Written By: James Asmus
Artists: Tony Fleecs & Garage Art Studio
Colorist: Heather Breckel
Lettering By: Neil Uyetake
Published By: IDW Publishing
In the concluding part of the battle between Shadow Lock and the Mane Six, the mysterious Shadow Lock has trapped all but Princess Twilight within a piece of living history, in order to keep them out of his way as he plans to erase something very specific from Equestrian history. Only Princess Twilight stands in his way, hoping to learn the real reason behind such a hideous act. A dark evil lurks within the pages kept in this museum, that only Shadow Lock knows about. His mission is to save Equestria from the darkness that lies ahead, fighting to prevent its return. Will he be successful, and is he truly doing this for the good of every pony?
This is one of the most interesting tales thus far, but there is unfortunately just too much suspense in this story. Even at the end, I am not sure as to who the ancient villain is that Shadow Lock is referring to. Although this series is all about friendship, there were no repercussions involved for Shadow Lock by the end of the story. This is disappointing to say the least, as I think the matter should have involved the Sun and Moon Princesses.
Each of the Mane Six (and Spike) had their moment to shine. As AppleJack and Pinkie Pie sat amongst a tribe of Stone Age ponies, Rarity and Rainbow Dash were amongst royalty within the Ancient Pyramids. Fluttershy and Spike were in a very dangerous situation in medieval times, as dragons were being targeted by armoured ponies. However, the gentle Fluttershy knew the best approach to breaking this spell. Shadow Lock reveals the reason behind his mission to alter Equestrian history, but it all comes down to his oversight in what the purpose of history books is: to learn from past events.
Shadow Lock is a powerful unicorn in his own right, having already made significant progress thus far in erasing books. Certain things he says though have left many questions unanswered. Is he descended from royalty, after revealing he lives in his family’s castle? Also, he mentions a distant relative, who has been corrupted by power. I do hope all this makes sense in a few issues time, as it does set up to be an interesting tale, and who knows, Shadow Lock may even return without his hooded cape!
This issue is available with three different covers. The subscription cover & IDW convention cover is by Sara Richard, taking place in a gallery as Rarity looks up upon a familiar Unicorn dressed in Victorian clothing. Cover RI is by Christine Larsen which in my opinion has a very creepy character design. I am unfamiliar with the animation style referenced here; if any of the readers know, do put your suggestions in the comments below! Finally, we have the regular cover pictured above, by this issue’s artist Tony Fleecs. A very interesting cover, where Shadow Lock is using his magic to erase the cover itself, which is in a comic book panel design. This is perfect for this story arc.
Although a very interesting story, there was just too much of a build-up, which ended with an unsatisfying ending. Hoping the creators pick up on this unknown villain in the series shortly. This issue is available to buy from IDW Publishing online and at all good comic book stores.