The Cutie Mark Crusaders ask Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy about what happened just after the events of the Cutie Mark Chronicles; specifically, what happened to Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash immediately after the race. Reluctantly, Dash and Fluttershy delve into a tale. A tale of a young Fluttershy's amazement at the world she had landed upon, and a filly Dash's desperate quest to save her from that most evil of places: THE GROUND.
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MondaySomething new is coming...4 comments · 119 views
Assuming it doesn't get failed in moderation (which I'm convinced is almost impossible at this point), that is.
I hope you guys like pork.
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It's several weeks overdue, but I believe it is time we finally tackled FiM's second annual. After last year's Equestria Girls prequel turned out to be only slightly better than the film it was based on, it's time we looked at another group of non-Mane 6 characters, the Power Ponies, and their marvelous adventures. Can they foil the evil that ponies do?
Maretropolis is a city beset by villains. Whether it be the tangled schemes of the Mane-iac, the perilous plundering pursuits of Pharaoh Phetlock, the glamorous crime spress of High Heel, or the despair brought on by the ever-saddened Long-Face, the proud ponies that call this noble city home are doomed to a lifetime of suffering and victimhood. At least, that's what would happen if it weren't for the city's mightiest defenders, the POWER PONIES! The Masked Matter-Horn, Zapp, Mistress Mare-velous, Fili-Second, Radiance, Saddle Ranger, and Humdrum, fight a never-ending battle in the name of justice and peace! They are an unstoppable team, loved by everpony in Maretropolis...
And they hate each other.
The Power Ponies is just a big show put on to mask how dysfunctional and broken the team is. Mare-velous resents having to work with others. Fili-Second is bored with everything. Radiance is vain and wants all of the media's attention, much to Zapp's frustration. Saddle Ranger can barely keep from going into a rage from all the fighting. And the Masked Matter-Horn orders everyone around while doing nothing to correct the team's behavior. Only Humdrum seems to have any interest in the Power Ponies staying together.
But this shall be their darkest hour, for in Balkham Asylum, their worst enemies have banded together to bring an end to the Power Ponies once and for all! The Mane-iac, Phetlock, High Heel and Longface are joined by the amorphous Smudge and master thief Shadowmane, and form a mighty Legion of Doom (only not called that because Lex Luthor would simultaneously sue and nuke them). The fractured Power Ponies are no match for the villains' combined assault, and to top things off, their powers are stolen and given to their worst enemies thanks to accursed science. Will our powerless heroes learn the power of friendship and save the city?
Before getting into the issue itself, though, there is one thing: if you didn't like the episode “Power Ponies,” this comic probably won't change your mind. It's still a superhero story done with ponies; outside of the horse puns, you could probably fit any super-team you can think of into this plot and it would have worked almost as well. The comic also doesn't really differentiate them from how the Mane 6 portrayed them, although the actual Power Ponies are far more straightforward in their character types and significantly less friendly. The main difference is their appearance, as they have different coat and mane colors. In addition, Humdrum is actually a colt, and not a dragon; it's a nice touch and helps differentiate the actual in-universe comic from the LARPing the Mane 6 and Spike had to do.
Plus, given that Humdrum saves the day twice, maybe Spike is overstating his uselessness a bit too much.
The original plot apparently had Spike traveling into the comic to help save the day, but it was axed in favor of Humdrum teaching the Power Ponies the values of friendship. You can clearly see where Spike should have been; Humdrum uses a checklist of friendship activities in his instruction, and everything is structured like a school lesson, all of which are things the dragon has to put up with while working with Twilight. Still, I do like the idea of Humdrum getting the lessons in friendship from the Power Ponies' universe's equivalent of FiM; it's an amusing bit of meta humor that has a great payoff.
The villains are all your basic baddies, and wouldn't stand out too much against the Adam West Batman's rogues gallery. Pharaoh Phetlock has a gang of mummies at his command, Long-Face attacks with “Sadness Gas,” High Heel's car is shaped like a sneaker, and the Mane-iac is still a lighter version of the Joker with living hair. Still, it's an amusing touch that they actually get along very well, in comparison to how most villain team-ups have said antagonists bickering about everything while demanding a decent pair of pants. It's a little sad that our heroes have to destroy such a good friendship to save the day and reclaim their powers.
I think the best way to describe this annual is that it's fun, albeit in a very Silver Age sort of way. The heroes and villains are ridiculous, the plot is ludicrous, and it's very preachy and goofy, but all in a good way. It harkens back to the days when Batman wore a different-colored costume every night and everyone in the Superman cast was a dick, only minus the overt racism, misogyny, and political propaganda of the era. Sometimes you just want to read a story about superheroes saving the day without condemning them for wanting to help people, or focusing all of the attention on how much better the villains are, or killing characters off for shock value.
...Modern comics suck.
Point is, the annual is good...except perhaps for the backup. Originally featured as a SDCC exclusive, the story features the Mane-iac escaping from prison and returning to her hideout. She finds the Crystal Mirror, which is in the factory...for no reason. And she goes through...for no reason. And she ends up in the Equestria Girls world, but is still a pony...for no reason. And then there's a human!Mane-iac that fights her...for no reason.
This backup exists...for no reason.
About the only funny part is the very last panel, where it turns out to be a very weird issue of a comic that human!Dash is reading. And even then, the joke is ruined if you think about it for more than ten seconds. In particular, Dash is weirded out that a pony version of the Mane-iac showed up, which implies that the human cast is the one she's used to in her universe. But the cover plainly shows that the comic is still called Power Ponies. So are they called “Power Ponies” for no reason? Was the joke just incredibly lame? The world may never know.
Point is, the annual is worth picking up. I heartily recommend it to anyone who enjoys either a different kind of pony adventure or just wants an old-fashioned superhero romp.
Well, that was fun. I wonder why I put this off for so...
...Oh right, that thing.
What has sadly overshadowed how good the comic was is a single, hard-to-see, almost unrecognizable insert of someone's pony OC. In particular, it belongs to someone I shall not name who has produced some...less-than-popular art and critiques of the fandom. The resulting fallout has resulted in a continuing flame war and (possibly) the removal of Ted Anderson from the comics and IDW as a whole. The explosion that lead to RainbowDoubleDash and myself being banned from the Round Stable? That was kicked off by the fandom's reaction to the OC's appearance and their support of the OC's creator. (Plus, RDD is a stubborn blockhead who won't listen when people tell him to walk away and believes that parting shots are acceptable conduct in a discussion. Sorry, but it's kind of true.)
To put it simply, I do find quite a bit of her work offensive, and claiming that it can simply be dismissed because of satirical intent doesn't fly for me. I'm not demanding anyone's head on a pike or the like, nor do I expect anyone that experiences genuine prejudice and hardship to care what a depressed white man finds offensive, but that doesn't change how disgusted I felt. And claiming it was trying to make a satirical point doesn't make things better; you can explain your intentions all you want, but the fact is that you not only failed to tell a joke well, but you made yourself look uglier with what you said.
With that taken into consideration, I still think the reaction was far too overblown for what actually happened, and Anderson doesn't deserve to be fired over this. I certainly had no idea who it was until someone pointed it out and explained the whole mess, and I doubt that many did before the issue's release. But if you go purely by how the community has treated it, you'd think Anderson came to every brony's house and snapped their newborn puppy's neck before drinking its blood. It was a harmless, unremarkable background appearance, and nothing else.
...Now to brace for the inevitable.
3w, 23hJust a note:24 comments · 293 views
I'm going to be disconnecting soon. If you don't hear from me, I'm probably dead on the side of the road. Or I got gunned down outside the office. Or those pills I just took finished me off. Or the infection on my arm spreads over my body. Or I find a use for that pocket knife I found. Or I found eternal happiness and sadly had to leave.
The last one is never going to happen.
...Also, new fic is in production. We'll see if it ever gets finished, or if it rots like everything else I write. Hey, remember when people liked me and I wasn't just some hack on the Internet that drives people insane whining endlessly about his life when other people have far bigger problems? Those were good times.