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Jan
30th
2015

Comic Review: Issue #27 (The Revenge of Everfree, Part 1) · 2:11pm Jan 30th, 2015

Another month, another comic. With Friends Forever getting off to a good start, can the main series deliver?


Our story begins with the Mane 6 enjoying a picnic, only for it to be interrupted by Zecora fleeing from a mass of vines and a pair of timberwolves. Turns out the Everfree Forest is growing out of control, which means that Discord has corrupted the Tree of Harmony and...wait, I'm looking at the script for “Princess Twilight Sparkle.” This time, they have to look for the “Heart of the Forest,” a being that has never been mentioned before and completely contradicts the notion that the Everfree Forest is supposed to actually obey natural laws.

So our heroes set forth, where they discover a deer fawn named Bramble. This is soon followed by a grown deer named Blackthorn, and finally by King Aspen, the leader of the deer, ruler of the deer city of Thicket, and the Heart of the Forest itself. Turns out the Everfree Forest is being chopped down by a minotaur and his pony construction team to make room for a theme park, and the deer are using their nature-controlling potions to spread the forest outwards across Equestria in retaliation. Why?

Because the deer are in touch with nature, unlike those awful, evil, polluting, non-nature loving ponies.

The deer are goddamn elves.

If you've ever touched stock fantasy, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Every single deer in this issue is a condescending, arrogant asshole who take every opportunity to belittle the Mane 6 for not being in harmony with the forest or bullcrap like that. They have this wonderful, mystical city with a strict “no outsiders” policy, and when initial negotiations with the minotaur head of the project fails, they decide the best course of action is a scorched earth policy against the ponies as “tit for tat.” Sure, they say they sent messengers to Celestia, but when there was no response, did any of the deer, I don't know, go in person to speak to the ponies' ruler and find out why nothing was happening? Nope, those ponies are just so arrogant, unlike us perfect deer.

And if you believe this is a measured response to an intrusion into their homeland, they're also implied to be attacking Canterlot. You know, that city high in the mountain that has nothing to do with what's going on? Aspen's a dick.

Oh, and don't think the minotaur boss gets off scot-free. He's essentially a Captain Planet villain that talks about how awesome parking lots and amusement parks are, and how he can't stop because PROGRESS! The only redeeming feature of his involvement is that the workers are just portrayed as regular folks doing their job; if this was a Captain Planet episode, they'd all be laughing along about how much fun it is to pollute and destroy nature for no reason other than because they're dicks.

As you've probably surmised, they're going for an environmentalism moral this time, and while I agree that protecting our environment is important, this is a topic that you really have to be watchful when you write; otherwise, you'll just come across like you're browbeating the audience, like this issue does. Just as an example, Bramble calls the ponies monsters because Twilight tore down a tree to cross a chasm, which would displace the non-sapient animals nesting inside. Note that Bramble, at no point, offers to help the ponies cross. Twilight was not willfully evicting the animals, nor was she trying to chuck them into the chasm; heck, she probably could have just popped that tree back up the minute they got across. And before this point, the ponies had to cut down several trees to create a barricade against angry monsters that wanted to feast on their flesh; they even found Bramble while he was crying over “those poor trees.”

Bramble values a tree over the lives of the thinking, feeling, loving ponies.

But of course they deserve it, because they've ignorant ponies who don't know how precious nature is. He even tells Aspen (who's his dad, by the by) to listen to the Mane 6...and then throw them out, thereby indicating that he doesn't give a real crap what they have to say. Screw you, Bramble. I hope someone makes venison out of you.

There are some amusing moments, such as Pinkie's “Go Team Pony!” sign, the frazzled Pinklestia doll, and the explanation of where Celestia and Luna are (they're tied up by vines again). But overall, this issue fills me with a deep loathing. It doesn't perform character assassination like the last arc, where Twilight valued a historical site over the lives of ponies, but the incredibly forced message and the arrogance of the deer derails the story for me. The next issue better make up for this.

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Comments ( 11 )

*sigh* Once again the mainline comics do nothing... And once again I cannot use them in my own 'verse. The Eldeer are dicks and if the Minotaur is a Captain Planet villain then they are stereotypical tree hugging fanatic.

The deer are goddamn elves.

I really do hate these versions of elves.

He's essentially a Captain Planet villain that talks about how awesome parking lots and amusement parks are, and how he can't stop because PROGRESS!

Well, that, at least sounds fun, in a Saturday Morning Cartoon kind of way. As we all know, I love those.

Bramble values a tree over the lives of the thinking, feeling, loving ponies.

Reminds me of the elves of Argoth from Magic: the Gathering. Argoth became ground zero in the Brothers' War. Didn't make it. Sank, in fact, though it had been largely cut down already anyway.

The next issue better make up for this.

Here's hoping. You'd think that 20+ years after the debut of Captain Planet we'd have a better grasp on how to write an environmental message. Also, since when have ponies been notable deforesters?

2757759
Personally since at times the comics are more directed at us that this arc is a parody of those kind of environmental messages

I might be able to forgive, if someone made Asten versions of Randy Thrandy.

It really surprise me how wrong this issue has turned to bronies. It's like the third negative review for this comic and unfortunately the reasons are not really consistent, except for "the deer are elves, the deer are jerks".

I don't think the comic wants to send an ecologic message, it's just a conflict with two parts that are neither completely in right or wrong. The Deer and Mr. Well-To-Do are both antipathetic to the needs of every part involved.

I honestly see the deer as creatures in desperate need of a friendship lesson by no other than the friendship.

...also I speculate that one of the Deer (Probably Blackthorn) is acting against or at least behind the back of King Aspen.

Funny thing is, I've heard a lot of people bitching about the one page at the end with Luna and Celestia being tied up, complaining about how it's 'character assassination', how the writers always make Luna and Celestia out to be useless and never use them properly.
Sad thing is, it's honestly the best part of this issue.

While I love Andy's art, and Katie's writing is usually pretty good, I can't help but wonder if this and the previous arc were stories 'handed down' from the higher up at IDW or Hasbro. As in they were told 'We want an environmentalist story in the comics! Do this!' and Kate and Andy had to figure out a way to make it work. While I'm not defending the story they came up with, it's true that if you start with garbage, you still end up with garbage in the end.

...Why aren't there ever any nice elves?

Heh. You know, I actually don't have a problem with the deer being elves. It's pretty well done in It's a Dangerous Business, Going Out Your Door and its sequel. I wonder if they got the idea form that or another fanfic, and just copied it?


2758865
There's usually one. Just one. Or two. And they tend to be hated by their peers even more than the ignorant lowlifes are.

... You know, it more than kinda violates the Everfree Forest being... y'know, the Everfree Forest, scariest mother-(bleep)in' place in Equestria, if it's controlled by and inhabited by deer, let alone tree-hugging fascist deer.

Also, Bramble being venison? Blech. I wouldn't waste the arrows or bullets.

2758479 ... Wait... Lol. Just made me think of Spoony.

"And in a twist that would revolutionize all of fantasy fiction forever, it turns out that Lord Blackthorn... IS EVIL!!"

*GASP!*

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