Three comic book reviews: Pull List #6 (‘MLP:FiM,’ ‘TMNT,’ and ‘Wolverine and the X-Men’)
This issue, we take a look at the best-selling comic book about ponies ever, catch up on IDW’s other funny animal comic book series, and end with a brand new Marvel mutant with the ability to turn into a shark — because superheroes do believable stuff like that now!
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #1
This became the biggest selling comic book not from Marvel or DC with its debut month. This is mostly because bronies, unlike furries, are trained to buy and collect merchandise. They are fans of a glorified toy commercial, after all. This issue features 19 collectible covers, so it automatically wins best cover of this issue. Unfortunately, I got the subscription variant by Jill Thompson, which may actually be my least favorite; on the plus side, it does have sparkles … which are going to rub off and be a pain in the butt for collectors.
Andy Price does the artwork, and, though the basics are the same, the ponies do look just a teensy bit different from their show versions – which, let’s face it, may bother fans of the show, i.e. the target audience. Heck, it bothered me, but I can get over it. The show is the starting point, but it is its own thing.
Katie Cook writes the story, and the book quickly establishes itself as adventure-oriented, with a Invasion of the Body Snatchers storyline involving Queen Chrysalis (never actually named in the show, but called that here) and her changelings. There are some good jokes; Rarity using her hairstyling skills for combat purposes was a smart gag, and I loved Scootaloo pointing out when Chrysalis starts monologuing.
The issue also features a quick back-up story written and drawn by Katie; the art is again unique, but far cuter. It’s a simple gag strip involving Pinkie Pie that wouldn’t be out of place in a Sunday newspaper’s comic pages. Short, sweet and silly.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #16
Most of this issue deals with Slash, the giant monster mutant snapping turtle introduced last issue. He has been turned into a hunter/killer designed to find and destroy the four turtle brothers. The fact that he escaped from StockGen prematurely has not changed his basic drive very much.
During the fight, the turtles are faced with the possibility that they may have to put this dangerous, but basically innocent, foe down for good. Eventually, the fight ends with Leonardo believing he may have inadvertently killed Slash (you fight bad guys with ninja swords, sometimes people get hurt). Of course, a good villain never stays down for long, and Slash ends the issue in a strange team-up with another left for dead mutant animal. Another arc for another day.
I like how this issue deals with Michelangelo especially. He’s always been kind of the fun one, the one little kids can laugh at when this is a Saturday morning cartoon, but kind of out of place in a semi-dark-n-gritty reboot. In this issue, we learn more about what role he plays in the team and family dynamic.
Wolverine and the X-Men #20
Off the coast of Recife, Brazil, a girl suddenly finds herself craving raw fish in the middle of the night. Not like sushi raw. Like, raw the way Gollum likes it raw. She also suddenly finds herself very upset about illegal sharkfin fishing. Not like that’s-bad-for-the-environment upset, but upsetting in a very personal way. See, after almost a decade of no new mutants popping up, Iara Dos Santos has suddenly mutated into a shark person. Welcome to the X-Men, Iara. Hope you survive the experience.
Original X-Man Angel, who is undergoing some very odd status quo changes that are explained very neatly in the course of this issue, has decided it is his duty to find new mutants around the world and welcome them to the Jean Grey Institute for Higher Learning. His new status quo makes him a very loopy kind of narrator, as he finds himself fighting supervillains Mystique and the Silver Samurai, who would like to extend their own invitation to Iara the shark girl. It’s an interesting new take on an old X-Man standby; the new meat.
Steve Sanders, who is by no means the regular artist for this series, is the weaker part of this issue. The art is a bit off; Beast does not have a large part, but that’s good, because Sanders cannot draw Beast to save himself. Oh, and by the way, Wolverine does not actually appear in this issue; though another new mutant does call him a liberal, tree-hugging hippie, so that’s nice.