• Let's Review: MLP #59


    A pristine publication presenting a pink pony purveying pies? Perplexing!

    Partake of a poster's patronage by pressing 'pon the promised presentation post-haste! Paradoxically, prepare for presentations of previews purposely plunder from the publication prior to patrons purchasing the periodical. Portray patience to prevent presumptive prejudice. 


    I was tempted to keep the alliteration going, but no. 

    This month's issue features Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash addressing a small schism: Rainbow Dash does not like pies. That the consumable type, not the family. If Rainbow had it in for Maud, Marble, or the parents, I'm sure Limestone would strike her down. 

    Let's rub noses like the eskimoses!

    Agnes Garbowska and Heather Breckel return as the artist and colorist. Setting wise, these two are tasked with rendering familiar locations within Ponyville. From Sugarcube Corner to Rainbow's home and that one pond where everypony seems to hang out, there's plenty of familiar references. To their credit, both Garbowsk and Breckel render these places faithfully and even panels that rely on gradient backgrounds keep the environment's tones. There's not a lot happening in those backgrounds aside from the occasional background pony. It works, but I enjoy issues that present little easter eggs for people to spot on a re-read. 

    A nutritionist's nightmare!

    But what about our two leads? With Rainbow Dash, physicality is important. She's a pony of action and so we need to see that expressed. Pinkie is likewise very exuberant, but she's more about emotions than showboating. This comic does a good job of presenting both. Pinkie has a tone of expressions and joyful moments, though I notice many panels have her mouth yawning wide. Looking at it, I wonder how Ponyville has any oxygen to spare. Rainbow is likewise very physical in expressing her mood. From wallowing with a swollen stomach to arching through the air, she never looks stagnant. 

    These two panels best show their presentation this issue.

    Our story proper begins with Pinkie Pie and Granny Smith hanging out. I haven't seen that since Friends Forever #27. Things seem to be better between them as Granny isn't intentionally criticizing or complaining about Pinkie Pie. Now she's just unintentionally criticizing the pink pony. 


    Baby steps, folks!

    Now you've done it!
    You've inspired her.

    I kid. Granny is mindful of what she says and lends an ear to Pinkie's real concern, which spoils the episode Secrets and Pies. Apparently, Pinkie will spend the episode wondering if Rainbow hates her pies, but learns that Rainbow can't stand any of said baked goods. This is a little awkward given that the episode is a week and a half away. I enjoy that IDW's stories are tying more with the show, but season 7's uneven presentation has really damaged the flow. 

    Crying out for Rainbow Dash while surrounded by cupcakes.
    ...
    I've been in this fandom too long.

    Pinkie has a revelation: given the vast array of flavors and baking styles, surely there is one pie flavor out there Rainbow Dash will enjoy. 

    Twilight would be proud.

    I've been searching my memory for any time previously this would be true, and I don't think I've ever seen Rainbow Dash eating a slice of pie. Not in the whole series. Oh, she rescued Soarin's meal in Best Night Ever, but that's it. Props to whoever realized this could be a thing. 

    Okay, that's not disliking a food.
    That's an allergic reaction.
    Get to a hospital.

    There is the question of whether or not Pinkie would do something like this. After all, it's not like she hounded Twilight to get over a fear of quesadillas. Yet I also remember that Pinkie is meticulous in keeping notes on ponies' likes and dislikes, and given the array it makes sense she'd want to narrow this down. Plus she has a habit of letting enthusiasm override her awareness. 

    How does Pinkie Pie afford... anything?

    Rainbow is surprisingly compliant with all this. Gone is the pony who fled across the landscape in season 1. If anything, Rainbow has grown so fond of Pinkie she's willing to soldier through this experience just to put things to rest. Of course, her critical error is assuming Pinkie will do anything by half-measures. 

    BETRAYAL!

    We do get a return of the classic "chase scene" trope as Pinkie follows Rainbow all the way home to bake even more pies. Yet looking at this scene I realize one of my own preferences. I don't like Rainbow's home for the same reason I don't like Twilight's castle. The interior is so cold-looking that it gives off an unfriendly vibe. Still, must give props to Pinkie. How many ponies can bake while being suspended from balloons?

    Who in the fandom would give anything to replace Rainbow right now?

    With Applejack bailing on Rainbow, it's up to Twilight to give her some ideas. It's here that we reach the most questionable story part. Twilight suggests giving Pinkie a taste of her own medicine. This is a tactic we've seen before in stories like Mysterious Mare Do Well and 28 Pranks Later. Bit funny to see Rainbow on the giving side this time. Yet I've never really enjoyed this idea.

    I wonder if Twilight has given up on lecturing Pinkie?

    These characters are at their best while helping, not scheming. I'm not a fan of when they purposefully torment one another just to force a lesson. However, I can accept that this is a tactic they sometimes have to use, especially if dealing with a headstrong pony. 

    The horror... The horror...

    But there's also the fact that I don't think this would work with Pinkie. She is a character who enjoys shared experiences. We've already seen her chill-ax with Rainbow and watch her perform practice stunts. 

    My memory is quite clear on this one.

    So when Rainbow tries to bore Pinkie with relaxation, Daring Do readings, and aerial routines, I think Pinkie Pie would love every minute of it. The idea is clear, but I don't think this story considers how Pinkie fully operates. The only way I know to make her uncomfortable is to force her to not engage anyone at all. 

    What a unique roll reversal.

    The presentation does work in forcing Pinkie to realize her own mistake, and we get a happy resolution that benefits the whole town, which is also something Pinkie would want.

    "Stop leaking the new episodes!"

    So... that's the story. It's fun, it's got some great visuals. I do question the solution both in motive and execution, but I'm not going to scream character betrayal. Oh, wait, I did that when Applejack ditched Rainbow. Well, that wasn't character betrayal, just normal betrayal.

    Rainbow wins for coolness, but Pinkie wins for style.
    Rarity chose to not participate.

    It's a nice addendum to Secrets and Pies... except I haven't seen that episode yet. So my view on this might change depending on the episode proper.Give it a look, but I wouldn't blame anyone for holding off until they see the episode itself.

    I'm Silver Quill. Thanks for reading!

    Silver Quill on Twitter
    DeviantArt

    For archival purposes, you can find the IntenseDebate comments for this post (if any) archived over here