By the time this review goes live, Twilight Sparkle would have become an Alicorn Princess. (The timing of this comic is good, not sure if it was planned that way, but not bad.) This is the first of presumably many MLP mini-series from IDW. Currently they have the world famous Ongoing, now we have this side-series to read. The Micro Series will be six issues and focus on each member of the Mane 6. It’s a great concept, whereas the Ongoing is more about the team and adventure, these one-shots could be used to make some really good solo stories. Of course, writing the characters can prove tricky. Katie Cook handles them extremely well, so it would be interesting to see how they fare here. Aside from some writing mishaps and rather average art, the Twilight Sparkle one-shot is a very heartwarming story. Even a non-fan could read and get something out of it.
Here’s the official description from IDW:
Introducing the first of six spotlights focusing on everyone’s favorite Ponies!
Twilight Sparkle becomes enthralled in a literary masterpiece. Dismayed to hear the series never continued, Twilight goes on a quest to hunt down the reclusive author, Jade Singer. It will take all of the studious Pony’s detective skill to find the author, and twists and turns abound!
Don’t miss this adventure in imagination!
Twilight is due to take the Level Two Magic Test. When she arrives at the castle however, Princess Celestia gives her a different task. She tells the unicorn that an older Pony named Summer Mane needs help with moving her books and other things, so Twi heads out, determined to make a difference. First I’d like to say that the description is a little off. She doesn’t go on a quest looking for the author, she just happens be in the right situation That aside, the issue started a roughly. Writer Thomas Zahler doesn’t quite have a firm hold on the characters as Katie Cook. In the opening Spike says “Are you nervous about your test, Twilight Sparkle?” That last part was obviously aimed at new readers, but really by now Spike never uses her full name like. The opening dialogue sequences were just a little strange. Later on when she enters the house of Summer Mane it gets better. Speaking of her, she’s a pretty interesting character whom gets some of the funniest parts. “You want music? Let’s get some real music.” You have no idea how funny that was. There’s also many references to pop culture. My personal favorite might just be when Summer said to Twilight, ” Or maybe that silly series with the vampire pony.” (There’s even a book called How to Train Your Baby Dragon.) Anymore references and it might have gone overboard, but there’s enough to get some good chuckles.
The art on the other hand takes some time to get used to. It’s not very ‘good’ art, but it grows on you. What I like is how well it does the facial expressions, the dinner scenes are pure genius. (The art really captures the awkwardness.) There are three covers. Cover A is definitely the best, a very amazing piece featuring Twilight in a dynamic pose with a cape, truly awesome in every sense of the word. (One of IDW’s best Pony covers.) The second one is more traditional, having Twilight and Spike riding on a book. Fans might be a little disappointed that Spike doesn’t really appear, only in the first few pages. The RI cover has Twilight as a filly (awww) having some magical fun with her brother Shining Armor. Like with the Ongoing, there are quite a few retailer exclusives, so go pick your favorites. (I especially like Double Midnight’s artistic one and Third Eye’s Twilight as a comic collector one.)
Overall, despite a few criticisms, the first installment of the MLP Micro Series is a good one. At its core it’s about friendship (friendship is magic after all) and showing us how great of a character Twilight is. It’s a great standalone tale that you can revisit again and again. Fans should definitely pick it up.
My name is Daniel (@Destroyer_199), the main guy for comic reviews here at Unleash the Fanboy. I was born in 1995 in the Big Apple, spent my formative years in Staten Island, and currently reside in the awesome state that is New Jersey.