Friday, 9 August 2013

Comic review: SDCC exclusive Sunset Shimmer story

MLP:FiM comic issue #9 SDCC cover
Steven Magnet's Garden * Oh! Sugarcube * Here Comes the Pone * and many, many more
I bought two copies of issue #9 of IDW My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic. One, the standard issue, I've already reviewed in glowing terms. I also picked up the San Diego Comic Con edition. This isn't just a variant cover; it's a variant issue in that, as  there's an exclusive eight-page story dealing with Sunset Shimmer's backstory and how she came to be the character she is in Equestria Girls. Come along with me past the jump for more!

This is clearly a preview of the full story, which will presumably be along in the promised autumn EqG annual. Edit: it turned out that eight pages was the full story. Despite this, it's actually a pretty decent tale in itself, explaining why Sunset Shimmer lost her place as Princess Celestia's personal protegé in favour of Twilight. Who, incidentally, is not directly involved in the tale, simply shown (as a filly) in the background, intriguingly along with not only Cadance but Shining Armor too.

Sunset Shimmer annoys the other unicorns
Now watch S1E1 again. Do these unicorns look familiar...?
As this story has been produced by the same Cook/Price/Breckel team as the main comic, it looks great and features some lovely background touches. I was particularly amused by the book titles in the library: my favourite is probably Crisis of [sic] Infinite Equestrias, although Who Was Megan? will also tickle anyone who remembers (or at least knows about) G1 Pony. There's even a book about Aquastria, the location of Under the Sparkling Sea.

This isn't as satisfying as the main part of issue #9, since it's not a complete story, but it's most certainly worth reading. If you can find the SDCC version for a sensible price, which doesn't appear to be too hard, then I warmly recommend that you get hold of it. The cover homage to The Beatles' Abbey Road album is just the icing on the cake. Also, if you don't like humanised ponies, then fear not: just a single panel contains one!

Sunset Shimmer passes through the magic mirror
Sunset seems to pick up the knack of bipedalism instantly
  • Sunset Shimmer's backstory makes sense
  • Hints of a more complex Celestia
  • Some wonderful little references
  • Inevitably, it's not a full story

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