“My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #1”

(w) Katie Cook (a) Andy Price
IDW Publishing
$3.99, 21 Pages

I know what you’re thinking. My Little Pony is probably the last book you’d expect to see featured here; but with pre-order numbers over 90,000 more than a month in advance (to put that in perspective, last months Batman hit 148k total sales) and over a dozen varient covers, we couldn’t help but take notice! These are huge numbers for any book, let alone a #1—an all ages #1 no less. So how does this instant hit for IDW stack up?

The story is legitimately entertaining and engaging. Fans will be pleased to note it holds true to the themes, humor and characterization of the series.  Art-wise, this issue took a little getting used to.  The style is more sketchbooky than an attempt to imitate the smoother glossy look of it’s cartoon counterpart. Fear not though Bronys and Pegasisters, no giant leaps have been made away from the style you know and love; by the end I no longer had any qualms of how it may have differed from my expectations.

My only complaint is that this first issue may be a bit too much fan service. While all the characters act as they should, no explanation or background is given on the “mane 6” for the uninitiated. It references objects, jokes and events two seasons deep in the show that could easily be lost on non-viewers.  That being said, it’s not so dense or mired in continuity that one couldn’t pick up the plot or grow to love the characters; just the inside jokes could easily go unappreciated.

The story easily trots itself into a serial nature. I think it’s essential that if IDW is looking to legitimize this as a stand-alone comic property, falling back on one off issues that could be easily cranked out by any number of writers is not the way to go. At least this reader appreciates the extra effort to not only convert comic readers into MLP fans, but to get Pony fans into comics. Having talked to several creators on the subject, many lament the death of the “funny book” as a leading cause of falloff for kids and comics. I’m not saying that MLPFIM can singlehandedly reinvigorate the youth market, but 90,000 isn’t a bad start.