Saturday, 21 June 2014

Comic review: MLP Friends Forever #6: Rainbow Dash & Trixie

MLP:Friends Forever #6 main cover
Blue is the colour...
It's been a little bit of a wait, but now I have the sixth Friends Forever comic to look at. I've generally found that this series has been slightly more child-targeted than the main series, though there's not always a lot in it. I suppose I can't complain about that: this is My Little Pony, after all! Writing duties are again handled by Thom Zahler, doubling up after last month's FF. The artwork is by Agnes Garbowska, who we last saw drawing the Spike/Celestia issue. Is it any good? Let's see...

This comic starts off very well, with an excellent full-page panel showing Rainbow Dash in full-on "I'm awesome" mode. As a unicorn who noticeably shares Rarity's colour-scheme (but isn't her) says, "Is that a swagger or a saunter?" Personally, not-Rarity, I'd say it was more of a strut. It's a nice, strong panel that plays to Garbowska's artistic strengths and provides a striking way to open the story.

Next, the rest of the Mane Six turn up for the briefest of appearances; they're really only there so that Dash can boast to them as well about her upcoming command performance in Dimondia. Nopony seems to know where that is – though Pinkie harks back to "Don't forget to write!" by telling Rainbow to send a postcard. (Does she? Guess.) It's apparently a day's flight away, though the map doesn't make it look all that far.

Rainbow Dash directs the Diamond Dogs
Shouldn't she have a rainbow-coloured pencil?
Anyway, Rainbow arrives and tells the residents that their kingdom "is now 20% cooler." *deep, irritated sigh* This isn't the first time that meme has been employed in the comics, but it really should be the last. Learn from the show itself, guys: that has never repeated the phrase. Still, we're quickly distracted by an interesting revelation: Dimondia is a kingdom of Diamond Dogs! As Chancellor "Jim" (Big Jim?) explains, they have nothing to do with the "curs" who kidnapped Rarity back in S1.

And guess who the Queen of Dimondia is? That's right, it's Trixie. She's clearly not the pony she was in her most annoying days, although some traces remain of her really arrogant ponysona. She became the ruler by tricking the Diamond Dogs – who seem in some ways to be even more stupid than the show version – but now can't get out of the job. Rainbow "It's not ego if you can do it" Dash discovers that Trixie's crown is like a magic leash... but it's too tight to remove!

The solution does strain credulity a tad: Rainbow the deep thinker decides on an actually fairly complex plan. She'll give a flying display (okay, that's a good choice) and then – we eventually discover – Trixie will do something that makes the Diamond Dogs question her leadership. She offers Dash all her country's gems, thus loosening her grip on the crown (or rather, vice versa). Where Rainbow got her goggles and purple flight suit from is anyone's guess, but I'll go with it.

Trixie, ever the showmare
"I will make Flash Sentry disappear!"
It is rather pushing it to describe Rainbow Dash and Trixie as "friends forever" even at the end of the comic. The best that can be said is that they're willing to acknowledge each other's contributions to the plan's success. Actually, the ending of the story is rather weak, simply consisting of Dash flying home to tell (and probably embroider) her tale while Trixie dons her conjurer's robes and looks for "a new trick to play".

All in all, I think this was an okay issue. It wasn't the best, even in the Friends Forever series, but it wasn't actively bad either. Zahler has given us a generally workmanlike story, and kept the two leading ponies pretty nicely in character (though I'm a little iffier about the Diamond Dogs). Garbowska's art is generally good, and there's another nice full-page panel to show it off. Shame it's another overused scene (a sonic rainboom) but it looks quite nice anyway.

  • Garbowska's art style is attractive
  • World-building with the Diamond Dogs
  • Rainbow Dash's brashness is always fun
  • Trixie is amusing (and in character)
  • That "20% cooler" line
  • More could have been done with the Diamond Dogs...
  • ...especially making them slightly less idiotic
  • The ending is a little on the weak side

No comments:

Post a Comment