Friday, 21 November 2014

Comic review: MLP Friends Forever #11: Spitfire and Rainbow Dash

MLP Friends Forever comic issue #11, front cover
The foals are based on G1 ponies: Melody bottom left, Heart Throb bottom right, etc
Been a while, hasn't it? You can blame that on the autumn cold that's been attacking me. I know there's already another comic out after this one, and I will try to catch up. Anyway, here's Friends Forever issue #11. Yes, it's written by Ted Anderson, so if that's a red line to you then I'll see you next time. For the rest of us, this RainFire team-up (hey, better than SpitDash!) brings a new artist to the scene in the shape of Jay Fosgitt. This'll be a fairly short review on account of my health, so let's go:

The most immediately obvious feature of this FF issue is that Fosgitt's artistic style is completely different from anything we've seen in the comics before. It's a very cute, almost chibi style that does take a little getting used to. I did find that it settled down in my mind after a while, though. However, Fosgitt does need to do better with his backgrounds: the buildings look nothing like we've seen in either Ponyville or Cloudsdale before, and that breaks immersion. If he works on the series again, I hope he fixes this.

Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo
"...not to go to a completely different town."
Anderson, whatever his personal qualities may or may not be, is generally a solid writer, and so it proves here. This tale doesn't do a whole lot for Spitfire's likability in my eyes (relying on SHOUTING reminds me more of Stephen Fry in Blackadder than any serious teacher) but it is at least consistent in giving a bit of background to why she's so annoying at work. Rainbow herself is mildly irritating – for example in her treatment of Scootaloo – but she does get points for acknowledging this at the end.

What we have here, really, is pretty much what the Friends Forever series should be: relatively simple, cute one-shots exploring how two characters interact. It's not a perfect issue, but it's more than readable and I doubt most people will have too many complaints. We even have a potential character for future issues in the form of Loop De Loop. You shouldn't go into issue #11 expecting a mass of drama, the nicely drawn tornado apart, but on this evidence I wouldn't mind Fosgitt sticking around to draw more issues, especially in the FF series.

Spitfire attempts to give a flying lesson
I'm not going to forget that face in a hurry, Spitfire...
Update: TV Tropes suggests that Fosgitt wasn't given any reference material for Ponyville or Cloudsdale, hence the off-model backgrounds. I can't find a reliable source for this, but it seems more than a bit weird if so. Simply spending 22 minutes watching "Sonic Rainboom" would have been enough. If this is true, I'm not terribly impressed and hope it's very much a one-off.

  • Simple yet reasonably satisfying story
  • Fosgitt's artistic style, once you get used to it, is cute
  • Gives Spitfire a reason for her behaviour
  • Background architecture is off
  • I still don't like Spitfire that much!

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