Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Trot Topics, *How Canon Is Expanded Universe?: Friends Forever #8

Rarity and Applejack do their own take on Planes, Trains and Automobiles in this latest issue, going on a road trip from the Equestira equivalent of East Coast to West Coast. While this odd couple might get on each other's nerves from time to time, imagine these mares having to spend time on the road together, all while severing some continuity threads with the regular show.

The story opens up with yet another shot of the Apple family farm getting inexplicably destroyed again. We don't know what caused it specifically this time, but Winona was somehow involved. It's like that place is just doomed to get wrecked on a weekly basis. "The Apple farm got wrecked? Must be a day that ends in "y"!" Seriously, just make the next one out of adamantium or something. Talk about a running cliché!

Applejack and Rarity head off to see AJ's relatives in Applewood(the pony version of Hollywood)to start selling apples directly through them. They stop over in Salt Luck City where Applejack decides to pet a goat at a tourist trap inside a gate, which is another example of what was supposed to be a sentient creature according to Lauren Faust's original script bible. Even though we've never heard them speak within the context of the show, it's established that they interact with the other ponies socially and can actually hold down a job, so why here they're being seen as live some kind of livestock is particularly questionable.

Our comical duo later stops over in Seaddle where they watch a water ski stunt show, which marks the first time we've seen an actual motorboat in this universe. Whether its powered by steam or magic isn't explained, but it is powerful enough to drag a half-dozen pony water skiers and propel it on a ramp and over a crowd onto a taxi which is oddly carried by a pony that looks like Robert De Niro.

After missing a train, AJ and Rarity "borrow" a pedal-powered gyro-flyer, similar to the one Pinkie used briefly in one episode minus the candy motif. Cherry Berry used one too, although hers resembled an actual helicopter. It make you think why the non-Pegasus ponies don't use these more often, and we know that they have magical-powered copters too like the small one Tank uses. So, you'd think that there would be more ponies using these things, including a certain Cutie Mark Crusader who has difficulty flying on her own.

Our daring young mares in their flying machine end up crashing right into Mount Monument, the Equestria version of Mount Rushmore, but with the four alicorn princesses instead of U.S. Presidents. Here they were just adding Twilight as she was just recently made an alicorn.

After hiring a stagecoach to Applewood, the girls get attacked by the Cattle Rustler Gang, a bunch of bulls who ambush after getting pummeled by an angry Applejack swear they'll be back in another issue. So, are the one-shot villains aware of their fictional existence in this comic book universe?

Once they arrive in Coltifornia, AJ and Rarity go to Whinnyland(the pony version of Disneyland)and ride the Pirates of the Carriagebean with somepony(or statue)who looks like Capt. Hoofbeard from the My Little Pirate: Friendship Ahoy story arc. Does this mean that Hoofbeard's exploits became so famous that he's got a ride based on him? Wonder if that actually is Hoofbeard on the ride, meaning he's part-timing from his pirate life.

In a wrap up of the characters the girls met on their trip, they show that the pony that pulled their stagecoach went on to become a king on his own, via Conan the Barbarian. So, is he an official "king" that's recognized by the Equestrian royalty?

Pretty good look at the extended map of Equestria in this one. Although you'd think they could cover more established areas like Appleloosa.

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