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


My Little Pony: The Elements of Harmony Volume II Review

It’s time to check out the new My Little Pony guidebook. I read the last one almost 4 years ago so it has certainly been a while. I suppose that makes sense since each guidebook covers 3 seasons of the show and it takes a while for those to be produced. As it stands, I can’t see a third volume coming out for a long time since I think it is currently only 1 season out of date. It’s a very informative book and I can honestly say that it is pretty much perfect for learning about the ponies. I dare say that Megaman.exe and Transformers still had the most colorful and immersive guidebooks on the block, but this one keeps it close.

There are several sections in the book. First we take a look at the main ponies of course. The book talks about the Mane 6, their friends, allies, enemies, etc. It also talks about the surrounding areas and just about everything you need to know about the basics of Equestria. This section is always pretty fun and even if you already know most of the characters, it’s nice to see their write ups. It’s an essential part of every guidebook.

There is also a small section at the very end of the guidebook which talks about the songs. It writes down all of the lyrics for them so you can really appreciate the writing. I’m guessing they only chose some songs as I doubt there were 3 seasons worth of lyrics in there, but maybe there weren’t as many musical episodes as I had expected. The songs were nice although it’s always a lot more enjoyable to actually listen to them than read the lyrics.

The bulk of the book and the section where you’ll spend the most time are the episode descriptions. The guidebook goes through each and every episode from seasons 4 through 6 and gives a detailed look at what happens. They even post the moral to each episode on the bottom of the page. This is one of those areas that separates the guidebook from the rest. I can’t think of any other guidebook that does such a great job of showing you all of the episodes. You could theoretically be able to start season 7 feeling confident that you know everything if you read this guidebook. (And the last one of course)

There aren’t a whole lot of bonus features beyond that so I’ve pretty much mentioned everything there is to know about this one. So it’s pretty basic with the episode summaries being the main thing that makes it a lot of fun. Without it I’d probably have to dock a star, but it’s good enough with that feature. You’ll find yourself breezing through the book as you eagerly catch up on the latest pony knowledge. Now lets talk about some of the bonus features that the book could have had though.

I think some sections that could have made the book a lot more detailed would have been a nice Q and A section. Seeing the writers and voice actors talk about the characters and answer questions from fans would have been nice. Maybe hintings at future episodes or at Derpy’s big upcoming role would have been neat. Maybe some character popularity polls like which MLP characters are the most popular or something of that nature. These are all things that could have made the book more epic. “Top 10 MLP fights” may not be applicable for the average fan but what about something like top 10 songs or top 10 episodes? Those are a must for the average guidebook. Maybe what this series can do is make the next volume come out after 2 seasons instead of 3 and then they can pack in the empty space with some of these bonus features. Just a suggestion, but I do think it would make the book even better.

Overall, You’ll enjoy this guidebook. The only way you wouldn’t is if you aren’t an MLP fan, but if so then I doubt you’d be reading this in the first place. I suppose it could be a good launching on point for fans who haven’t had time to watch the show but in that case I would hope that you would have read the first voluem first. That would definitely be beneficial. It’s been a while since I read a guidebook, but maybe more will pop up at some point. They seem like an easy thing for a franchise to do so I wish more would do them. Imagine a nice Pokemon version where it’ll cover all of the episodes in a region? That’d be really nice. Meanwhile, now I just need to wait for my library to get the next My Little Pony comic to continue this marathon of the franchise.

Overall 8/10

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

Considering that I’ve seen 3 full episodes of this show (The opening two part special and now Pinkie’s Pride) I felt it was time to add the show to the blog. I won’t have a review up until I’ve seen the whole show at some point, but I think it’s reasonable to assume that this show will keep up the high quality. It has pretty nice songs and solid action scenes as well. With antagonists ranging from the well meaning Cheese Sandwich to the evil Tirek, the show has a lot of variety. The title may not sound too impressive if you’re quick to judge, but it lives up to its reputation as an inspiring show. My favorite member of the Main 6 overall is Rainbow Dash, but Pinkie Pie is a close second who manages to surpass her at times. Twilight also manages to snag 1st once in a while with the other members of the Main 6 always being fun as well.

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony Friends Forever Volume 2 Review

Have you ever had the urge to go outside and buy a My Little Pony video game just because you could? I’ll admit that I was tempted to buy the GBA game, but I haven’t had a chance to put this to the test because most stores don’t sell gameboy games anymore. Still, if I ever see it, you can be sure that I will check it out! The Friendship is Magic franchise has already become an integral part of the My Little Pony multiverse and it’s pretty amazing to see how much it has grown. It has 4 different comic series, a long running show, and it just keeps on coming! This spinoff series isn’t as good as Pony Tales, but I still prefer it to the first volume of the main series.

This collection brings 4 issues inside. The theme of the series seems to be to pair up 2 characters for a team up of sorts. It’s a way to see how everypony interacts with one another on a one to one basis. After all, they can all be pretty tough when in a group, but can Twilight Sparkle really get along with Applejack if they are thrown into a dangerous situation? That doesn’t happen, but it’s an example of what to expect in these issues.

One of the comics features a team up with Pinkie Pie and Princess Luna. Princess Luna is sad because the ponies don’t find her funny. This means that she is going to get stomped by Princess Celestia in the annual laughathon. (Close enough to the actual name) She asks Twilight Sparkle for help and the heroic pony quickly refers her to Pinkie Pie. Pinkie Pie is skeptical at first, but agrees to teach Luna how to have fun and be a good pony.

Well, this was a Pinkie Pie story, which meant that it should have been super special awesome, but it actually wasn’t as good as it could have been. I thought that Pinkie Pie was really out of character for the first scenes as she was a little mean to Princess Luna. By the end, the two of them are able to bond and Pinkie Pie’s advice pays off. The ending is happy for the heroes, but you still have to wonder who ended up winning. I don’t believe in draws anymore.

Rainbow Dash got to team up with Trixie in another story. One day, Rainbow Dash gets a letter stating that a kingdom wishes for her presence so that she can perform some neat acrobatics. Rainbow Dash has never been a pony to leave her fans hanging so she heads on over. To her dismay, Rainbow Dash finds out that a kingdom of dogs sent the request and their new queen is Trixie. Trixie was coerced into taking the position once the dogs found out about her skills as a gem creator (Hmmmmm…) and she realized that this deception has put her in a bind. Can Rainbow Dash help her escape the land?

Rainbow Dash would just fly her out of there, but the dogs foresaw this and put an enchanted crown on Trixie. The only way to get away is to make the dogs not want her to be their queen anymore. This was probably the second best story behind the Rarity team up. Rainbow Dash still proves herself to be a tough pony as her super speed feats are always impressive. She’s also more direct than the other ponies as she even asks Trixie why the hero should help. Trixie reminds her about friendship power and all, but it’s nice that Rainbow Dash had to ask. The solution to get out of this bind is a good one and Rainbow Dash got to prove her speed once again. We also got a nice moral about why deceit is never the best option.

Fluttershy teams up with Zecora in their adventure. Fluttershy wakes up one morning to discover that a Squirrel can talk. As she heads outside, the pony realizes that she can understand all of the animals. She realizes that this could be the work of some dark magic and asks Zecora to help. Zecora must now run some tests to see if this magic is reversible or if Fluttershy is simply losing her mind! Either way, this has certainly shaken up the city!

Well, this story was interesting, but I have to question Fluttershy’s distress at the animals learning how to talk. Given how friendly she is with them, I would have expected her to have been thrilled about this happening. I’d assume that she would just have enjoyed it no questions asked, but she seemed pretty alarmed at first. I suppose that it did happen suddenly, but it still didn’t feel like her usual self. As for Zecora…boy am I glad that she’s not part of the Mane 6. I have to admit that I’m not a fan of her. The rhymes are clever since it must be tough to think of rhymes for every sentence, but she couldn’t help Fluttershy at all. It makes you wonder why she was in this story. In all of the other team ups…there was a team up. In this issue, Zecora seemed to just be in it for the Wow factor. The twist of how the animals can now talk makes a lot of sense even if I didn’t guess it before hand. After all, there aren’t many beings who could achieve such a feat right?

By leaps and bounds, the best story is the team up with Applejack and Rarity. Given the two personalities of these ponies, you can be sure that their adventure should be a lot of fun. Applejack has to head to the West (Or was it East….!) coast to finalize a deal for some apples. Rarity decides to tag along because she loves road trips that result in great sight seeing detours. Applejack is glad to have the company at first, but Rarity’s passion for fashion starts to derail Applejack’s plans. Can the two ponies find a way to put aside their differences to get the apple contract signed or should Applejack have left this job to Big Mac!

In this issue, it’s easy to feel bad for Rarity. She loves fashion design, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that she has the most business experience from all of the ponies in Equestria. Applejack doesn’t want to acknowledge this for most of the issue and I feel like she was in the wrong for most of the disagreements. It was Applejack who got on the wrong train after all and likewise, it was she who didn’t think up a proper business strategy. Even the very first time something went wrong, Applejack was asleep. Don’t think that she was the sole reason why things went south, but Applejack certainly played a big role. In contrast, Rarity was very well behaved and continued to help Applejack even when the latter was being rather petty. (Spraying mud on Rarity and calling her names) Rarity showed that true friendship can stay strong through disputes and she knows how to put her friend’s needs before her own. Through her actions, Rarity got Applejack to remember what being a real friend is all about. The ending is happy and I gained a lot of respect for Rarity.

From the Mane 6, Pinkie Pie is still my favorite. I think it’s safe to say that Rainbow Dash is still second with Twilight Sparkle in third. That being said, Rarity has jumped over Applejack for 4th and I don’t see her dropping below that anytime soon. She can be a little over dramatic at times and her venture into romance holds her back, but through and through, she is one of the nicer ponies and certainly the most professional one.

The art is decent although I definitely think it could be better. Some scenes like the one where Fluttershy yells in surprise at the squirrel talking can be a bit exaggerated to say the least. Still, on the whole it will definitely remind you of the classic MLP style. The colors are vibrant and none of the pages are ever too packed so you always know what’s going on. It makes the collection that much easier to just pick up and start reading.

Overall, Friends Forever is another successful spinoff to add to Friendship is Magic’s resume. As with Pony Tales, each issue is a stand alone story so how much you like each one will determine how good the collection is. At 4 issues, the collection is very small so you will likely breeze through it. If you’re a Rarity fan, you’ll be very happy with her portrayal in the comic. You can certainly tell that the author appreciates the well rounded nature of the pony. I definitely recommend checking this out if you’re a fan of the main series or the show. If you’re on the fence about starting the infamous/legendary/controversial series, this is a good place to start. You’ll get to meet some of the Main 6 and get introduced to the universe in general. The comics are just a lot of fun as well, which is likely why the series got so large so fast. Whether or not you’re a big fan of the franchise, you can’t deny that it is an uplifting title to read and it leaves you feeling content. Also, be sure to be on the lookout for Derpy’s cameo. That pony is always around somewhere and you just have to be on the lookout for her! Hopefully the library gets more volumes of the series so that I can review some more soon. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the main Friendship is Magic title.

Overall 6/10