. They all bring something to the table and this is just a great arc. The fights hold up and there is little to say against it.

I guess as a slight iffy moment Big Mac loses in the most embarrassing way possible. I’ve never liked the character anyway, but this really doesn’t help his case. Meanwhile Twilight doesn’t look her best here since she can’t break the hypnosis, but once she’s freed she looks reasonable. The comics just show that Cosmos is far too powerful to be stopped by the average pony. Discord is still as powerful as ever, but as always he loses to the new threat. With his reality warping abilities I feel like he should be able to defeat just about anyone, but I suppose in his defense he does have a history with Cosmos so that causes him to hesitate a bit. The real question is whether or not he would be able to claim victory if they were both going all out. I like to think Cosmos would win, but in theory it’s hard to see why Discord wouldn’t.

Of course the comic couldn’t resist taking one shot at Celestia. We find out that she tossed one of Applejack’s gifts into her forgotten lair with all other kinds of dangerous objects and junk. That implies she was making fun of the object by either calling it super dangerous or saying she didn’t like it. Applejack took this pretty hard and I can see why. If you don’t like a gift then you at least need to hide it really well. Putting it in a spot where it is seen as “bad” just makes the issue worse, but it’s the kind of power play you’d expect to see from Celestia.

The artwork is definitely fun here. It’s very expressive so you can see the looks of shock and horror on the ponies as they deal with a threat that seems to get worse and worse by the minute. It’s easy to read through and you can still get a good feel of the scope. Some of the imagery here almost looks like something out of the 90’s X-Men adventures like the Inferno arc. Cosmos’ ability to turn things crazy makes for a lot of great visuals and the artists took full advantage of this.

Overall, This is definitely a volume I would recommend checking out. It’s the perfect volume to look at if you believe the My Little Pony is just about happy ponies having a lot of fun. This one shows that there is also that element of danger always around the corner and I’ll be interested to see how the comics intend to top this arc. In theory this is already around the power level ceiling of the series, but maybe next time we can get a serious villain group. The series hasn’t really done that yet and a group vs group fight would be a blast.

Overall 7/10

Wonder Woman Forgotten Legends Review


It’s time to look at a Wonder Woman comic. It’s been quite a while since I read one of her trade paperbacks. This one seems to take place right after one of the big DC crisis events. I think it may have been Crisis on Infinite Earths which would work out pretty well since the CW is about to air their version. It was a pretty big deal having the universe merge together and such. In a way this trade is to allow the Amazons to remember some of the good times before they vanish.

It starts off with Wonder Woman’s mom looking into the Crystal Ball at one of Wonder Woman’s biggest adventures. The Amazons are getting ready to all be vaporized as the universe ceases to exist, but they are all feeling rather down at the moment since Wonder Woman is no more. Perhaps looking at her greatest exploits will help them return to the afterlife in a smoother fashion. The Queen is also determined to keep her memories of Wonder Woman and would prefer to have them and be a star than to live on with her memories wiped. I don’t really blame her since having your memories wiped is never any fun. It’s always better to remember each and every detail for as long as you possibly can.

The main story is about Wonder Woman helping to protect a parade from any possible attackers. The attack turns out to be a lot more dangerous than the heroes could have imagined. A powerful lady named Atomia has conquered her world as well as many others and now Earth is next. She manages to enslave Steve Trevor and also kidnaps Etta Candy’s daughter. This little girl has now been transformed into a full fledged villain as well. She’s a little kid so while you can’t take her too seriously, she is definitely well aware of what she is doing so it’s hard to like the kid at all. Wonder Woman will have to save everyone and stop this threat to the planet but it won’t be easy.

Atomia makes for an interesting villain. She may be more of a typical conqueror than some of WW’s other enemies, but what helps her case is that she’s succeeded. She’s actually conquered many planets already so she was on a bit of a winning streak before Earth. Naturally this was one location that was a little too much for her, but she put up a good fight. Her decision to get the kid on her side was also pretty smart since it can result in having a good hostage. Atomia did let her guard down a bit quickly here though.

Then you have the two princesses of one of the other worlds she was targeting. I wasn’t a big fan of them for different reasons. One of them wasn’t great because she was a traitor. Even if she saw the light by the end of the issue it was way too late to even begin to trust her and it was too soon to forget the betrayal. The other one was a little too oblivious and got suckered too easily. It’s all well and good to give the villain a second chance, but maybe making her one of the rulers was a little too much.

Steve Trevor looked pretty good here and I dare say that it was one of his best appearances. He manages to hold out for a super long time even while poisoned and organized a whole resistance. This is one issue where he really did assist Wonder Woman quite a lot and wasn’t just around as a hostage or anything like that. Meanwhile Wonder Woman looks good as always. She has a pretty good grip on the situation and manages to basically foil an entire planet ending threat. She even pretends to be captured for a bit to try and talk sense into the villains, but that didn’t really work since they were totally on the evil side.

The comics are written and drawn in a way that really resembles Wonder Woman’s original adventures from many decades ago. It’s an interesting approach. The artwork looks good, but I do have to admit that the modern era stuff always looks better than this super retro style. The action scenes and such naturally don’t pop out quite as much as they would, but I do have to give the comic full credit for fully re-creating the look. You really would not be able to tell that this is a modern comic because even the writing is old school.

There are two bonus stories at the end though. One of them involves Wonder Woman returning to help the Amazons when they are rendered powerless by an invasion of men. It’s still pretty unfortunate for them that they lose all of their powers as soon as a guy steps ashore. It’s a pretty big weakness and it does give a little credit to the queen’s argument on why the island needs to keep its protection. The main problem here was that they only opened the borders for a split second, but I don’t see how much better it would be if they had opened it permanently. It would just be even more people and they all have guns so that’s game over. Wonder Woman still does a great job in saving them all and getting them their powers back, but this time I’m not really sure I agreed with her assessment.

The other story is about a kid whose wish for a monster causes it to be real. Wonder Woman helps him learn that monsters are cool and all, but at the end of the day what he really needs it the ability to protect instead. This helps the kid protect his sister and he learns that you have to be really careful as to what you wish for. The story is less exciting than the last one, but it’s still got a pretty good message there. Wonder Woman’s stories usually tend to have good morals like that.

Overall, Wonder Woman: Forgotten Legends is definitely a fun comic. It’s got a good story and solid writing to back it up. I don’t think you’ll be remembering it as one of WW’s greatest adventures, but it does serve its purpose as a lost story. It’s nice to have one last adventure from this era before jumping into the new timeline. Any fan of Wonder Woman or long-time DC comic reader should find lots to appreciate with this adventure. It’s less about Wonder Woman being a big time superhero who is saving planets and more about how she was always a role model and inspiration to the people she saved. She continues to save the day while setting a great example.

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Volume 10 Review


It’s time to look at the next MLP comic. This time it’s the big volume 10 so I’m glad I was able to go back and check this one. It lowers the hole of missing MLP comics I haven’t gotten to check out. It’s a pretty solid array of issues. 2 of them get a little experimental, one of them successfully while the other one ended up not rising to the occasion. The main issue is about the Cutie Mark Crusaders though and you can’t go wrong there!

The first issue has the Cutie Mark Crusaders going on a mountain climbing adventure. Diamond Tiara and her friend go as well, but the heroes are ready to have a good time anyway. Unfortunately their excitement goes a little too far as they ditch the group and go on their own. Eventually this causes them to get lost and they must now find a way to get back to the other ponies. That’s one plan at least, the other is to stay put until the Mane 6 arrive to save the day. It’s hard for the heroes to agree on one strategy and making this even harder is the fact that Diamond Tiara keeps on insulting the crew. She’s not exactly a team player and insists on reminding the other ponies of this time and time again.

This is a pretty good story. It was also really long so I think it may have been 2 issues rolled into one or an annual of sorts. We got to have a lot of development with the CMC doing their best to try and get Tiara on board. You really can’t blame them for anything that happens because the effort was made. Apple Bloom may not have been too eager to slow down for Tiara but if a member of the party doesn’t want to travel with everyone else it’s probably more dangerous to just stay there uncertain of where to go. At least Apple Bloom was trying to lead the group to the next objective and ideally she would have gotten them somewhere safe. It’s inevitable that the Mane 6 would show up at some point so the important thing is to get high up where it will be easier to find them. Apple Bloom had the right idea and this was a great way to kick things off.

The next story was a pretty emotional one about how Twilight and Spike first met each other. This takes place back when Twilight didn’t really have any friends so even looking after a dragon was pretty tough for her. She was already having a hard time keeping up in class so this big responsibility threatened to break her. She did a pretty good job of looking after him either way though. Her methods may have been more automatic than others would have been since Twilight has a hard time showing her emotions, but she was never mean. The series showed some good restraint in making her a reasonable pony and not throwing her character out the window.

Spike was definitely a handful, but he is a baby here so we can cut him a little slack. I can also sympathize with Twilight preferring to spend time with her family during the school meeting than the other classmates. Since she never talked to them during the year that would have been a little odd. So this was a good follow up story to the first one. It may not have had the same level of thrills and teamwork, but I’m always up for a good “first meeting” story.

Next up is the weakest comic of the volume and possibly the weakest one in the whole series. At the very least it would give them all some competition. It starts off with Zecora talking about how 1 bad attitude can spread to countless ponies if not treated right away. We see that Rainbow Dash had a bad day and she begins taking it out on all of the other ponies. Soon all of Ponyville is in a bad mood as none of them can break the cycle and it looks like Rainbow Dash will have to be the one to save the day. I found both the premise to be weak and the artwork, but make no mistake it’s the latter which hurt the issue for me the most.

Experimental artwork usually doesn’t do the trick for me. It can look interesting, but I just really like my polished artwork that you get in most of the comics. Even for anime or movies I typically prefer something traditional to something that’s trying for a very off approach. You can certainly make something unique that’s really cool without being totally crazy. This issue is mainly with watercolors and so everything is hard to make out and a bit scattered. It’s not all that appealing to read and you’ll be tempted to just skip over to the next issue. Art is critically important for a comic. Also the plot is a little hard to buy. Everyone in Ponyville gets upset because Rainbow made one mistake? At least one of the ponies should have been able to break the cycle if you ask me. That being said, Ponyville has never been the nicest town out there. They turn on each other very quickly.

Finally we have a comic where Pinkie Pie and Rarity make a comic. It’s pretty meta in a sense. This one’s also experimental, but it works a lot better. It would probably get old if it went on for more than 1 issue, but as a one shot it’s interesting enough. The dilemma that the two of these ponies face is that their taste in comics are very different. Rarity wants her character to look very regal and nice even though she is supposed to be the villain. Pinkie Pie gets distracted a lot and so her stories become very unfocused. Both of them keep on trying various ideas throughout the issue which vary in terms of art and plot. The arts are all very different and we even get a live action sock puppet style. By the end of the issue they realize that just making a comic is a lot of fun even if they may never agree in the end.

It’s a pretty good message. When creating something with someone else you are going to have to be ready to make a lot of compromises because the odds of you two having the same ideas are slim. Each of you will want to do something different with the characters and that will lead to a lot of disagreements. Just remember why you are teaming up on a comic and hopefully that will inspire you to work these things out.

Overall, This was a fun MLP volume. As always the stories were a lot of fun and also taught good messages along the way. The pacing was good and the artwork for the various volumes was solid as well aside from that one issue. It’s been a consistently good run for this series so I look forward to more of the same in the next volume I check out. Volume 17 is the next one so we’ll be jumping back into the era of Princess Twilight and the Student 6. Hopefully that means Starlight Glimmer will get to appear and another issue about the CMC would be nice. If you haven’t checked this comic out yet then you should. It’s a well balanced adventure.

Overall 7/10