So, you might have noticed there were no comics last month. Due to a labor strike that basically screwed over all of IDW's releases for the last half of February, last month's issues will be coming out in March. And to start, let's look at Spike as he teams up with another princess. Sort of.
Our adventure opens with Spike dreaming about a terrible episode a sub-par outing “Dragon Quest” and those big jerks known as teenage dragons. His vivid memories of his humiliation are stopped only when Luna interrupts the dream and awakens him, as she needs his help. There has been a series of strange fires in Fillydelphia, all of which seemed to have started in a perfectly straight line. And who is the prime suspect? Why, dragons, of course! Those foul, wild, vicious, perfectly-civilized dragons that have their own Chinatown analogue and are treated with suspicion by the Fillydelphia police...
…Let's back up to “Dragon Quest” again. Remember how it was a big deal that Spike knew nothing about his past? Remember how Twilight went through seemingly every book in the library and stated that nopony knew much about dragons because of how wild and dangerous they are? And now there's an entire city of them in Equestria? Not to mention that the few moments we see with the Fillydelphia dragons paints them practically as saints, while the ponies are quick to use terms like “fire breathers” and equate Spike's presence to using Chrysalis to investigate identity theft. PONY RACISM, NOW AND FOREVER!
I hate to keep harping on this point, but this is so at odds with how dragons have been shown up to this point that I can't accept it as simple worldbuilding. I can accept dragon civilizations, but in the middle of Equestria? Was this meant to erase “Dragon Quest” from continuity, like when they unceremoniously dumped Spike's pet? And I don't think it would be as bad if IDW hadn't said that they had to change things to match what the show's planning, meaning that this retcon may actually show up in the series. (Albeit in a hopefully better manner.)
The issue's other problem is that Spike and Luna are not together very long. Much like the Fluttershy/Zecora issue, the two meet up, go to the problem, and then split for nearly the entirety of the adventure. The Celestia/Spike issue gave us some nice character growth and examined both of the cast members; here, Luna just pulls Spike into an adventure, goes off to do paperwork, and then yells at him. Spike ultimately stumbles across the answer (a fire snail that looks like it escaped the set of Adventure Time), with Luna only showing up to help slightly with the final rescue and apologize for not instantly believing the dragon.
The character that Spike spends the most time with is a new one, a female dragon named Mina that works at a comic book store. There's a page-long conversation about how dragons are almost never shown as the heroes in comics, and Mina's every line is either her fangirling about Luna (which is hilarious) or her decrying how dragons are treated (which is forced). Between the pony racism and Mina's speechifying, the issue appears to be trying to take a stance regarding prejudice and social injustice, which would be fine if it didn't also interfere with the story itself.
All that being said, there were plenty of highlights. Luna reminisces about banishing villains to the frozen north, and is promptly burned by the chief. One of the cops is obsessed with acting like a siren, most likely as a nod to the infamous Police Academy films. Twilight's dream is to alphabetize the entire Canterlot Library. The characterization for Luna and Spike is generally good, and you can tell the issue is really trying, but the rather large breach in continuity and poor handling of the pairing weigh this one down. It's a so-so issue overall.
Next time, the bureaucracy expands to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.