Written By: Kate Sherron
Illustrated By: Toni Kuusisto
Colorist: Heather Breckel
Lettering By: Neil Uyetake
Cover By: Toni Kuusisto
Published By: IDW Publishing
Cerberus: the Guard Dog to the gates of Tartarus has run off yet again. After the assistance of the Mane Six and Princess Celestia, the three-headed beast is brought back to his post. With such an important task of protecting the inhabitants of Equestria from the evil creatures that are imprisoned beyond the gate. Princess Celestia looks for someone whom she trusts to give Cerberus some obedience lessons. Due to the hectic schedule of each of the Mane Six, the task eventually lands on Rarity. Will this diamond be strong enough to tame the rough beast?
This is another one shot from the My Little Pony creators. This issue see’s Equestria’s Guard Dog make a run for it yet again, leaving the Gates of Tartarus vulnerable. Thankfully there seems to be no escaped felons at this time, but Cerberus needs to have some obedience training in order for that to never be a possibility. This pup is bored from his duties and with little to no visitors or play time, it’s no wonder he escaped! We can see that Princess Celestia brings him his food, but I doubt that Alicorn has much spare time to spend with the beast. After approaching each one of the trusted Mane Six to undertake the Summer long task of training Cerberus, it all falls on Rarity when Pinkie Pie outs her for having little to no new projects that require her. Although Rarity is obviously more of a lover of cats than dogs, this Summer gets off to a bumpy start from the get go.
Cereberus, although large in appearance and a bit daunting to approach due to his three heads, he is just a playful pup at heart. Lacking in some attention and playtime, this pup just needs a break from his Guard duties. It takes some time for Rarity to understand this, but after a helpful chat with the Cutie Mark Crusaders – Rarity begins to understand Cerberus just that bit more. Just like the diamonds on her flank, Rarity’s personality is just as strong as the precious crystals. Although she faces many hardships and tough moments in her attempts at training Cerberus, she continues to try and teach him every day without fail. All she needed was a new approach and to understand the beast’s situation, instead of enforcing her will upon it. This would be a great issue to give to readers that are taking on the responsibility of a new pet, especially in helping them understand the duties that are attached.
This issue and the artwork for Cover A have been created by Illustrator – Toni Kuusisto. This cover does a superb job at representing the story, with Cerberus looming above the ill-prepared Rarity. A broken wall lays behind her, marking Cerberus’ entry into her life. As a roll of fabric and scissors lay abandoned on the ground, as Rarity looks up upon the many faces of her Summer long job.
Cover B is another accurate representation of this issue, as Cerberus’s many faces lick Rarity’ as a sign of affection towards it’s new playmate. The normal prim and proper Rarity, now appears out of her comfort zone and she now stands covered in drool. This cover shows the softer side of Cerberus personality, one that is greatly explored in this issue. And lastly we have the Cover RI design by Nicoletta Baldari, the same illustrator from Issue 81. This cover art is once again just for fun and actually has nothing to do with this issues’ story. Here we have all the Mane Six as they are attempting to design some sort of either dress or magician’s cloak on Twilight Sparkle. With each other pony having their own particular job to perform, either in measurements, tacking or placement. Twilight stands in the middle as a model of sorts, but with a rather unusual sassy demeanor about her. With the rather bright and colorful image, the character design for Twilight, especially her facial expression, is a bit off putting for me. It wouldn’t actually influence me picking up the issue off the shelves at all.
The story inside this issue is still rather entertaining and like I mentioned before, it would be best targeted for those young kids that are now getting more responsibilities for taking care of their own pets. I just wish there was a little bit more action, with perhaps some clues as to a prisoner escaping from the Gates of Tartarus, whilst Cerberus was running about. Now seeing as this issue has been out for quite some time and depending on how great your local comic book stores’ back issue section is, you may have to resort to buying this issue online. Luckily enough you can purchase both the print and digital copy straight from IDW Publishing.