• Let's Rank 'em: The Micro Series

    Over time, we've covered all 10 issues of the micro series. What a convenient number for a list!

    Check out my own listing after the break and voice your own!

    Before diving into this, I should list my own focus for a Micro series comic:

    1. An understanding of a character's strengths and flaws.
    2. A supporting cast that helps strengthen the main character's presentation.
    3. Solid storytelling that work with the main character.

    I don't mean to dismiss artwork as an important factor, but I tend to lean more on story. There will be an exception with the CMC's issue. With that sub-list covered, let's tackle this series!

    #10 – Fluttershy
    This comic understands the limitations that hinder Fluttershy, but it doesn't show her strengths. I enjoy the idea of supporting people's creative efforts. However, vilifying criticism isn't the way. Plus the need for a total happy ending actually undermined Fluttershy's assertion. Sadly, this comic didn't offer enough for characters or story to really stand out.

    #9 – Rainbow Dash
    Odd that the group's pegasi are flying low on this list. Rainbow's comic did a better job of celebrating her ability to inspire others. The downside is that the scope was so big that I was distracted by a simple question: why is nopony else helping? Although the comic stated Rainbow's fears, we never really got inside her head. Entertaining, but there were stronger presentations.

    #8 – Spike
    Similar to Rainbow, this did show Spike's best traits. Unfortunately, it also relied on the formula for a lot of early Spike episodes: he creates the problem. The sea beasts were a sort of hive-mind, making it harder to identify with them. A good but middle-of-the-road story. 

    #7 – Applejack
    This one felt like it borrowed heavily from previous episodes. The Sass-Squash was a great addition, but Applejack's reaction was straight out of Applebuck Season. Instead of showing her best, we saw her family's activity. One can argue that's her greatest strength as well, but I'm hungry to see more of Applejack as an individual. But I do love vain Big McIntosh.

    #6 – The Cutie Mark Crusaders
    If I ranked these by artwork, this entry would be #2 on the list. Drawn like a child's storybook, it's fun and light-hearted. Imp is a cute character, as living gems go. This issued relied heavily on visuals as the story is very simple and straightforward. It felt like a genuine tale for the young and the young-at-heart, and I enjoyed the foals' antics.

    #5 – Twilight Sparkle
    I feel like this issue got a bum rap. Folks weren't sure what to make of the Micro series, and the smaller focus felt underwhelming at first. Twilight's best traits were on display, but a lot of the enjoyment relied on how the audience reacted to Jade Singer. It didn't make a big splash, but I think it got more right than it's given credit.

    #4 – Princess Luna
    I grew to love this comic even more while writing its review. Almost bumped up to #3 on the list, but we'll get to that shortly. The Luna on display in this comic is different from the show's presentation now, but I enjoy it all the same. Luna is energetic, playful, bombastic, and has a perfect foil in Kibitz. Her mini adventures in Canterlot are fun to see, and Celestia gets some great characterization as well.

    #3 – Princess Celestia
    Celestia edges out ahead of her sister because this is the story she's needed for a long time. It's the most positive display she's enjoyed in the entire franchise. The scope is large, but Ink Well is a perfect supporting character and her defense gives Celestia a focus outside of Twilight. I hope we can see this level of storytelling for Celestia in an episode.

    #2 – Pinkie Pie
    No other comic on this list has inspired an actual musical piece. This comic got Pinkie to a tea. Her enthusiasm and her altruism. Great energy and an excellent supporting character in Ponyacci. The only tripping point was that Pinkie showed her best then her worst, and the balance felt off for a bit.

    #1 – Rarity
    The fabulous fashionista really shone in this issue. A great blend of reactions, showing her both put upon by the world and making it a better place. The hippie ponies were a hilarious addition, hitting the right balance between a group and individuals. Rarity was somewhat flanderized with the whole "hammer" joke, but no more than I've seen her in some episodes. This is my favorite read of the series.

    A quick note before closing. Neigh Anything and Reflections are both comic arcs that deserve full video reviews. Sadly, my production queue is very full, so they're being pushed back. I'm going to shift the focus between new issues to look back at Friends Forever, but I haven't lost sight of the main series.

    So that's my ranking for the Micro series. What's yours?

    I'm Silver Quill. Thanks for reading!