It’s Christmas time everyone! So, IDW has went ahead and released this year’s My Little Pony Holiday Special. Last year’s was most excellent, how about this one? Let’s take a look.
Here’s the official description from IDW:
It’s holiday time in Equestria and the ponies are ready to celebrate! Join the celebration in this special one shot that shows how different ponies enjoy the festivities!
Christmas is always a wonderful time each year. Every year we’re treated to new stories set in Christmas time, comics included. Last year IDW released the MLP 2014 Holiday special, featuring the Equestria Girls in what was a great tale. It seems like this will be an ongoing tradition, which is definitely welcome. Unfortunately, while not terrible the 2015 Special is more on the mediocre side.
I was really excited for this issue for three reasons. One, obviously because it’s Christmas themed. Two, Katie Cook would be writing. And three, according to the description we would see “how different ponies enjoy the festivities.” The Christmas spirit is certainly alive throughout, so it doesn’t disappoint there. Katie Cook’s writing is upbeat, but characterizations for Twilight and Spike were off. If this story was taking place before the show, I can see this happening. But Spike talks as if he’s 4 years old in some panels. The actual story is disappointing too. Instead of showing “how different ponies enjoy the festivities” we get basically an anthology. Twilight reads different books, and the reader follows along with the stories. Aside from the third one, the actual stories weren’t even that great. That’s not to say the book had no highlights. Cuppa Joe was a nice character and the ending was fun.
Art is handled by Cook, Andy Price, Agnes Garbowska, and Brenda Hickey. It’s interesting to see a bunch of styles, and they nicely mesh together. Sadly, Twilight is drawn very off most of the comic. Heather Breckel’s colors is good as usual. The main cover by Cook features Spike having some present problems. While nothing bad, it’s rather generic and boring. The subscription variant by Brenda Hickey is more unique, but not quite as cheerful as a Christmas-themed cover should be. The best cover, featuring a happy Santa Twilight and Spike riding along, is actually the retailer exclusive from Fried Pie, so if you’re able to get that one definitely pick it up.
Overall, the MLP Holiday Special for this year is definitely more on the disappointing side. It doesn’t live up to what the description states for one thing, and the stories within the story could have been better. (The third story was actually pretty good, so that deserves mention.) While not amazing, the comic is still a fun read for the time of the year.