I picked a bad period for my air conditioner to die, as it’s 90 degrees out. However, the comics must be read! So here I am at work, on a Saturday, finding the best of the week for my valued readers!
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #7
This is a middle issue in a story arc. When we last left our ponies, Rarity had embraced the darkness and become the new Nightmare Moon. (And Dark Rarity does look absolutely ravishing.) The first half of the issue is a valiant fight by the rest of the ponies, but ultimately, they’re taken prisoner.
And then we cut to Spike, who’d been knocked for a loop during the fight and left behind by the villains. He comes up with a very clever way to infiltrate the dungeons, and sees through Nightmare Rarity’s illusions. Will that do him any good, though? We don’t know! Because this is the middle part of the story.
These kinds of stories, though, are where MLP transcends its roots as a fashion pony toy show, and moves into epic fantasy territory. Much like in the series, the writers aren’t afraid to put our ponies in real danger, against rather frightening adversaries. The comic is written with more of an acknowledgement of their older fanbase in mind (though nothing in it is inappropriate for younger ones, other than a little scary maybe). For those who like the season opening and closing two-parters of the show, this is more of that kind of stuff!
This series in particular got a lot of Internet Controversy on being announced, on account of having an all-female cast. (Or rather, all female leads.) I’m pretty firmly in the camp of loving the X-Men particularly because of the number of strong female characters, so pardon me if this makes me go squee rather than get in a huff. But what about the actual content, now that I’ve gotten to read it?
I should know better than to doubt Brian Wood. The best part about this book is the characterizations. These are all strong characters with unique voices, and every page is just full of personality. I’ll read this writer and these characters doing anything, and quite happily.
The actual plot is a little weird. In the previous X-Men series (volume 2), Wood introduced this ancient alien bacteria strain that could control any living thing. He mostly wants to be left alone. But he had a “sister” whom he spurned, and is looking for revenge, that can control anything mechanical. And she’s showing up and is angry. I’m not sure it makes much sense, and I’m hoping for more coherent plots in later issues, but the tone of the book, and the artwork, are fantastic and I hope this team sticks around for the long haul.
Angel and Faith #22
This is a transition issue as well, a moment of catching our thoughts before the Buffy/Angel Season 9 Universe goes into their final climactic arc. (I don’t know if they’re doing a Season 10 or not, but I hope so!) We last left Angel & Faith and their supporting cast in the final part of their season-long quest to resurrect Rupert Giles, murdered by Angel when he wasn’t in his right mind. (Not the normal not right mind, either, but that’s Season 8.)
Well, spoilers, but they did it. Mostly. Only instead of the distinguished older gentleman of Anthony Stewart Head fame, Giles is now a 12 year old boy. Oopsie! And it’s absolutely delightful to see him be thoroughly annoyed by his situation, and the absolute bother than is puberty.
Meanwhile, the bad guys have gathered up an impressive collection of what magical artifacts remain, and are trying to end the world or something. Must be Tuesday. And our heroes put aside their current troubles, which are numerous, to prepare to stop them. Which is largely next issue.
I imagine Buffy Season 9 will do well in collected form, but don’t ignore the companion title, Angel & Faith. Christos Gage is a talented, veteran writer, and I think he’s done a better job over here than the main title. For fans of the Whedon, these comic continuations are an absolute joy, and I hope we keep getting them for some time to come.
That’s it for this week! Hope your week finds you with cool temperatures (except our friends in the southern hemisphere), and excellent stories no matter what form they may take!