December 7, 2012

FFGtGR: My Little Pony and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s!

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No.124

Hello there reader and welcome back to another week of the all-ages comics column, From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! This week we have two dynamically different titles, yet both with their built-in cult fanbases, hit TV shows, and favorite costuming choice for cosplayers everywhere. Let’s get down to it!


My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #1
Publisher: IDW
Story: Katie Cook
Art: Andy Price

With how big My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has been on TV, as well as the growing legions of bronies, I am surprised this didn’t make it to comics sooner, however, here it is! IDW, who seems like the natural fit given they also publish Transformers and G.I. Joe, which are also based on Hasbro toys, does a good job translating these new cult characters from the screen to the comic page by employing the team of Cook and Price for the job.

Issue #1 follows a pretty straight forward plot:  little ponies Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and others go missing and are seemingly replaced with these zombie-like brain dead replacements. It’s up to our main heroes, Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and dragon Spike to save the day, as they uncover the plot by the evil Queen Chrysalis.

The strength is all in the eye-popping art of Price, who makes every page a colorful splash for the reader. Although the layouts do get a little busy from place to place, it’s a fun ride for the eye to take across the page. The writing from Cook is quite well done, too. Although not an origin story, she still gives enough time and an easy enough plot for any new comer to jump in without having seen the show. The show itself is perhaps the big weakness, or for some (bronies) the strength. Cook’s writing is on par with that of the TV series, therefore it’s pretty much a straight forward, innocent, and friendship-is-the-moral kind of story. No subplots. Just a love it or hate it kind of thing. As an adaptation of the material, it’s spot on, which is a great joy to lovers of the franchise.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #1 is out now from IDW in digital and print.


Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Vol.3
Publisher: Viz Media (Shonen Jump Line)
Story: Masahiro Hikokubo
Art: Masashi Sato
Support: Studio Dice

Viz’s Shonen Jump line rolls out the third volume of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s, which adapts the anime series that is part of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga/anime franchise. Unlike the other spin-offs, 5D’s offers the cool twist on the card battle that it’s more than just a card battle, it’s a “Turbo Duel” in which our heroes and villains speed across courses and through cities on high-speed motorcycles (giving us some of the coolest bike designs since Kaneda’s way back in Akira).

Volume 3 finds us in the midst of two battles. The first is between Akiza Izinski and Kelin Kessler. The two seem interestingly matched as they speed away throwing monsters at each other, however, in the end through a smart play, Kessler comes out the victor. The second battle which plays out through the majority of the volume starts off with little Sect going up against the king of Turbo Duels, Jack Atlas. Yusei shows up on the scene, catching the duel, and soon discovers that his pal Sect has made a deal with the demonic Skeleton Knight! Just as things seem to be clearing up, though, Yusei is challenged to a duel himself by Leo and Luna, who show up on the scene with a variety of card tricks of their own.

As I mentioned in previous columns, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s is the best of the spin-offs. Its bike races are an action packed twist that adds to the battles’ tension, and it’s certainly a more unique series than the most recent spin-off Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal (which is just sci-fi cartoon goofy no matter how serious it tries to be). Sato and Hikokubo do a good job of taking the new concept to the max, and the action scenes really shine on the page. At the core, it’s still Yu-Gi-Oh! with the craziness of the card game as the main weapons, and that’s what fans of this want, just here they get it on high speed bikes with a kick-ass looking skeleton on a demon horse showing up to throw things into turmoil.

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s is out now from Viz in print and digital.


That’s it for this week! See you next!

Drew McCabe



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