Collecting the first six micro-series issues, each one focusing on one of the "Mane Six" lead characters from the popular TV series and toy line, this...moreCollecting the first six micro-series issues, each one focusing on one of the "Mane Six" lead characters from the popular TV series and toy line, this was a lot of fun. While all very much in keeping with the tone and style of the show, each story--written and drawn by different creative teams--had its own distinctive voice and feel. Similarly, each character had a story appropriate to their personalities, giving us a range of tales from action-adventure (Rainbow Dash), character drama (Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, and Applejack), and humor (Pinkie Pie and, arguably, Fluttershy). IDW and Hasbro get points from me for allowing so much individual expression to show through a licensed comic, and not forcing creators into a cookie-cutter house style. Lots of fun for folks already familiar with the series.(less)
While--as writer Jonathan Morris discusses in the commentary section at the end of the book--some stories are more successful than others, overall thi...moreWhile--as writer Jonathan Morris discusses in the commentary section at the end of the book--some stories are more successful than others, overall this book really captures the feel of the television series. I had read these stories serialized monthly in the pages of Doctor Who Magazine, and, reading them as a whole, they come together very nicely. Each one stands on its own nicely, but together, the overarching plot feels very natural and organic (which is interesting, considering how Morris details how they had to change their master plan due to conflicts with upcoming TV episodes).
Because these stories were serialized in monthly 10-page installments, they have a pace different from other Doctor Who graphic novels. This results in a book that feels very action-packed, and gives you a lot of bang for your buck. There's not a lot of padding or standing around in these stories!
A particular standout is the Christmas story, a loving homage to CS Lewis. It's clever and charming, and I almost wish it had been last year's Christmas episode on the TV series.
Morris and his artists really capture the characters of the Doctor and Amy. Speaking of the artists, they all do a great job, and again, it's interesting to read their comments on their own work, talking about about what they felt worked and what didn't, and why some of them aren't particularly happy with stuff that I thought works just fine on the page.
Overall, this is a great collection for Doctor Who fans looking for something to tide them over until the next new episode.(less)
The final part of this initial post-TV series story wraps things up nicely. The highest compliment I can pay it is that it feels like a good adaptatio...moreThe final part of this initial post-TV series story wraps things up nicely. The highest compliment I can pay it is that it feels like a good adaptation of a TV episode. Thanks to the participation of the show's creators, it carries the story forward and feels like it has substance, instead of just being a random, inconsequential adventure for Aang and his friends. I can hear the actors' voices saying the dialogue in my head, and the art really captures the look and feel of the animation, even without the motion.
Like the best episodes, the story puts Aang into the position of having to make a difficult decision, forcing him to search for the best solution instead of settling for the easiest one. (Although, in this case, even the easy, or obvious, solution was pretty harsh.) I also liked how Aang wasn't able to simply turn to previous avatar Roku for answers. This shows that why the world still needs a living avatar, instead of relying on the knowledge of past avatars.
While the sequel TV series, Legend of Korra, does show us the fates of many of the characters and several of the situations in this story, seeing the journey is just as interesting as arriving at the destination. (Also, as someone who was disappointed at how Legend of Korra did take the easy way out at almost every turn, it's nice to see that this series seems to be maintaining the complexity of the original.) So I'm glad that Dark Horse will be continuing this Last Airbender series, and appreciated how the end of this story led naturally into the next one. Cannot wait!