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  • 60 weeks
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  • 64 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Horse Play

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    5 comments · 474 views
Jun
19th
2014

Comic Review: Friends Forever #6 (Rainbow Dash and The Great and Powerful Trixie) · 5:53am Jun 19th, 2014

Welcome, fillies and gentlecolts, to the first installment of the SUMMER OF TRIXIE!

IDW is publishing not one, not two, but three comics over the next three months featuring that most marvelous of showmares, the Great and Powerful TRIXIE! And our first entry gets the ball rolling as our poor, suffering magician has become queen of an entire nation! Was Sparkle ever a queen? No? Well, I guess she's not as GREAT AND POWERFUL as Trixie!

Oh, and Rainbow Dash is here, too. She's okay.


The issue kicks off with “Mysterious Mare-Do-Well” flashbacks. Rainbow Dash has been invited to put on a command performance by the queen of the distant kingdom of Dimondia, and the resulting swagger has caused the entire town to begin complaining once again. Even her friends are taking some less-than-friendly jabs at her behavior. Fortunately, this is quickly shoved aside as Dash takes off for the kingdom...only to discover that it's a ramshackle little castle town populated by Diamond Dogs. Not the same ones that kidnapped Rarity, mind; these are a more civilized lot, even if they're still pretty dimwitted and obsessed with gems.

And as it turns out, the queen is Trixie, who is still her overbearingly egotistical self...until the Diamond Dogs leave them alone and she starts begging Dash for help. A freak accident caused the Diamond Dogs to think that she had the ability to find gems (she can't), and she proceeded to play this up to become their queen. Of course, when you promise to use some amazing ability to help a kingdom prosper, eventually someone is going to ask you to use it, and Trixie can't stall the dogs anymore. What makes it more problematic is that Trixie's crown is enchanted; it cannot be removed by force, and it prevents her from leaving via a force field. Can the two find a way out of this predicament?

When this issue was announced, the pairing certainly felt odd. Conventional wisdom stated that Trixie would be paired up with Twilight, or Rarity, or just any other unicorn. After all, her entire schtick is bragging that she has more magical power than anypony else. So having her with a speed demon pegasus like Rainbow Dash was just bizarre; the only thing they had in common were egos large enough to have their own gravitational pull. But the issue also brings up another similarity: they're both showponies. One might use magic tricks and sleight-of-hoof, while the other created Sonic Rainbooms and spins around really fast, but their ultimate goals are to put on a big show that entertains the crowd while massaging their own inflated sense of self-worth.

And that's what the issue runs with. The two initially don't get along; Trixie seemingly only picked Dash because she was fast and her ego made her easy to manipulate, and Dash is willing to let Trixie lie in the bed she's made. Their escape plan, however, manages to combine both of their skill sets to pull off a huge con on the entire kingdom, and the two work together perfectly. By the end, the seeds of friendship are at least in place, even as Trixie wanders off to find her next trick.

This is the first peek we've really had at reformed!Trixie since “Magic Duel,” and the comic handles it about as well as the premiere did Discord. Trixie is not a completely changed pony. She is still as arrogant, egotistical, and self-serving as she was in her two show appearances, and it's really her fault for playing up the “finding gemstones” thing until she was in a position of royalty. But at the same time, we see that she's chilled out greatly from the earlier episodes. If she was still like she was in “Boast Busters,” she would have laughed in Dash's face after the escape and ran off with at least some of the gems, all while proclaiming how she single-hoofedly escaped those vile Diamond Dogs. Nowadays, she's able to sincerely thank her and share in the glory. She's not a goody four-shoes, but she's still on her way to being a better pony.

The Diamond Dogs also get a lot of development. Originally they were just Gollum-type creatures obsessed with gems and ponies that can find them, and that's still true. Dimondia, however, presents us with an actual society for the dogs, and while they are still portrayed as very dumb, they can at least keep some degree of civility. (As least as long as you aren't endangering their gem stash.) The ones that Rarity ran into are labeled as brutes they threw out of the pack, although we still see them – or Diamond Dogs that look like them – in several shots. They also seem to be the only society that has a somewhat democratic government, as they pick their leaders; it's just that they're so stupid and their choices are so poor that they had to invent a way to keep their leaders on the job.

Thom Zahler (of the Twilight Sparkle micro) returns for writing duties, and does a good job with the script outside of a rather glaring typo in one panel. Also returning is Agnes Garbowska, the artist behind the Spike micro and Spike/Celestia issue of Friends Forever. Her art is, like always, very soft and cartoonish, but it works here. Dash is still a little off (Agnes apparently thinks pony tails come directly out of their butt), but she can draw such a cute Trixie that it's easy to forgive. The script is also very fun, with lots of little jokes about the ponies' swelled egos, Dash smooshing Trixie against the force field to test it out, Trixie's entire flashback to how she got here, and the grand trick at the end.

Overall, this was a really darn good issue. In fact, I would label it my favorite of the series so far, over even the Celestia/Spike issue. It does everything this series should do, and has a lot of fun doing it. Trixie is great, Dash is great, the comedy and story are good, the worldbuilding is enjoyable, and I'm running out of ways to say how much I love it. Go buy it now. Now.


Next month, it's Princess Luna...and Pinkie Pie. This will end in tears...

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Comments ( 10 )

Welcome, fillies and gentlecolts, to the first installment of the SUMMER OF TRIXIE!

A whole Summer of Trixie. Hadn't herd they were going all out like that. Hope they can actually pull that off without it becoming too much. If this issue is indicative of what we can expect though, this could be a really great Summer.

2218795

Keep in mind that I made up the term. Doesn't change that the next arc in the main series will be focusing on Trixie...or rather, several ponies in the Mane 6 trying to save Trixie after she's framed for theft. (Those will be the second and third months in the SUMMER OF TRIXIE!)

Next month, it's Princess Luna...and Pinkie Pie. This will end in tears...

This will be glorious. :pinkiehappy:

Also, this summer of Trixie pleases me greatly.

Going to be picking this up tomorrow. I am looking forward to it - yes I am. :rainbowkiss:

Next month, it's Princess Luna...and Pinkie Pie. This will end in tears...

Of Laughter hopefully.

I completely agree, I really really enjoyed this one.

That frame of Dash shoving Trixie against the forcefield...
i.imgur.com/grWc1qsl.png

It nearly killed me.

I set up a comiXology account just so that I could read this. Very worthwhile. I will say though that Trixie came across as a little "watered down", but, as you said, she's gone through some changes from the show and it's nice to see she's learning from her experiences.

I'm glad we got Rainbow Dash here instead of Twilight Sparkle, as we've seen the Twilight/Trixie dynamic already (and been flooded fandomwise ever since "Boast Busters"). Rainbow Dash gives a new perspective and she bounces off of Trixie really well.

Also, I genuinely laughed at the Monty Python and the Holy Grail reference. Quick and unexpected.

A good start to our Trixie summer. Now I'm really looking forward to her new arc. Till then!

2218806
OOOOOHHH. I was really confused when you ended this blog post saying Luna and Pinkie were next.

I haven't picked up the comic yet (have every intention to do so), but I saw something in the preview EQD put up that confused me. One of the Diamond Dogs that find Trixie looks an awful lot like Rover (tall ears, red vest). Are they not in here? Also about the preview, the Dog people all seem a lot smaller compared to those in "A Dog and Pony Show."

I might have to pick this one up.

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