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.