Saturday, 21 December 2013

Comic review: MLP:FiM Micro-series issue #10: Luna

MLP Luna micro comic, cover B
And to think, I thought this couldn't be a real cover!
I told you there'd be another review, and so there is! It's been delayed a few days, but I hope you'll find it worth the wait. This is the last in the collection of My Little Pony micros, with the Friends Forever series taking over next month. The IDW team certainly seem to want to go out on a high, with their A-team of Cook, Price and Breckel combining to write about perhaps (and on EqD, certainly) the most popular pony of them all. I don't entirely subscribe to the "Luna is best pony ever ever ever" squeeing, but after the break we'll see how this comic struck me.

Like so many of the finest stories, this one has a simple plot: Luna, believing that Celestia's job is more straightforward than her own, claims she could do it herself. Celestia accepts her offer and slips off (in disguise) to the spa for a bit of pampering. Meanwhile, Luna is starting to discover, with the help of Celestia's faithful secretary Kibitz, that "The Day Shift" is not quite the bed of roses she had imagined it to be. There may not be manticores to fight, but there's an awful lot of bureaucracy to handle and ponies to meet.

Kibitz and Luna working together
Flim and Flam may have rocks in them soon...
I absolutely loved Luna's characterisation in this issue. She was very reminiscent of the alicorn we saw in "Luna Eclipsed", something of a pony out of water when it came to dealing with ordinary citizens. (That's "citizens", your highness, not "peons" or "peasantry", thank you!) The combination of her not feeling at home and her increasing tiredness thanks to Celestia's exhausting schedule plays its part as well. Neither am I really sure that she's helped too much by her pet opossum (named in Katie Cook's fun backup story as Tiberius).

Do I really need to say that Andy Price draws these comics fantastically well? No, I thought not. It's a shame we don't get to see Luna flying or spreading her wings much, since Price does brilliant wings, but there's compensation in the form of a highly dramatic Angry Luna pose, again drawing parallels to "Luna Eclipsed". The panel design is very impressive: varied and interesting, yet never interfering with the story itself. Heather Breckel's vibrant colours shouldn't be overlooked, either: her cover credit is entirely deserved, yet again.

Flash Sentry's cameo appearance
Oh yes... he's referenced in this comic as well. Hmm...
References, then? Well, yes. Maybe not quite as many as in the incredible Big Mac arc, but there are more than enough to be going on with. As befits the finale to the Micro-series, there are more internal references than usual: Flax Seed and Wheat Grass are there (submitting to Solomonesque judgement from Luna), Fancypants has a nice bit part, there are cameos from Fleetfoot, Sweetcream Scoops and (of course) Derpy, Apple Bloom turns up to complain to Luna about her lack of cutie mark... it goes on.

The richest source of interest in the whole comic is a two-page spread towards the end. For once, this doesn't cover the whole spread, just the bottom two-thirds, but Price still fits a ridiculous amount in there. It's based around the visit of a travelling circus... which is, quite rightly, Faust's show. There's an airship numbered 1701, the Cooks and Prices are all present and correct in pony (and mule!) form, the Observer pony from Fringe shows up again... oh, that's enough. Find the others for yourself. (Or cheat and use TV Tropes. I do.)

Two panels from Katie Cook's backup story
Best pony makes an appearance in the backup story. As does Luna.
The Micro-series has gone out on a triumphant note. This is an outstanding comic, rivalled only by Rarity's issue for sheer enjoyability. With the exception of a few small English errors (eg "hand-made" and "populous" for "populace") there's really nothing to complain about, and an awful lot to like. Even though Luna is not one of my very favourite ponies, this would be an absolute must-buy for me... if I hadn't already bought it, that is! (£3.15 at Nostalgia & Comics. I forgot to mention that earlier, but it's the same as usual.) It's a wonderful comic and is hugely recommended.

  • Superbly drawn, with tons of references
  • Good, interesting, well paced storyline
  • Maintains Luna's not entirely good nature
  • Celestia comes out of it well, too
  • Kibitz is a great supporting pony
  • Luna's pet opossum!
  • The occasional error in the text
  • Not quite as hilarious as Big Mac in issue #9

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