Today I rushed to the comic store to pick up the long awaited issue 89 of the My Little Pony comic series. This was the first comic to be set post end of the series (but pre-epilogue) and I couldn’t wait to see what the writers had planned. It had been sometime since I was able to go to the comic store and they had held the free comic book day issue of MLP for me as well. Shoutout to Ssalefish Comics.
The free comic book day issue was an episode 0 of sorts to Season 10. Spike the Dragon makes sure everything is prepared for Twilight Sparkle’s first raising of the sun as she is now the crown princess of Equestria. She briefly worries what her reign will bring and what she will be remembered for which sets up perfectly Season 10 as that is the big question of the series going forward.
Issue 89 opens just after the first raising of the sun. Twilight calls all her main character friends and a large cast of secondary character friends as well to the castle. She shows that over the course of Friendship is Magic, the map has grown even bigger thanks to alliances with other species. She wishes to grow the boundaries of the map even further by reaching out to races previously unexplored by the show. Her focus for season 10 seems to be on Zebras, Abyssinians (tabaxi basically), the parrot people (Kenku type beings), and diamond dogs.
The first four issues (episodes?) will feature Applejack, Tempest Shadow, Rockhoof, and Zecora going to Farasi (Africa) to find allies with the Zebras. Zecora was brought along as she is a Zebra, but she is none too pleased about it for reasons unknown.
What exactly will meet our group when they enter the distant land of Farasi? Why does Zecora not want to go? What secrets is she hiding? Questions the next three issues will be sure to answer.
On the helm for the first arc are some of the all stars that work on the MLP comics. Art is by Andy Price, colors by Heather Breckal, and the story is written by Jeremy Whitley. While Whitley can get a little too fanficy for my tastes, he nailed this first issue. It’s left me wanting more that I unfortunately can’t get until September 30th. Andy Price has amazing art as always. He manages to bring a lot of little touches to everything from background elements such as a post-it note reading “Your Schedule Now Sucker! -Love Luna and Celestia” to great facial expressions that sell every emotion. He really brings the world alive. Breckal’s colors round things out to make the comics, as usual, a visual treat. I love the colors. It’s nice to read something so colorful sometimes.
Zecora herself is a character the show was unfortunately never able to explore. She was originally supposed to be the Obiwan type mentor to Twilight Sparkle, but that only showed up once in the whole series. Perhaps because the first episode she was in was dealing with racism and she is heavily black coded. It didn’t go over so well. The first season had a lot of weird and botched morals like that. Zecora however is a beautiful character with a lot of intrigue. Her most notable contributions were when she had to train Twilight to combat a powerful magical artifact and in an alternate dimension when she was leading the charge against the queen of the changelings.
She’s levelheaded and a great ally. She also speaks entirely in rhyme, something that really grates on my nerves. Thankfully it’s done pretty great in the comics. They do a lot with her speech. She also uses her own brand of magic which is making potions. Zecora lives in a tree in the everfree forest (think the forbidden woods from Harry Potter) that is covered with African masks. There is more than a little similarity to voodoo in her magic. While I can understand why she was left behind in the show, it’s great to see her utilized now. The comics have always been kind to her.
One thing in particular that made me geek out was that there were two characters introduced that are abadas. The abada is the African version of a unicorn. It was great to see the comic utilize myths from Africa as that is the setting for this arc. Rumor has it a grootslang will also show up this arc. A grootslang is an African cryptid which has the head of an elephant and body of a snake.
Overall I give this a solid 9/10. It’s a great start to what is sure to be an interesting step forward for the comics. The retail cost is only $4.99 so if you have even a passing interest in the pony comics after watching the show, I’d pick this up.
Be warned, this comic is not newcomer friendly. The comic assumes you’ve seen the show and the movie and know your lore. For newcomers to the series I would give this a 2/10. If you like ponies you might like to see how they’re drawn and the different locations, but there is really little here for you.