Written by: Jeremy Whitley, Christina Rice
Artists: Andy Price, Tony Fleecs, Jay Fosgitt
Cover Art: Andy Price, Jay Fosgitt
Colourist: Heather Breckel
Lettering by: Neil Uyetake
Published by: IDW Publishing
Within six chapters we see how some of our favorite My Little Pony characters do their part to protect Ponyville and the rest of Equestria from one of its most fearsome villains. A collaborative comic showcasing some of IDW Publishing’s’ best MLP writers and artists. Rainbow Dash goes head to head against a pair of Shadowbolts, whilst Twilight and Cheese Sandwiches birthday plans for Pinkie Pie are interrupted by some Changelings. The Crystal Empire is under attack and Shining Armor sets out to find some ancient magic that might assist in their fight against Queen Chrysalis. All surrounding the one event that the My Little Pony Guardians of Harmony toyline is based upon.
Queen Chrysalis has returned with a better plan, in hopes of defeating the Princesses and reigning over the entirety of Equestria. With a large scale attack, her Changelings use their powers to both distract and confuse the ponies. Capturing their targets and taking their places, in order to ruin friendships & create chaos. Whilst successfully distracting Rainbow Dash for a short amount of time, they were triumphant in keeping her away from the Wonderbolts. Cheese and Pinkie join forces in order to protect Ponyville, whilst Twilight seeks out how best to uncover the intruders. It isn’t just our favourite ponies that feature in this story, but Spike plays a HUGE part in defeating Queen Chrysalis. An eventful story, that changed artistic style a few times but carried the same theme of urgency and adventure with every chapter.
Shining Armor played an interesting part throughout this story. Dissatisfied with what he can do in this fight, he seeks out another alternative to help both his Princess and his Kingdom. Uncovering a spell left behind by the first Crystal Princess – Princess Amore. The very same Unicorn that reigned when Sombra was a foal, as seen in his dedicated Fiendship is Magic Issue. Shining Armor travels cross country to Ponyville in order to give his sister Twilight the spell, knowing that she alone would be able to wield it. We also see the return of party planner – Cheese Sandwich, a pony much like Pinkie Pie who enjoys the organisation of any celebration. A friendship that once began as a rivalry when Cheese first arrived in Ponyville. We also have a chapter filled with the Wonderbolts, minus Rainbow Dash. Lead by Spitfire and Soarin’, they race off to the Crystal Empire on orders of the Sister Princesses – Celestia and Luna.
Well this issue certainly isn’t short on action, as the Changelings have spread across Equestria attacking it from numerous points. Using their powers to take upon disguises, cause trouble amongst friendships and go about so unnoticed. The Cutie Map also appears in this issue, as it alerts Twilight to a hidden room in her castle which houses an important piece of armor for such a battle. An object that looks more like a working horse tool, but encased in gold. Capable of finding the Changelings and scooping them up in a bucket of sorts. Shining Armor lastly provides an ancient potion, that allows Twilight to find a solution and for Spike to get in on the action. The Wonderbolts also have their own piece of equipment that, although experimental, allows them to fly through the skies at supersonic speed and not waste their energy.
As I mentioned before this is a collaborative issue, that is written by Jeremy Whitley and Christina Rice. With artwork from Andy Price, Tony Fleecs and Jay Fosgitt. All of which have worked on the My Little Pony comic series throughout the years, with this Annual just as captivating and enjoyable as ever before. With a script that is just as attractive to both the young and much older audiences, the artwork is just as appealing. This 2017 Annual can be found in two cover arts. The first (pictured above) is by Andy Price, showcasing a split divide amongst the fearsome Nightmare Moon, The Shadow Bolts, Queen Chrysalis and her Changelings. Facing off against members of the Mane Six, Princess Celestia, Shining Armor, Spike and Cheese. An engaging image with a lot of emotion involved. Jay Fosgitt provides our second cover, featuring a very large Spike, whose head is being encircled by Princesses Celestia and Twilight, as they chase after Queen Chrysalis and one of her Changelings.
Certainly one of the most action packed stories we have had in awhile, and all conveniently housed in one Annual. A backstory I have been wondering about for quite some time, when I noticed the same Guardians of Harmony Toyline appear in stores.