My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Omnibus Volume 2 Review

It’s time to take a look at the next volume of My Little Pony. I’ve definitely had quite the history with this series as it always manages to be hype while also low key at the same time. The first volume was really close to greatness but one panel held it back. I think this volume may have taken the criticism too hard though as most of the action and excitement have been taken away. These stories are more about the daily lives of the ponies which is cool as well, but you do find yourself waiting for the next invasion. There is one action arc in the comic though and that was certainly the best story arc here

One of the plots is about how Trixie has been framed for stealing a rare gem. She had originally been trying to help the cops nab the crook, but it turns out that this was all part of her plan or so it seems. Applejack and Applebloom decide to help her get out of this jam, but finding proof of Trixie’s innocence will be difficult. The true culprit may be closer to home than we ever dared suspect. It’s a pretty solid story and Trixie can certainly be a fun character. It’s a shame that everyone always has such a tough time believing that she has turned over a new leaf though. So much for “Forgive and Forget” right? We get some nice stealth scenes during the adventure and the cops get their due credit. The big reveal on who the true culprit was may not have been the most inspired choice, but I could get behind it. It was a fun set of issues and I was definitely on Team Trixie here. She’s always a very earnest character who just has the bad luck of working in a rough village.

The best comic arc here is definitely the Mirror World one even if Celestia looks pretty bad the whole time. She mixes up her priorities and puts the kingdom in danger by pursuing romance. It’s always interesting to see how rebellious she was back in the day and maybe that’s why she is such a stickler for the rules in the present. Well, that may be a stretch as it still seems like she is just trolling Twilight by having the young pony write her letters every day. The majority of the adventure splits its time between the present and the past. In the past, Celestia and the Wizard head to an alternate universe to learn more about the world. You have to go far in the pursuit of knowledge after all. Unfortunately her visits have started to unbalance the dimensions so she has told not to go back, but Celestia wants to do so anyway for the romance. This further strengthens the evil Celestia and Luna over in that world and then Celestia is forced to leave forever. In the present, Celestia send the Mane 6 into this alternate world to defeat her other version. The Mane 6 figure this will be a breeze, but the only hitch in the plan is the fact that whenever they injure the duplicate Celestia, they harm the real one. They will have to try winning without dealing any real damage, but that’s as hard as it sounds.

I do think that this twist wasn’t a good one though. Because the ponies can’t injure the evil Celestia, that prevents us from having the hype fight scenes that would have been a blast. The whole concept of the story teases a really cool series of fights but this twist prevents it. At least we still do get some nice action scenes and the saga is pretty intense as a whole, but it could have been even better. The villainous Celestia does have a good idea of using friendly fire to lure the heroes out. After all, the ponies can’t just stand back as Luna is taken down. I don’t think Luna should take so much damage after a single attack to be honest, but I guess that’s how it goes.

In all fairness, I would have made the same choice as Celestia in going back. There’s only a chance that the universes would unravel and if we’re being honest it is probably a very remote one. The power of friendship can certainly solve a problem as trivial as this one. This is certainly the most intense arc and I’d be up for the mirror dimension showing up again. This time we need to allow the fight scenes though as there is just so much potential here. It’s always epic watching the heroes go up against alternate versions of themselves.

The first story arc in the collection is a pirate adventure. Basically, the heroes have to stop a corrupt pirate who tries to deceive and capture them. It turns out that he is just pirating for romance though as he wants to be with a mermaid whose family won’t let them be together. Meanwhile, Fluttershy is supposed to let her animal go back to the sea once he is better, but she refuses to part ways. Both parties have to learn a little something about letting go and grabbing the valuable morals from it. In case you wouldn’t tell, this was a fairly weak story compared to the others. I don’t mind having a new locale I guess, but I’m not big on pirate ships. The romance at the end also didn’t really work for me. It wasn’t the ideal Pony story, but it’s not that it was bad. It’s just that it’s very unmemorable and felt like a very standard adventure with nothing to really back it up.

Another arc had Twilight Sparkle’s library get attacked by an army of bookworms. This certainly wasn’t good news for the heroine since books are her life. She realizes that the only way to stop them is to jump into the stories and reenact them without any alterations. The problem is that the Mane 6 prefer their versions of the story and switch up all of the classics. Their bonds of friendship may get tested by this as things are said that can never be unsaid. On this one I have to be on Twilight’s side as the other ponies just don’t seem to care about what happens to her books. Would it really be so hard to just follow the story of the book without making their own edits on the way? It just seems awfully selfish of them if you ask me and I thought they were supposed to be team players. It’s only in character for Rainbow Dash as she has to do things the cool way. The ending is a little anticlimactic though as the worm admits that he never really meant to harm anyone. I don’t buy that for a second and neither should the ponies. He was fully aware of what he was doing and just didn’t care. It was a fun two part adventure and maybe the best one aside from the mirror world arc.

The next story was the weakest one. It’s all about the Mane 6 pets as they try to find out how to break the mind control spell that was placed on the Mane 6. There isn’t much dialogue so it’s all about just watching the animals while a lot of Hijinx ensues. I mean, that’s nice and all, but I’m just not a huge fan of the pets. Perhaps if they could talk it would make the story more entertaining but otherwise it’s just a bunch of pictures. There aren’t really any fights either although the pets do have to elude the Mane 6 so we get a lot of frantic chase scenes. It’s not bad, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend that the series tries something like this again. It’s just not worth it.

Finally, the collection ends with an appearance by Discord. Fluttershy is babysitting the Cutie Mark Crusaders and they want more adventure. Discord offers to take them to a bunch of parrallel worlds and while Fluttershy is nervous about doing this, they quickly get her on board. There are a lot of dangerous monsters and Fluttershy feels like Discord isn’t taking good care of them. It’s a valid concern since Discord is immensely powerful, but likes to pretend that he is weak and panic a lot for dramatic effect. I wouldn’t be surprised if he would let them die at somepoint. It’s a fun issue and we get to see a lot of different locations. Fluttershy is rather harsh to Discord though as she basically says that he shouldn’t even have any friends. That’s just mean no matter how you slice it, but I’ve noticed that subtle theme in MLP at times. Lets just face the facts, the Mane 6 are rather mean ponies at times. They’re nice to their friends, but even then not always. They will turn on anyone at the drop of a hat.

I guess it helps the messages at the end really hit home, but the Mane 6 need to work on their bonds of friendship. The pacing of the issues is solid and they’re all a blast. You expect nothing but quality from the My Little Pony series and they always deliver. I’ll definitely be awaiting the next Omnibus adventure and hopefully we’ll get some more action scenes along with solid story telling in general. The art looks pretty solid like you would expect. The art is nice and streamlined and it works well enough for the action scenes. The facial expressions can certainly be a little out there at times, but it shows that the ponies have strong personalities. It never goes too far so it’s all good. I’m able to easily read the stories so I’d definitely consider that a success in my book.

Overall, this is a fun collection of stories. Some of the stories may have been a little weaker than we’re used to for this franchise but others were strong enough to make up for it. While the stakes have been considerably lowered from the first volume, we must be reminded that day to day issues at the village can feel just as dire as an invasion in the moment. The stories are mostly played seriously and you’ll blast through the volume. It’s a series of issues that I can definitely recommend to any fan of the series or even to someone who is not familiar with the franchise. It’s very accessible and it’s hard not to have a good time while reading it.

Overall 7/10


My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Omnibus Volume 1 Review

It’s time to check back in with the ponies! I already read the first few issues from this collection during the original volume 1 release, but naturally I had to check out the Omnibus as well right? A certain scene from the first arc still holds the collection back, but it’s still a solid adventure for the most part. In some ways I wish the show would have as many action scenes as this one, but I guess that runs with its own set of risks as this comic makes evident. Well, lets dive in!

So, the first arc is old, but lets recap in case you did not read my original review. Queen Chrysalis and the Changelings are back and they took over Ponyville in an instant. Derpy was the last to fall but now it is up to the Mane 6 to stop this evil threat. They mobilize their forces and head out to also rescue the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Twilight Sparkle will have to use her full powers if she has any hope of winning this round, but it’s still going to be a very tough fight. The villains aren’t hear to pull any punches.

Well, the arc is pretty solid except for one scene where Queen Chrysalis actually destroys one of the animals. It’s a surprisingly violent scene that you wouldn’t expect in My Little Pony. This is the one tricky part about the comics taking a more intense route than the show. While the comics have more fights and serious plots, they can also add in more violence which can get risky. While it’s a quick page that you can easily miss when embracing the hype of the arc, once you notice it there is no going back. It’s a shame since this one moment does limit the rest of the collection. If we ignore that little bit then the rest of the arc is pretty solid. We do get to see Twilight unleash one of her more powerful energy blasts at the Queen even if it’s not enough to take her down for the count.

It is a little iffy how quickly the Pony bonds are broken though. They know that they are up against shapeshifters after all so they should probably suspect that something is up when their friends start insulting them right? I’d expect some of the Ponies to fall for this, but not the entirety of the Mane 6. Ah well, even the ponies have their off days right? The changeling army is definitely impressive and since they seem stronger than the average pony, it’s fortunate that the Mane 6 are strong. An even numbered fight with the rest of the citizens may not go so well otherwise.

Time for the new content! This arc is easily the best part of the volume. The Mane 6 have all been having nightmares and are wondering why this is the case. Well, it turns out that an ancient evil has re awoken. It is the same darkness which once possessed Princess Luna. It has now set its sights on Rarity and kidnaps her. The rest of the Mane 6 will have to hurry if they are to rescue her but the villain’s army is numerous with many shadow creatures at her disposal. The entire kingdom is in peril so Celestia mobilizes her troops. Still, they’re basically just cannon fodder so she needs Luna. Unfortunately, Luna is dealing with confidence issues. Can she pony up in time to stop this threat or is it game over?

This arc is basically what the first arc would have been like without that quick animal moment. The new Nightmare Moon is a fearsome villain and is actually more serious than Queen Chrysalis. She is set on conquering Equestria and comes awful close. Her magic power is considerable and we get some actual fights here. The Mane 6 even have to use their laser blasts to stop her. We often see Twilight Sparkle use her powers, but not the rest of the ponies so that was cool. Naturally Rarity gets the shaft for most of the arc since she was kidnapped, but still looks good during the adventure. Luna’s still one of the best ponies in the series and this adventure is another reminder on that. She’s strong and has a lot of character development. Luna has learned a lot throughout her adventures and keeps that development. Now that she’s gotten over her confidence issues, she is certainly one of the best all around fighters in Ponyville.

Next up was Big Mac’s two part adventure. I always like how Applejacks’ family have good related names that reminds me of the past. I always used to eat Applejacks back in the day and while I didn’t go for Big Macs until recently, I did like the name. Basically he needs to find a nail so he heads for the shop, but the whole village has been taken over by a festival. It’s going to be difficult to find the owner, but this pony doesn’t give up so easily. What ensues are a bunch of random shenanigans where it seems like every pony is conspiring against him. Can Big Mac prevail?

Big Mac doesn’t handle the situation very well and shows why he is the weakest member of the Apple family. He doesn’t take anything in stride so you have to assume that he never leaves the farm since he should be used to this. Ponyville is always quirky as its inhabitants just love to have a bunch of fun. It’s a bit of a stretch that he couldn’t find the nail for the whole 2 issues, but he was kept pretty busy. The most enjoyable side trip would certainly be when he teams up with Princess Luna to wreck everybody at track and field. That was handled pretty well. The rest of the story was fun enough as well.

The final two issues were about Cadance and Shining Armor. I have yet to see them in the TV show so it was interesting to have a little preview. Basically the issues recount the first time Cadance and Shining Armor got to meet. Armor really wanted to impress her so he worked on his skills and decided to take her to the dance. The only problem is that she already accepted an offer from a richer, more sports savvy pony. Shining Armor will have to use every dirty trick in the book in order to stop his rival.

Unfortunately this was probably the weakest two part comic. It certainly didn’t do anything to improve my opinion of Shiny. His banter with Twilight would probably be the only part of his character that works well and Twilight as a kid is still a quality character. That being said, it’s just hard to be sympathetic to the Knight. He doesn’t embrace the role playing game that his gang plays because he gets too distracted by Cadence. Furthermore, he can’t even speak when Cadance appears and can only say things like “der” and ends up running off. He’s exaggeratedly bad in this comic. Of course, you can’t root for the bully since he’s rather mean, but you have to at least admire the guy’s confidence. He talks tough to Celestia and isn’t afraid of anyone. He probably would make a firm ruler, just a petty one.

As for Cadance, she seems nice enough. Naturally her whole romance with Shining Armor seems rather out of place and isn’t handled too well but if we ignore that chunk of her character than I’d say that she did well. She’s not as fun as Luna or as unlikable as Celestia so I guess she is somewhere in the middle. A reasonable supporting character to have around. So, this volume may have ended on a rather weak note, but it’s not as if this story is bad. It’s just a rather generic prom night adventure featuring two characters that I’m not really invested in. Better them than the Mane 6 though since any romance for one of those characters would result in a permanent addition to the main cast and we don’t want that.

The art for the comics is pretty good. It does take a little getting used to with how expressive it is, but the colors are very sharp and the designs are on point. It does help the issues to feel like the TV show and the animations may be even better to be honest. The comics really breeze by as a result. The writing is also on point as you’d expect. It’s easy to just pick this comic up and start reading. Likewise, the Ponies are about the same as always as well. Rainbow Dash and Applejack are always ready for a fight while Twilight is the one who is prepared for it. Rarity and Fluttershy mainly stick to the back row with Pinkie Pie as they verbally support and insult the other from afar. It would be nice if they could fight a little more, but I suppose it’s good to have a contrast. Rarity did good while she was possessed in her evil form though.

Overall, This was a solid batch of stories. As it’s an omnibus there is certainly quite a lot of content here to make it worth your dollar. The only negative from the whole adventure is when the animal was blown up. Some stories were a little weaker than the others like the last one and even the Big Mac adventure, but it makes sense since the Mane 6 were not the leads. The Cutie Mark Crusaders can hold their own stories as well, but now we know which characters cannot do so. While I can recommend most MLP comics whole heartedly I must cautiously recommend this one. It’s a very solid collection but not for the faint of heart. Still, even with its intensity there is always a lot of quick comedic moments to keep things from getting too serious so for the most part it is okay for kids as well. I’m looking forward to the next Omnibus as that should definitely give us some quality adventures. Until then, I suppose it could be a while before I have another MLP review out I guess.

Overall 5/10

Inhumans vs X-Men Review

It feels like such a long time since I’ve reviewed a Marvel or DC comic right? Well, what better way to get back into it than by reviewing a big Hero vs Hero event? This time the Inhumans and X-Men are going at it. With both sides having morally dubious leaders at the helm you really have to decide which team to root for. The battle will decide the fate of the mutants as well as the Inhumans. As a result, the Avengers and Fantastic Four don’t really care either way so they have decided to stay out of the fray. I’ve always been a big fan of the X-Men and never cared much for the Inhumans so you can imagine which team I am on in this comic.

A lot happened prior to this volume, but the recap on the front page does its best to bring you up to speed. There are 2 big Terrigen Clouds that have come to Earth. These clouds are turning a large part of the human population into Inhumans. The good news is that this cloud doesn’t destroy the humans who aren’t Inhuman deep down unlike the Agents of SHIELD show. The bad news is that it is murdering every mutant who comes into contact with it. Cyclops led a team to destroy the first cloud, but then Black Bolt murdered him. There is now one more cloud left and Beast was tasked with finding a way to save the mutants without destroying the cloud. He was unsuccessful and now they have 2 weeks before total anhiilation. Storm, Emma Frost, and Magneto have to come up with a plan as the 3 main leaders of the X-Men factions. Ultimately, they decide that they have to destroy the Cloud and to do that they will have to temporarily incapacitate the Inhumans. Will their plan be successful or are the Inhumans prepared for this?

Right away you may wonder why the X-Men don’t just negotiate. Honestly, I’m fine with them just attacking. The Inhumans never negotiate and with how evil stubborn and arrogant they are, they’d never agree to remove the cloud. They want all of the extra Inhumans they can get because it’ll give them more fighting power in the future. Maybe they could have given it an attempt, but then it may just tip their hand. Furthermore, the Inhumans already know (or should know) about the cloud’s affects for the Mutants. They act a little shocked towards the end when they learn how close the deadline is, but that’s just the book trying to make them look at least a little redeemable. It’s a last second character switch to try and not make them look like the villains, but it certainly didn’t work on me. Attacking is the best option.

Now, which team should win such a fight? Well, I’d definitely side with the X-Men yet again. They just have too many powerful fighters to lose. Magik, X-23, Emma Frost, Magneto, Old Man Logan, etc. The Inhumans have some strong fighters like Black Bolt and Karnak, but that’s really about it. The others would lose to the more middle of the pack X fighters like classic Cyclops. Then we’ve also got the lesser known X members like Psylocke waiting in the back. This should be a complete blowout and even more so since the X-Men have the element of surprise on their side. The first 2-3 issues are basically them putting the Inhumans on the defensive and kidnapping all of their critical members. Unfortunately since the 1st cloud did a lot of damage, there are a ton of new Inhumans who start to turn the tides. Mostly it’s only because the X-Men are nerfed just in time. Old Man Logan looks particularly bad as one of the new recruits takes him down rather quickly. The excuse is really that he let his guard down and you could argue that even though this version of Wolverine is particularly brutal, he still didn’t really want to hurt a kid too badly. X-23 has no such qualms, but she also doesn’t do very well in the fight.

Don’t even get me started on Psylocke vs Medusa. She should destroy the Inhuman in a snap. Honestly, I feel like most of the comic authors don’t give her the credit she deserves. Psylocke is a very talented ninja who knows how to fight at close range and doesn’t need to rely on her psychic abilities. Yet, she seems rather helpless in many of the battles I see her in. She’s not a 1 trick pony and I’m still waiting for a big Marvel comic to realize that. So, I’ve explained why the X-Men should absolutely dominate and I’m happy to say that they did effectively win. They accomplished their task of destroying the cloud and now no more Inhumans will be born while the mutants are safe.

Granted, they certainly had help. A few Inhumans decided to destroy the cloud as well once they found out that it was destroying the mutants. The X-Men were also in prime position to finish off the Inhumans as well, but naturally that wasn’t their plan. It was Emma’s and she did attempt to finish them off, but one person against 2 armies? That wasn’t going to end well no matter how powerful she is. She did escape and will stick around as a villain though so the Inhumans should definitely be worried. She made for a great character here though and I dare say that it’s easily her best portrayal. She’s on a mission for revenge and even though she ends up tricking basically everyone, you can never truly trust a telepath.

One more reason to root for the X-Men is how uneven the stakes are. If the X-Men lost then all mutants would die. If the Inhumans lost…then they simply couldn’t get anymore new recruits for a while, but those humans that have the potential to turn into Inhumans may still make the change once someone finds more Terrigen. Plus, this way they get a choice on if they want to transform or not. Medusa gets over the whole thing within a single page at the end of the volume so you can tell that the Inhumans were never too invested in this. Yet another reason why I never like these guys.

As always, I didn’t like the Inhumans here. Medusa appears to be two timing Black Bolt with Human Torch and I’m not sure if he ever even notices. She then ditches the Torch to go with Black Bolt again in the end as she explains that she’s happy about not being a queen anymore. Definitely a weird plot if you ask me. Black Bolt seemed like the same stuck up king that he always was and he’s basically in rage mode for the whole arc but doesn’t actually do anything. From the original members, Karnak and Medusa definitely do the most. It was also interesting to see Human Torch as an Inhuman supporter and not neutral. he was definitely useful for their cause as well. On the X-Men side, Beast was more of a traitor who wanted to help the Inhumans so luckily the X-Men locked him up. Beast has always been a really annoying character and this volume definitely did not help his case in that regard. He really can never see the bigger picture and does his best to cement himself as a character you simply cannot count on in any situation.

The art was really good although I’d expect nothing less. It’s not quite as smooth as some of the last events like AVX, but it’s still the high quality that Marvel has been consistent with. The fight scenes really look good and every page is busy with a lot of action without being cluttered. The artwork has a mild grainy element to it that doesn’t take much away from the colors. Good artwork certainly helps to push a comic into the next level. While many are tired of the Hero vs Hero action, I’m always up for it. As long as the fights aren’t cop outs or off screen, it at least helps to finally decide which characters are actually the strongest.

Overall, This was a fun comic. There were a lot of battles and since the X-Men and Inhumans have been rivals for such a long time it makes sense that they would go at it. The comic also got the victor right. While there definitely was quite a bit of plot hax to try and keep the Inhumans in the ring, I suppose the writers felt that a full blowout wouldn’t have been as interesting. They have a point there to be sure although I really wouldn’t have minded all that much. I’d definitely recommend reading this graphic novel. It really takes advantage of all the friends and enemies that each team has made and it helps both sides grab a lot of members. Both sides never appear reasonable since they are spearheaded by the most evil member in the team, but that makes the fight more believable as well. This was never going to end peacefully.

Overall 8/10

My Little Pony: Legends of Magic Volume 1 Review

My Little Pony has always been one of those franchises that most people judge instantly. It seems like a show for little kids with happy creatures that you can’t take seriously. It is a kids show, but one that’s well written and has a lot of quality episodes. As I’m about halfway through season 1, I can finally consider myself a part of the fandom. Now I’ve gotten to read another MLP comic and I’d certainly say that this is a good one although I definitely found myself missing the Main 6. There are 6 stories and each one is a self contained adventure although the series is hinting at some kind of plot getting ready to develop with the scholar who is reading the stories.

The first comic is a story about Princess Celestia and Luna from their Pony days. Celestia apparently was still a bully even back in her youth and picks on Luna a lot. She reminds Luna of her previous failures and points out that she will never be proficient in magic. Luna tries to show Celestia that she is wrong and opens up a portal, but it takes Luna away to a dangerous place. Celestia goes along with the Wizard to save her, but it’s a treacherous journey and her power alone may not be enough to win. It’s a pretty fun way to start the comic although it solidifies the fact that I will never become a Celestia fan. She’s just so mean throughout the comic to the extent where it’s hard to believe that she becomes one of the Princesses. It’s easy to see how Luna turned evil for a little while if she had to put up with this every day. I’ve always been a Luna fan so I’m glad she finally gets her due respect in the modern episodes. Her magic eventually did become more impressive than Celestia’s.

Our next story takes us to good ole Rockhoof, a legend among his people. He was a Pony who stood up for what’s right and defeated many powerful adversaries in his day. This story takes place after the legend most are familiar with and he is invited to join the army. He does, but gradually begins to put on a lot of weight as his fans take him to many dinners. He is then too weak to defend the kingdom from a powerful monster and begins to wonder if friendship isn’t magic. The other characters confirm this so he goes back to his rigorous training and makes it in time to stop the giant monster on his own. He finally realizes that hanging out with friends is all right, but at the end of the day you can only count on yourself. It’s a pretty reasonable story and while I would have liked a fight as opposed to words being enough to stop the monster, it’s a resolution that I can get behind. I’d like to see Rockhoof show up in the present at some point.

The next story was quite a bit weaker than the first two. There once lived an old nanny who liked to traverse the wilderness. One night, she noticed that a kingdom was being attacked by animals and no work was getting done. She decided to broker a treaty between the two which is fortunate since Luna had been sent out to deal with the threats. Not officially, but Luna noticed unlike all of the others and would have certainly beaten the animals on her own. Instead, friendship prevailed and Luna altered the Kingdom’s plans so that it wouldn’t interfere with the wildlife. Even back then Luna was a more benevolent ruler than Celestia. The story wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t quite as exciting or action packed as the first two. The old lady also didn’t make for as good a main character as the other ponies.

Following that adventure was the original Wonderbolts as they struggled against a Tornado. This tornado was going to rip through the lives of many griffins, but the Ponies were declined access across the border. The Griffins wanted to deal with the problem themselves so the Pony commander decides to let them all die. The other Wonderbolts can’t agree this and quit so they can help out without causing a big war between the two species. It’s a pretty noble gesture and I always knew the ponies had it in them. The commander looks pretty bad, but don’t they always? It’s a good adventure even if it’s not the most interesting one. Again, it’s a comic without any of the old characters so you do miss them quite a bit. Rockhoof’s story pulled it off, but it is a difficult thing to do for sure.

On the next adventure we meet our first Egyptian pony. She was known as one of the wisest ponies in all of Equestria and she solved all of her problems without the need for violence. A pretty impressive feat when you consider how unruly and dangerous most of Equestria was. One day her kingdom was being attacked by a large snake so she decides to deal with the issue. She’s a pretty great main character and a step up over the last two stories. She may even be the best main character in the book. It’s a fun enough story and who doesn’t like seeing a giant monster show up? This is one character who would definitely fit right in with the Main 6 if she ever met them. A pacifist is always welcome in Ponyville and especially one with Twilight Sparkle’s intelligence.

Finally, the last story was about a bunch of Pony zombies. This may seem a little out of place in the happy world of My Little Pony, but again, you can’t let looks deceive you. A wandering healer happened to be passing by and decides to cure the Ponies. Unfortunately they aren’t too grateful and make fun of her one liners. Ah well, everyone’s a critic these days. The hero didn’t have a whole lot of personality this time around, but she seemed nice enough. Someone you would want to have in your corner at any rate.

So this was a good batch of My Little Pony stories. It’s always good to expand the universe so having a whole comic series dedicated to this is pretty clever. That being said, the main plot could easily overshadow the stories if the series isn’t careful. It ends in a cliffhanger with the kid trying to find Twilight so that could be intense if it’s played straight. I don’t like that guy, but I guess he didn’t really do anything wrong in the comic so I have to cut him some slack.

As always the writing is solid. These stories could easily have been boring or simply bad if we had a bunch of crude humor and bad characters to bring the story down. Fortunately this wasn’t the case as everything was on point instead. The stories were able to develop naturally and at worst some parts would just be a little rushed since all of the stories had to end rather quickly. They never drag on though and most of the characters seemed pretty reasonable. If you’re going to make a trade paperback about new ponies, they’ve got to be good and the comics did good there.

Unfortunately, the art isn’t very good though. In fact it’s actually pretty bad at different points. It comes across like a cash in although I’m sure they put a lot of effort into the comics. The art just feels unfinished which is a little regrettable. It’s still clear though and you always know what is happening so it’s far from the worst case scenario. It’s nothing that would seriously hurt the score or anything like that. Hopefully it does improve as the series goes on the artist gets more used to the characters.

Overall, I’d recommend checking out this graphic novel. It may not have the Main 6 and can feel like filler at times, but the stories are good. It’s a pleasant enough read and you’ll find yourself blasting through the pages. I would even say that it does beat the main ongoing comic so that’s definitely pretty impressive for a spinoff. Hopefully the library gets more MLP adventures soon so I can check them out. In the meantime I can be satisfied knowing that I’ve learned more about the world and its history.

Overall 7/10

Mickey X: The Contest Review

Before reading this comic I had certainly never heard of Mickey X. I’d say that I’m a pretty knowledgeable Disney fan but I suppose I still don’t know all of the spinoffs. The premise for the series seems pretty interesting as Mickey runs errands in a supernatural world filled with dangerous characters. It’s a very different take on the classic characters but one that works pretty well so far and does have a lot of potential. That’s saying something since I feel like the majority of Elseworld tales aren’t very good. At the very least it’s a fun little comic.

There are two stories in this comic. The first one is the main adventure as a bunch of mystery authors are invited to a mysterious mansion. The owner may in fact have ill intent as monsters show up and begin attacking the guests. Can Mickey and his struggling author friend save the day or will monsters conquer all? One thing is for sure, someone is going to have to step up and get the job done.

I’m always up for an ensemble of mystery authors. Even Detective Conan did something similar in one arc. Goofy (Basically it’s him) can’t write so he has to bluff his way through the meeting. I’d say he does a decent job of it since he has lasted so long without anyone finding him out. Here’s my question though. Since apparently his friend was writing all of the stories for him in the first place, why would Goofy need to go to the bar to get inspiration? It’s not like it would help at all if he simply can’t write. Maybe he was hoping that he could finally write his first book which is a nice thought but I guess it just didn’t happen. Also in case you are ever caught in such a position I’d advise you to at least write something down as opposed to leaving a blank page and conceding defeat. Even if you don’t think the story is great, half a story is better than none.

While Mickey is really the supporting character here, he does a good job of keeping up with everyone. You get the feeling that he’s not in too much danger from the monsters due to his speed and reflexes. He comes across as an adventurer in training so I’m sure he’ll get more to do in other volumes. Minnie makes for an interesting ruler since she seems to have abilities here. At the very least, she has a lot of influence and can call the shots whenever she likes.

If I had a book that turned my writing into reality, I’d quickly write that my pizza made it on time and was free. I’d probably build some kind of calorie nullifier as well so that I could finally eat all the cheese that I wanted. The monsters that the authors came up with were fairly good though so I’ll give them some kudos on that. They had good imaginations and proved that they were the real deal when it came to author skill.

The 2nd story is a whole lot shorter but it’s still pretty good. Mickey finds a camera lying around but whenever he takes a picture there is a door in the background which is slowly opening more and more. He decides not to take any more pictures just in case but it may be out of his hands now. This camera could very well lead to the end of the world! That will weigh heavily on Mickey’s conscience.

I figure that behind the door is a specter who haunts the wielder of the camera for all eternity. It makes sense and adds in a lot of tension. However, theories are all that you can make as the monster doesn’t get to appear thanks to the anticlimactic ending. I was expecting a troll moment where a happy character comes out of the door or something, not for nobody to come out. Still, it was a pretty interesting story before that ending occurred. The ending didn’t ruin it or anything, but it was just a missed opportunity. It was short but who doesn’t like an evil camera plot?

The art looks pretty good throughout. All of the character designs are sleek and the pages are easy to read with the sharp colors all around. It’s light in detail which helps the overall comic be so comprehensive but naturally more details are always a good thing if handled well. The art is basic but in a good way so I’m definitely satisfied. No real action scenes to test its mettle of course but it’s not like you would expect one here. That’s why it is important that the overall comic looks good. I say the same thing about anime. If it’s not an action series then I feel like it should be very easy to have good animation since the character designs are one of the only things you are focusing on. If you still can’t have good animation then I’m not sure what to say. So Mickey X did a good job with what it was given.

Overall, Mickey X was pretty fun. It’s a very short read but one were both stories had a good premise. The first one works quite well while the second’s ending was anticlimactic but they were both solid stories. It’s always good to see more of Mickey Mouse, particularly in his modern design/personality. Hopefully the series got many more comics because I’d be interested in reading those. I’m curious as to where Donald Duck is and what his occupation/personality even is in this version. I’m sure that no matter what he’s doing, he is still the loud and confident character that we are all used to. I’d recommend giving this comic a read and enjoying the best Goofy portrayal that I’ve seen.

Overall 7/10

Batman ’66 Meets Steed and Mrs Peel Review

Batman 66 comics have always been pretty fun in the past. They have a nice balance of action and wit to keep you guessing throughout the adventure. That’s why I was surprised when this one actually didn’t turn out to be all that good. It’s still fun for the Batman and Robin scenes, but the artwork took a huge nosedive and the characters that the heroes get to meet aren’t too interesting this time around. Considering that these crossovers are quite limited with how many can be produced at a time, it’s a bit of a shame that we wasted one on these guys.

The comic starts off with Catwoman deciding to steal a large diamond. Bruce Wayne and a rich lady happen to be in the area so Catwoman goes after them next. With the lady’s tough talk and banter throughout, I figured that she was Mrs Peel. No, the real Steed and Mrs Peel show up shortly afterwards to try and handle the situation. Robin and Alfred (Dressed as Batman appear as well so the villains are corralled quite nicely. It turns out that this is a bigger plot that is being led by the villains of the Avengers series.

That is really Steed and Mrs Peel’s only cling to fame by the way. The series they are from is actually called The Avengers so at least it sounds impressive to the average comic reader. Their main villains seem to be a large organization that uses Cybernauts (Androids) to do their evil bidding. These cybernauts are now going to destroy the world once they get the diamonds so Batman and Robin have to stop them.

Here’s why the crossover doesn’t work very well. If you thought that the two men from Uncle weren’t too useful, these chaps are even worse. All they do is bicker and banter throughout their appearances. They don’t really contribute at all except for moments where you figure that Batman and Robin should have had the situation under control anyway. They made for rather boring characters in the story and couldn’t really keep your attention. At the very least, that’s why I couldn’t really get behind these guys. I didn’t really warm up to them by the end either. They had a convenient habit of forgetting everything about the villains until Batman and Robin would find out first. By then it’s not as if it really mattered.

One of the good moments of the comic was when the Cybernauts broke into the Batcave. Of course it was the guest stars’ fault again as they didn’t notice that the villains had bugged them. Still, it was pretty intense since I don’t believe a villain had ever gotten inside before in this continuity. Batman and Robin did a good job of holding the fort even against overwhelming odds. The Cybernauts actually have potential as they are henchmen that are actually pretty dangerous in a fight. You can’t say that about most henchmen.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier the art is pretty bad. Until now the Batman ’66 comics have all looked really good. This one looks very rough around the edges and the art style is really no good at all. The character designs are all wrong and the fight scenes suffer as a result. The comic now has to thrive purely on the dialogue. The writing is pretty strong as you’d expect so at the very least that does help the comic quite a bit. I think this author actually liked Robin more than the rest because he looks good for a change. He gives Batman a few ideas and even saves the day once or twice. He’s portrayed as being fairly close to an equal in this adventure so his fans will like that. Batman still looks like the capable leader he always is as well. He’s just more open to suggestions this time around.

The comic had a decent misdirect with the rich lady from the beginning, but once you knew that she wasn’t Mrs Peel it was pretty clear that she had to be one of the villains. Batman was a little too emotionally attached though considering that they barely knew her. He didn’t take the twist very well although I suppose he put up a decent front. Most of the characters didn’t suspect a thing. Mrs Peel finding out his secret identity was a little iffy, but I suppose that usually happens in crossovers for the mutual hype for both franchises.

Overall, This may not have been the best Batman ’66 comic, but the series does set a high bar. It’s still as reasonably entertaining comic and I’d recommend it if you’ve already read the rest of the issues. It had some decent fights and Batman’s always a fun main character. Beyond that, I’d still never recommend this over any of the other volumes to be honest. The crossover just didn’t work and at the end of the day that takes away a considerable amount of the hype behind the volume. I’m still ready for more Batman 66 crossovers though and the only one left is where they meet Wonder Woman. That should certainly be a great team up so it’ll be fun to read it some day.

Overall 6/10

My Little Pony: The Movie Review

It’s always interesting to read a novel adaption right after watching the movie because then you can really notice where they changed or omitted something. In this case, there was really massive change and a few fairly minor ones. The biggest one definitely involved Twilight’s falling out with her friends. Lets dive into the plot though and take a look at how it stands up on its own.

Twilight Sparkle is planning a huge party to celebrate a momentous occasion. She is even bringing out a talented singer to Ponyville for the event. Unfortunately, it is crashed by Tempest and the Storm King. They want to destroy Ponyville once and for all to show that their power is supreme. Twilight’s kingdom is no longer hers so she will have to go on a quest to find the mermaid ponies and save Equestria. Can she really hope to stop this array of villains or will it all be for naught?

It’s a pretty solid premise. As with the movie, it can just be a little annoying to see Twilight let these villains just walk all over her. At this point in the series her power level is quite high and she should have no problem just blasting these guys away. Instead she spends the movie getting wrecked by just about everyone. Even at the end she has to be saved one last time by her friends. She’s still a good lead character though and ironically one of the changed parts of the comic makes her even better. In the film she tells the other ponies that she wished she had other friends or something to that extent when they were bickering about whether or not they should have stolen the gem of power from the mermaids. It’s a big moment since it’s one of those lines that’s hard to take back and that’s why the team splits. In this case, the team splits up because they call her out for being a thief and Twilight responds with a snarky “Oh yeah?” I guess they took that really personally but it does make you wonder why the team would split apart for something like that. It makes their bond look a little more shallow if we’re being honest. Of course, Twilight’s expression in this moment was certainly priceless so I have to give the artist some props there. It was the best panel in the whole comic.
The other scene that was cut out was Fluttershy getting one of the guards to cry, but I was pretty okay with this since it made the guards a little more serious. Not that they didn’t have any comedy moments, but now they didn’t have much at all. The book is basically the movie though so there’s not a whole lot of other things to say about it. The cast of characters is definitely solid and the art looks good. Of course, that’s basically the same as saying that the movie looks good. The songs are solid and it’s a good overall adventure.

Even if I did cover it as a movie, I’ll give a quick run down of what was good and bad about the story. The good part is that the action scenes are pretty good and Tempest is a solid villain. Her design is really good and her abilities are definitely the real deal. After all she was able to take down Ponyville in a single day. The pacing is pretty good and something is always happening in the book. The only slow part might be when they head to the water world but it was still pretty good.

On the weaker side, the supporting characters weren’t too good here. I didn’t really care for capper much or the mermaids. The Storm King was quite underwhelming with his dialogue and personality so it would have been cool if Tempest had replaced him. That would have made for a more intense climax. The only other real negative is that I felt like Twilight Sparkle should have done a whole lot better. The fact that she really couldn’t contribute at all was pretty bad.

Overall, You’ll be able to blast your way through the movie comic since it’s really not all that long at all. One batch is probably all that you’ll need to finish it. If you’re a fan of the MLP series then you’l definitely love it and even if you aren’t, it’s just a solid adventure. It will teach you about the power of friendship and that Ponyville is still a dangerous and dark place. It’s just how the place is and you can’t really fault the Mane 6 for it. It’s just the rest of the ponies who need to be a little nicer. Maybe Tempest can help to show them a better way. That being said, at the end of the day it’s probably better for you to just watch the movie then to read the comic. It’s just a more wholesome way to experience the story.

Overall 7/10

Wonder Woman ’77 Volume 1 Review

Unlike the Batman’66 series, I don’t know much about the old Wonder Woman show. Still, if it was anything like the Batman comics, I knew this would be a winner. It’s definitely a fun comic and while the art isn’t quite as good as you’d hope, it has its moments. Hopefully this series did/is doing well so it keeps on going. We could use more retro comics like this. Next they need to bring in a Superman ’55 series or something.

There are only 2 issues in this volume but it’s as long as any Batman’66 comic so I guess they’re all triple length. They definitely feel like long comics and even have multiple stories inside so that’s cool. The first story has Wonder Woman go up against the Swan. The Swan was crashing a party so WW had to quickly step in. The fight actually lasts for a little while and was a good way to kick off the adventures. Villains who use super voices are definitely formidable opponents to be sure, but it can’t beat classic super strength.

The next story was also pretty solid as Wonder Woman wakes up to find out that someone else is playing the part. It’s always a pretty interesting premise as you have to wonder which reality warper is messing around this time. It’s pretty disheartening to be benched to the sidelines when you’re used to being a starter. Also, no worries it isn’t a dream or something like that. Either way I’d probably say that it’s the best story in the batch. It was just nice and interesting all the way through.

Following that is the return of the Cheetah. She feels bad because her exhibit was cancelled at the last second so the museum could do a feature about Wonder Woman. As a result, she found the Cheetah costume/artifact and became a super villain. As a result, this is a different Cheetah than usual. Wonder Woman still defeats her with minimal effort, but it was a good comic. I’m always up for another version of Cheetah since it means that eventually a good one will pop up.

The next comic really stood out because of the artwork. It looked a little different this time. Some of the faces could still be way off at times, but I thought the villain’s design was handled well. Her name is Celsia and I’ve never heard of her before so it’s possible that she was made up for the issue. She has Ice and Fire abilities which is always a nice combo since she can now counter most elements. She manages to give Wonder Woman a good fight and it’s always nice to have a villain that is trying to defy corporate. It was probably the second best story of the bunch and even added in the shady government subplot to keep the characters honest.

Finally, we end on a serious note with a very short last comic. Solomon Grundy shows up to help a lady who is in a bad relationship with random joe #45. Wonder Woman fights him for a bit, but then finds out the reason for Grundy’s appearance and helps justice be served. It’s definitely a pretty dark comic for the usually happy Wonder Woman stories and was probably a short story that was released to raise awareness. WW even quickly reminds the girl that she should testify in court to make sure the guy is put away and to embolden others. A good story even if it seems a little out of place next to the others. It’s only a few pages long at any rate.

As mentioned earlier, the art is definitely a step down from Batman’66. It’s going for one of those quasi live action looks where everyone is super realistic. I never think that’s a good option for a comic and this was no exception. It’s not really bad or anything and once in a while the visuals will look good, but I do think it holds the series back just a bit.

Also, this may just be due to the show being like this as well, but Wonder Woman doesn’t make nearly as many one liners and wisecracks as Batman and Robin. She’s also not a super goody goody like them either so the writing isn’t quite as funny. She’s a noble hero, but the comic doesn’t do much else for her. She is also a little more naive than the other heroes which leads to multiple misunderstandings which in turn get the villains to show up. Of course, Wonder Woman is still a good character though and I didn’t mind Steve as a supporting character either. It’s a little hard to gauge how strong Wonder Woman is here, but she at least does have some degree of super strength. As such, I want to see the next volume give her more of a super villain to go up against. The fights will never get too massive since that’s not the point of these retro comics, but even if it’s brief it would be fun to see a quick super powered tussle.

Overall, it’s a good start for the Wonder Woman comics. If each issue stays this large, it should have no problem getting a bunch of trade paperbacks. I look forward to seeing the rest of Wonder Woman’s cast show up. Also, the more volumes it gets, the more I will be used to the characters and that should help the series get better and better. Switch the artist and the series will probably jump up a star instantly. I haven’t read a great many Wonder Woman comics aside from the old Golden/Silver age stuff so it’s good to have read a modern adventure from her. I look forward to the next volume whenever it pops up. Final note, I looked the series up on Comicvine and even though the trade says that it is only 2 issues inside, online it shows up as being the first 13. I guess they were all parts and merged into these issues, but that definitely explains quite a lot.

Overall 7/10

Batman ’66 Meets The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Review

It’s time for the next Batman ’66 crossover event! This time he is meeting up with the Men from UNCLE which is interesting since I know nothing about the latter. From how they’re portrayed in the comic, I definitely wouldn’t call them heroes. They also seem a little outgunned next to Batman since they don’t really have any gadgets and appear to be only as tough as the average henchman. Still, I suppose they get enough one liners to keep them afloat and it’s a solid comic either way.

The Men from UNCLE are sent to Gotham after every villain in Arkham Asylum is broken out of jail. The company suspects that Bruce Wayne is involved since he has access to the prison and has enough money to pull this off. The Agents are sent into a party so they can keep an eye on him. Meanwhile, Batman and Robin are puzzled as to who could do such a dastardly thing and quickly head to the scene. The party is a great cover for them since they can just act natural. Well, it turns out that all of the villains are now working with T.H.R.U.S.H. THRUSH is an evil organization that is quite large so the 4 heroes are going to have to team up to take them down.

Unfortunately we don’t get our hero against hero fight this time. I feel like it’s because there is no believable way that Napoleon or Illya could do well against Batman. He should completely outclass them even without his gadgets. Still, it would have been fun. The difference is that both agents already know Batman from his reputation and the characters team up from the start. To counter this, I would have liked to have explored the “Bruce Wayne is a traitor” plot a little more but it’s the only real missed opportunity in the comic. The plot is mentioned but immediately abandoned as the villains attack and Bruce slips into his Batman costume. From here on out they assume that Bruce is probably a good guy since he works with Batman.

The comic also shows us how differently the two teams handle a situation. The agents don’t mind getting civilians involved. It puts them at a slight risk but the agents claim that the end justifies the means and so as long as it works they will keep up this tactic. They also use guns and outright murder all of the henchmen they fight. Unfortunately Batman never gets to witness this. Robin does, but he just takes them at their word that it’s simply how they do business. Again, Batman would never work with these guys if he knew the truth. It’s a shame he didn’t find out since that could have led to a pretty fun fight.

The comics go by really quickly so you’ll be sad when it’s all over. It was nice that most of Batman’s villains were able to get squeezed in. Of course, most of them don’t get much of a role but at least they showed up. The big reveal for who the mastermind is won’t surprise anyone who reads the main Batman comics, but I suppose for fans of ’66 it may be surprising. Lets just say that this traitor knows a few things about villains. He can’t really fight though so it’s good that the minions were at the ready.

The art is quite solid as always. I really like Batman’s design and all of the characters stick out quite well. The pages are easy to read and the action scenes are engaging. This just makes a comic that is already solid even better. There are no real weaknesses in this story and a strength is in its writing. The writing is top notch as you would expect with Batman being a total law abiding citizen the whole time and getting his share of one liners. The Men from UNCLE can seem a little overconfident at times but they still seem like good characters. I just happen to be on Team Batman and enjoy him upstaging them the whole time, but it doesn’t take away from their characters. I’d be interested in reading a retro version of their tales as well.

Overall, This crossover is really good despite the Man from UNCLE not being the most exciting team up yet. The best crossover might still be the Green Hornet as that one perfectly showed why having team vs team fights can be so interesting. I really hope DC continues doing more of these crossovers. At the moment I only have 2 left. I have one coming up that is even more obscure so it’ll be nice to learn more about the franchise through the comic. That review should be coming up relatively soon. If you haven’t read this comic yet then you should do so ASAP. It’s just a quality story that is both action packed and humorous at the same time.

Overall 8/10

My Little Pony The Movie Prequel Review

It’s time to look at the events that lead up to the movie. This comic focuses on developing the new additions to the cast so instead of the Mane 6 we get to see more of Tempest, Storm King, and the pirates. The movie didn’t have the strongest of supporting characters, but that’s what the comic is for so could it improve the characters? Well, I’m still not a Storm King fan, but it was nice to see more of Tempest.

The first issue is about the Storm King as he continues to conquer more and more kingdoms. Unfortunately his lieutenant betrays him and the Storm King must now give chase. He hands the 2nd in command position over to one of his weaker minions so that if he is ever betrayed again it won’t be that serious. It’s a sound decision, but one that also has some obvious weaknesses. While the Storm King did get suckered, it did help me gain respect for Strife. He actually seems like a pretty good villain. I don’t really trust in his abilities in a fight, but betraying the Storm King definitely earns him some respect in my book. The issue also shows how the Storm King is definitely a villain through and through as he destroys a village for no real reason.

The 2nd comic takes place at the same time, but is from the pirates point of view. They’re determined to do whatever it takes to survive. Unfortunately their money and supplies have been dwindling so they decide to rob a Storm King vessel. Fortunately Strife is here to help as he aims to stay aboard their ship for safety. Since he disables the Storm King vessel they’re okay with this, but you can’t keep the Storm King down for long. It would help the pirates a lot if they could fight, but unfortunately for them it seems like this is not the case. Once the Storm King actually does arrive, the pirates completely throw in the towel. In their defense I suppose they would get wrecked if they fought, but I definitely would have liked them to have thrown a few shows. It was a little weaker than the first issue, but still a fun enough read.

The third comic is about Capper and his tragic backstory. He never wanted to be a crook, but became one to make ends meet. He had a friend who was more enthusiastic about this. Eventually the friend decided to cut their ties so he betrayed Capper and ran off. Surprisingly this partner may have died since the blimp he took blew up. That’s what you get when you betray the heroes I suppose. Definitely the darkest story of the bunch and you can’t help but feel bad for Capper. Too bad this turned him into a full fledged villain though. At the same time, he works better as a villain than a hero I’d say.

Finally, the last comic is the best one since it stars Tempest. I still say she was very naive to trust the Storm King at all. Fighting it out with him would have been a lot of fun. Her lack of a horn definitely makes her design even cooler even if she isn’t a fan of it. You already see a good chunk of Tempest’s backstory in the film so this comic focuses on the part after that as she first meets up with the Storm King. Selling out Equestria was definitely pretty drastic though so she definitely has to be thrown in the traitor category as well. If only Equestria wasn’t so mean to everyone who isn’t the Mane 6. If the Mane 6 had never come around, I have a feeling Ponyville would be very different.

The art is pretty good here. I found it to be more consistent than in Friends Forever. All of the character designs are on point. The backgrounds are clear and the artwork never gets cluttered. It makes it easy to just pick up the comic and start reading. Even the text is nice and large. You’ll be done with the comic very quickly since it’s only 4 issues and the panels are pretty big. Still, it covers a pretty good amount of story in that time.

To reiterate, the comic really only has one weakness, the characters. As much as the comic gives them development, I still couldn’t find myself caring about the pirates, Capper, or the Storm King. Tempest is always cool, but the others just can’t really hold their own stories. That’s why even though the stories are good, they aren’t quite as engaging as they could have been otherwise.

Overall, This was a good comic. You definitely end up missing the main ponies though. It’s hard to have a My Little Pony comic that only has 1 pony show up during the whole adventure. I’m still not sold on the Storm King either. I dunno, as a villain Tirek and the others just work a lot better. This guy has a lot of fun with his job which is fun, but definitely takes away from the fear factor. I do recommend checking out this prequel though, especially if you’re going to watch the movie. If you’re looking for an MLP comic to start the franchise off with though, then you’re better off checking out Friends Forever or Pony Tales.

Overall 6/10