Written by: Ted Anderson
Art by: Agnes Garbowska
Issue 21 attempts the difficult transition from world-ending catastrophe to something a bit more mundane as it begins a new arc focusing not on alternate dimensions, nor the powerful rulers of Equestria, but Trixie and a small cast of the main six.
The plot thus far is simple: Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, Applebloom, and Babs Seed visit the Carneighe Hall for a magic show but wind up involved in an ongoing police investigation regarding Trixie and a mysterious jewel thief. Their names are in need of clearing and a jewel thief is in need of stopping.
That’s a fairly standard premise for a story, and one Issue 21 follows fairly predictably. The bigger problem is that my plot summary covers the entirety of the comic. Little happens here, and this issue only acts as the build-up for more to come. It’s lacking substance.
The step down in story is also paired with a step down in art. Visually, this one isn’t as interesting, and the background lacks the fun, hidden gags of previous issues. There are some scenes that look downright bad, and Rarity isn’t ever drawn well, which is ironic given her focus on fashion.
However, there are some good things to be had here. Trixie is back, and she’s true to form. I also liked the reappearance of Babs Seed. There’s a police chief pony with a moustache that looks like he should be hidden somewhere in Gotham City, and Applejack does a fine job of looking unimpressed throughout the first few pages. I spent a fair share of the book smiling, despite my gripes.
I am curious to see where the story will take itself. The setup is now out of the way, so hopefully there’s more fun to be had in the next issue.