Written by: Rob Anderson
Artist: Jay Fosgitt
Colorist: Heather Breackel
Lettering: Neil Uyetake
Published by: IDW Publishing
Fluttershy houses all the sick and injured animals in her home, but with the sheer number of critters coming through her door, it quickly fills up her little cottage. Fluttershy puts her trusted pet Angel Bunny in charge of her Care Centre, as our nurturing pegasus does her best to organise the building of a large sanctuary. With only one small bunny in charge of a bunch of predators, he quickly realises he needs more help. Will the Cutie Mark Crusaders find the time in their schedules to help this little bunny out?
I was expecting this to be more of a Friends Forever themed issue, but it was still a nice one-shot break in the comic series before the next big storyline. Fluttershy will do anything for the animals she meets, including inviting them into her home, no matter what they are. Because of this she now has a bear, a giraffe and elephant living in her tiny cottage. Having already more than filled her home with injured animals, and knowing that these animals need more space to roam and act freely, she sets about planning a large sanctuary to house them all. To do this though, she needs to talk with construction workers and a planning committee, which brings in some real-world logic, planning and an insight into animal welfare. Angel Bunny, although injured, is left in charge of looking after the ‘house guests’ during this time. Although he is just a rabbit, he has his own circle of friends to call upon; the Mane Six pets, and his previous pet sitters, The Cutie Mark Crusaders.
The action in this issue comes from the numerous animals living in the cottage, as the predators live alongside those that would normally be their next meal out in the wild. With so many untamed animals living in such close quarters, there is chaos at every turn, and having a lonely bunny in charge is not enough. With the help of the fellow pets and Cutie Mark Crusaders, there is finally some hope in getting a routine in place for the animals. This was certainly a different kind of adventure and challenge for the young fillies. Although this issue was enjoyable, I am glad it was just a one-shot, as the storyline would have become stale if prolonged.
This issue is available with three different cover arts; the regular cover pictured above is by this story’s artist, Jay Fosgitt, with a chibi aesthetic applied to our characters, making them both younger in appearance and their expressions more noticeable. The image above shows the injured Angel Bunny assisting Fluttershy as she aims to keep all the animals in the one tub. This is by far the best image to describe this tale. The story itself is unfortunately somewhat bland but the artwork is adorable, and it entices you to keep reading until the end. Angel Bunny’s reactions remind me a lot of the classic Bugs Bunny. The subscription cover is by Sara Richard, focusing on Angel Bunny trying to bribe a certain owl out of a tree. Finally, we have the cover RI by Jennifer L. Meyer, a breathtaking piece of art which captures a moment of Granny Apples past; as a young filly traveling across Equestria. This art piece tells a story of its own, and it is one I hope gets told in a future issue.
Friendship is Magic #54 is certainly not the most entertaining issue I have read so far, and acted more as a filler before the next big adventure. It is aimed more at the younger audience than the general readership, although still remains pleasing to the eye. It is available now from IDW Publishing.