This past Wednesday, Pinkie Pie made her debut in the My Little Pony micro-series and after a disappointing issue last month, Pinkie Pie’s issue brings joy and smiles as the element of laughter should bring, from new writer, Ted Anderson.
I have never been so happy to see visible inking in the micro-series. After Tom Zhaler’s abysmal attempt to be show accurate in Twilight’s issue and Tony Fleecs’s consistently amateurish work in Rainbow Dash’s and Fluttershy’s issues, Ben Bates gives a refreshing if not poppy look to the My Little Pony comic universe. It’s not quite as stylized as Andy Price’s penciling or impactful as Amy Mebberson’s work, but it is leagues above Zhaler’s and Fleecs’s work respectively.
Let’s have a look at the story. Pinkie Pie won a contest to go see the GREATEST CLOWN in ALL of EQUESTRIA and she invites Twilight to see the clown, Ponyacci, perform that night. Ponyacci is a reference to Pagliacci, the famous Italian opera. [Editor’s Note: Not having read the comic being reviewed, I have a sneaking suspicion the reference is actually toward that infamous joke in Watchmen.] Pinkie Pie continues to build up how this stallion has made everyone laugh. However, one pony chimes in claiming Ponyacci could not get him to laugh. Pinkie, being generous, offers him her ticket to see the show instead, but he refuses. After the show, Pinkie Pie and Twilight go backstage to meet the Great Ponyacci, only to see the clown was the stallion from before the show.
Even more of a shock, the performance they saw was Ponyacci’s last. Of course, Pinkie Pie does not want him to stop performing because of how inspirational he was to comedy in Equestria. This is a very relatable situation. Every once in a while you will discover one of your favorite actors, musicians, and athletes decide to retire because of the stress that comes with the job. When Mike Richter retired as goalie for the New York Rangers at the age of 35, it was sad to see him leave the sport. But he left due to the constant injuries and he just was not at the top of his game.
Like Pinkie Pie, however, she tries everything in her power to get the famous comedian to come out of retirement. After putting on an extravagant performance for the entertainer, with Twilight in charge of props and background music, he still rejects to come out of retirement. However, he ends up critiquing the performance to how she could have improved. This gives Pinkie Pie the idea Ponyacci should teach about comedy and clowning around.
This brings up another reason why the comic is really enjoyable, Pinkie’s true nature. Pinkie Pie, while very happy-go-lucky, is also very smart when she’s put on the spot. Examples include “A Friend in Deed,” when she recognized Matilda had the same photo album as Cranky Doodle Donkey, and “Too Many Pinkie Pies” where she gives a brilliant suggestion to determine who the is the real Pinkie Pie. The same applies to the comic in question. When observing Ponyacci’s observations, she suggested that teaching could actually be beneficial to the stallion without completely retiring from comedy.
My Little Pony Micro-Series #5 featuring Pinkie Pie is a zany, optimistic, and fun-filled slice-of-life story that captures Pinkie Pie’s nature from the show perfectly as if Amy Keating Rogers was writing the character herself. With a cartoony feel in the artwork and a heartwarming moral about not giving up on your dreams, Pinkie Pie’s issue excels beyond the call of duty.