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I think this comic would have fared better in the main series rather than bearing the Friends Forever title. Much like the Applejack/Pinkie or Fluttershy/Zecora comics, it doesn’t allow for teamwork between the two leads and instead focuses too much on supporting characters.
The story begins with Luna covertly summoning Spike while Twilight enjoys an adorkable dream. She whisks him away to Fillydelphia, where the police are investigating a string of mysterious fires, and they suspect the local dragon populace holds the culprit.
Yes, Fillydelphia has a dragon town. A point that has been hotly debated amongst fans since the initial six-page preview. Does this contradict the show’s depiction of dragons as solitary creatures?
There are some explanations for Dragon Town’s existence. These dragons are not migratory loners, interested in proving their own strength. They live peacefully, are slow to greet outsiders, and never seem grow above Celestia’s height. Their home also looks like Bedrock. Yabba-Dabba-Dragons!
Yet this doesn’t address the issue from Dragon Quest: ponies know next to nothing about dragons. I can accept that Dragon Town would like to keep to itself, yet there hasn’t been a single pony who succeeded in befriending at least one dragon? That there hasn’t been a focused effort to learn more with this local community nearby? More than that, nopony thought Spike, a dragon living amongst ponies, should know about this place sooner?
We’re treated to a variety of colorful characters amongst the Fillydelphia police and the dragon populace, moreso with the former. And a comic book owner/Luna fangirl, Mina the dragon, helps to frame the issue of species tensions running through the town. This is a dark aspect to "Friendship" is Magic. We’ve seen different species including buffalos, zebras, donkeys, minotaurs, and griffons. Very few of them have ever been asked to stick around. And when they do, they are not anywhere near the town centers. I guess "Friendship is Magic, but Just for Ponies" doesn't sell well.
So, with species/racial tensions on both sides, the arson culprit is going to be a key issue. Without revealing the identity, I will say that the revelation is disappointing. It is the magical third option, meant to get out of this difficult scenario without doing harm to either side. Though foreshadowed, it is unworthy of the established conflict. I wish IDW had shown more courage with this story.
Yet more disappointing is the fact that Spike and Luna never bond over a shared experience. Luna recruits Spike, spends most of the day apart, berates him in a falling out scene, and reconciles at the end. Unlike the Spike/Celestia Friends Forever, this comic does little to create a common bond as some of the stronger entries have. Spike and Luna share a title, but they are not partners in this story.
The real appeal of this comic is the personalities of the Police Department and the introduction of Dragon Town. For some, the dissonance between show and comic can be an obstacle. Yet I did enjoy seeing what a town full of dragons might look like, and the hint at tensions running between dragons and ponies. However, I do not treat the comics as canon, so I don't expect to see Dragon Town again anytime soon.
I put this towards the lower tier of Friends Forever entries. Though there are praise-worthy aspects, it tries to tackle too big a scope and looses the heart of the story. If you haven’t read any of the Friends Forever titles, I recommend the Spike and Celestia issue over this one. It’s a better example of building a bond between two neglected characters.
Forget it, Luna. It’s Dragon Town.