My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #1 Subscription Variant by Jill Thompson

When I pick up comics from my local store, the My Little Pony comic is the best comic I read out of the 17 other titles I pick up during the month. Let’s start off with issue #1 of the horror comic.

No, that is not a typo. The first four issues of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic pays homage to horror stories, starting with Invasion of the Body Snatchers. You know, for kids!

Review after the page break.

The comic opens with the Cutie Mark Crusaders trying to earn their cutie marks in Zoology by studying the creatures in Fluttershy’s backyard. However, during their crusading, they were attacked by the animals, which for some reason have cerulean eyes.

Splash page

 We then move to the next day with this magnificent splash page. This is a good time as any to talk about the artwork. Andy Price’s penciling and inking with Heather Breckel’s coloring is gorgeous. There is always something to look at whether it is the ponyfied versions of the creators and all the interesting background ponies, or the Easter eggs hidden in the text. For example, Est. 1982 is a reference to the birth of My Pretty Pony, the forerunner for the series we know today.

After the splash page, the Mane 6 meet up with each other to discuss how everypony in Ponyville is acting strangely, as if they were not their original selves. This is where the Invasion of the Body Snatchers storyline kicks in, right down to the Donald Sutherland pony.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) by MGM

It turns out the “ponies” are actually changelings. Now there is no difference between changeling and pony, in appearance. Changelings will take the physical form of the pony they are copying, but they don’t know the personalities, mannerisms, and emotions of the pony they are copying. This is why you would read Applebloom’s, Sweetie Belle’s and Scootaloo’s dialogue as a little awkward compared to their normal set of dialogue. It’s also why some would appear as zombies to the audience.  Although I will say being changeling is not the same as being infected.

After a funny and terrifying Shawn of the Dead reference from Pinkie Pie, it’s off to save the other ponies from the changeling hive; which is conveniently located at town hall…And cue fight scene.

After they rescue the ponies, Applejack and Rarity discover the Cutie Mark Crusaders are still missing. They, then, get a strange green orb from Spike’s mouth revealing Queen Chrysalis has fillynapped them.

And just to further emphasize it, the hand-drawn images are awe-inspiring. The reveal of Chrysalis is just beautiful. The shading, the pencil work, and the coloring all coagulate into this stunning exposure. Queen Chrysalis tells the Mane Six that they have to travel to the Changeling Kingdom and gives them three days to do so. Why?

Well, it turns out the Secretariat comet (Yes, that’s what they’re calling it) will be at its apex in three days which causes all magical creatures to feel it’s undetermined effects. As we will see in later issues, it gives unicorns a magic boost.

Chrysalis also wants the girls to come in three days because she does not know how long she can last with Cutie Mark Crusaders constantly bugging her while captive. So it is a race against time to save the fillies and stop Chrysalis’s plans for Twilight.

I LOVE THIS COMIC (and so does Blue Ink). I, honestly, have very little problems with the book. If there is one issue I do have with the book, it would be that the first part of the story was stuck on fast forward until Chrysalis showed up. However, that is relatively minor considering how much I was invested in the story at hand.

All of the characters were show accurate which brought on some very funny moments within the group. Not to mention the homage to Invasion of the Body Snatchers was generally surprising and entertaining at the same time. The dark tone was actually welcoming. When it comes to darker material, in terms of scary imagery, the comic will have more freedom than the show.

 I can honestly say the comic is in good hands with Katie Cook at the helm.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

  • H343

    Sorry to say I hated the comic. I’ve only gotten the first two issues so I don’t know if the story improves, but I found the story boring and the art is terrible. Not technically terrible but MLPFIM is not the show to modify the character designs for a comic. The comic should have looked EXACTLY like the show like so many fancomics do.

    I could forgive the fact I don’t like the story if the art style was the same as the show but when you can’t give me either I can’t continue to buy the comics.

    • Anonymous

      David Price, the artist, said that he would not have agreed to do it if he wasn’t allowed to use his own accents and art personality in it. It’s sort of the comic book way

    • Anonymous

      this is so stupid. H343 must want comics that only use the old bland pony vectors for everything. “like so many fancomics”….that use vectors. Price’s art is awesome BECAUSE he never draws the same face twice.

    • The story, in my opinion, does improve in issues 3 and 4. I encourage you to keep going. Find free online scans if you insist on not paying, but consider supporting the series if it turns out you do end up liking it.

    • Inverse

      No Wrong. You can’t deny this is a great COMIC BOOK.

      And what is this that’s being printed here? Why, it’s a COMIC BOOK. You’re looking at this from the extreme wrong end of the angle, and your critique comes off as elitist and stupid.

      Put two and two together, before bitching and whining about your skewed and unreasonable expectations of what you THINK this is supposed to be and start looking at it for what it IS. Then you’re ready to start taking this on from a reasonable critique level.

      And undeniably, for a COMIC BOOK… The art is amazing. The story is surprisingly deep. The whole thing is clever, the art is phenomenal for the comic book format, when it comes to what you come to a COMIC BOOK for, while being true to these characters, then there’s just no way you can call this bad. You can say it’s “not for you”. But if it’s “not for you”, that’s your fault. Not the comics fault.

      You’re searching for gold in an ice cream parlor. Not surprisingly, you’re not going to find any. Forget the gold. Search for ice cream, here. You’ll find it a lot more delicious if you use your common sense.

  • SeaSpray

    After reading FIM issues 1-4 to complete the story arc, I must say that the comic book is not really my cup of tea. I guess I’m not into the darker comic book style of illustration and plot, and frankly I agree with H343, the comic series so far has been very different to what I expected from the show.

    Based on the sale numbers I’m sure the book sales are doing pretty well, but I wonder if the success is because people like me gave the comic books a try but may not do so in the future?

    At the same time, I found that Twilight Sparkle mini-series to be a totally different product compared to the main series. It arguable has poorer quality artwork and the story line put me to sleep!

    It seems we have two products, one aimed at an older audience who doesn’t mind dark humor, and the other product aimed at 6-year old girls (but doesn’t do a serious enough job at it). Anyway, that’s my 2 cents.

  • Anonymous

    I’m just going to have to agree that you’re wrong. Apparently many of you are not that familiar with comic books and the comic book style. The twilight mini comic isn’t as good graphics wise, but it was pretty good. The story arc on the main 4 issues is damned good, the pop culture references made it for me (evil dead, Indiana Jones etc)

    A comic book is supposed to be a little more edgy then usual, and I approve of that.

    • SeaSpray

      It’s OK to have different opinions on things. This fandom is mature enough to have a diversity of views, at least I hope so.

      I’m not sure that comics have to be more edgier; the first issues MLP micro-series didn’t fall into that category in my opinion.

      I used to read a lot of The Xmen comics when I was in school and if I wanted edgier entertainment I would read something like that – not My Little Pony. Anyway that’s my honest assessment amd other opinions will differ.

      Keep enjoying the comics.

      • Sm44

        “Fandom Mature Enough” XD Thats funny.

        But on a more serious note, I agree the comic is Great! The neigh-sayers either 1. Don’t understand how comics work, or 2. Just don’t like artistic license and more adventurous stories. *maybe they’ll like the micro’s better sense they are more slice-of-life pieces, and also awesome*

        But meh to each their own, can’t lead a horse to water if it doesn’t wanna drinks, the awesome art & beauty that is comics aren’t for every one, I can respect that, even if I severely disagree.

        But yeah, Love the comics, much better then the cartoon at this point IMO, hope sales stay strong! Knock on wood!

  • Inverse

    I actually find that a lot of the people who get into this show in the first place often don’t understand the nature of animated cartoon shows, and irritatingly approach Friendship Is Magic with this elitist, stuck-up, snobbish, nitpicking attitude of sheer ignorance as if they’ve never seen a cartoon before in their lives, with a lot of their baseless and ridiculous complaints. They seem to approach FiM with the attitude that they’re watching Citizen Kane, Alfred Hitchock’s Vertigo, or an episode of some serious network drama like Lost, and seem to have this mindset that everything this show produces had better be Masterpiece Theater, or they’ll nitpick and tear down every thing illogical on the show.

    And apparently the same thing is repeating with a bunch of people taking that same elitist, foolishly simpleminded mindset to this comic book as if they have no idea what a comic book is and they’ve never seen one before in their entire life.

    I’m sorry, but if anyone is seriously suggesting this breathtakingly wonderful art is “Bad” becuase it’s not using a bunch of stock vectors, then I’m sorry to say, but you’re…. an idiot. Plain and simple. It’s not a matter of opinion, subjectivity, or objetivity. It’s a matter of you looking at it the wrong way from the wrong angle and being inherently incorrect with your assumptions.

    If you’re reading a comic book and expecting the cartoon, you’re absolutely wasting your time, and you just can’t have a fair or reasonable assertion of this work when you’re coming into it from that unreasonable mindset. Just like if you’re watching a cartoon whose intended demographic was for young kids (yet there’s nothing wrong with allowing for an innocent mindset and enjoying it for what it is like I do with this show) and expecting a serious, cinematic drama, you’re also wasting your time.

    If you call this art “bad”, you just don’t get it. If you don’t think this story is great for a comic adaptation, you just don’t get it. And if you just don’t get it, you can’t critique it on the level it deserves to be looked at. End of story.

    • Inverse

      What i’m trying to say is that you can’t deny this is a great COMIC BOOK.

      And what is this that’s being printed here? Why, it’s a COMIC BOOK.

      Put two and two together, before bitching and whining about your skewed and unreasonable expectations of what you THINK this is supposed to be and start looking at it for what it IS. Then you’re ready to start taking this on from a reasonable critique level. And undeniably, for a COMIC BOOK… The art is amazing. The story is surprisingly deep. The whole thing is clever, the art is phenomenal for the comic book format, when it comes to what you come to a COMIC BOOK for, while being true to these characters, then there’s just no way you can call this bad. You can say it’s “not for you”. But if it’s “not for you”, that’s your fault. Not the comics fault. You’re searching for gold in an ice cream parlor. Not surprisingly, you’re not going to find any.

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