The Cutie Mark Crusaders and their school acquaintances take center stage in the new MLP story! How does Part 1 fare? Let’s take a look.
Here’s the official description from IDW:
‘Don’t You Forget About Us’ part 1! The Cutiemark Crusaders hit the great outdoors with their class! When a small group becomes stranded in the wilderness it will take ingenuity and teamwork to make it back to safety!
After the rather grand arc which put King Sombra at the center with an end of Equestria scenario, it makes sense this story is on a lesser scale. The Cutie Mark Crusaders are no strangers to the comics and usually provide quality storytelling. One thing to note is that this comic apparently takes place before the episode, “Crusaders of the Lost Mark” since they don’t have their Marks and Diamond Tiara is still a bully to them. Since we know they become friends in that episode, it kind of puts a “what’s the point?” in their bickering here. It should be interesting to see where the story goes with this conflict, but Part 1 is definitely a great setup for a classic “lost in the woods” (or in this case mountains) plot.
Christina Rice starts out the story smoothly. We have the characters in a unique environment, away from civilization. I particularly like Rarity’s reactions to everything. She and Applejack were a lot of fun to read going back and fourth. The core of the story however is when the Crusaders, Diamond Tiara, Snips, and Snails get lost & find out the best course of action is to stick together. After watching “Crusaders of the Lost Mark,” it’s kind of hard to read this version of Diamond Tiara. Since we know what happens there, the conflict here doesn’t feel as effective. With that said, Snips and Snails really have no purpose here. Unless they somehow have vital roles only they can provide in the next part, they’re truly unneeded (and annoying) characters to have around. Despite being simple in concept and not having much danger when compared to say Sombra getting ready to destroy the Crystal Empire, there’s still a sense of peril as the story progresses. Since these are kids in age, it’s interesting to picture how people so young would react to a scary situation like this. (Hopefully not like in Lord of the Flies!)
Agnes Garbowska’s art is very solid throughout. I particularly liked Rarity’s and Apple Bloom’s annoyed expressions. The main cover by Garbowska is solid and nicely details what to expect inside. The Subscription variant by Sara Richard is a fantastic portrait of Snips and Snails running away from a bear. The RI by Mary Bellamy, while having nothing to do with the story, is a beautiful rendition of Twilight, Celestia, and Luna. It’s definitely a must have for your pony collection.
Overall, Part 1 of “Don’t You Forget About Us” is great. It’s a solid read as we find the Crusaders lost in the mountains with some ponies they don’t get along with at this point in time. There’s a sense of danger since unexpected things can happen in this uncharted territory. Snips and Snails don’t need to be here, but we’ll see if they do anything in the next one.