The apples(!) take control in the new arc of My Little Pony! How does part one fare? Let’s take a look.
Here’s the official description from IDW:
‘Night of the Living Apples,’ Part 1! Something sinister is happening at Sweet Apple Acres! Bad apples have come alive and determined to take over all of Ponyville!
With the show going on a mid-season break, the comics would have to satisfy in the way of the pony in the meantime. The previous two-parter featured the rather odd but interesting civil war in Ponyville over how the town got started. As shocking as it may sound, the story for this arc is even more insane. It’s not the greatest issue due to average writing and art, but still remains a fun little read once Pinkie Pie is tuned into an apple for infiltration purposes. (Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds.)
Thom Zahler crafts a story that’s strange even for MLP: apples taking over. The concept itself is obviously worth looking into, and the latter part of the issue does up the stakes quite a bit. The first half however was more on the mediocre side. The writing just seemed extremely generic and as if the characters were reading off a script. The story also goes at an abnormally fast pace. In the course of one issue Ponyville has been signed over to the apples and the Mane 6 driven underground. It would help if the dialogue for the evil apples were engaging, but the fact that most of them are portrayed as incompetent doesn’t help.
The art by Tony Fleecs is often on the mix side. For example in an early panel Applejack is shouting for help yet her expression doesn’t match the words. Sometimes the characters just look strange when compared to other art on the series. Still, it has some solid moments, such as the cliffhanger ending and Pinkie as an apple. The main cover perfectly sets the mood and tone, emulating classic b-movies such as Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, which is probably a major inspiration for this story. The RI by Mary Bellamy is a strange looking piece because the Cutie Mark Crusaders look deranged. The subscription variant by Zahler is an excellent portrayal of Flutterbat, though it spoils the ending.
Overall, Night of the Apples gets off to an average start with a pretty awesome final act. It would be a lot better if these apple menaces were at least made to look a little intelligent. Still, the concept alone is worth checking out. Plus, Pinkie as an apple is too much fun.