Written by: Jeremy Whitley
Artist: Brenda Hickey
Colorist: Heather Breckel
Lettering by: Neil Uyetake
Published by: IDW Publishing
Sunburst is ordered by the Great Starswirl the Bearded, through an age-old incantation, to go out into the garden, in order to honour the heroine of this next history lesson. This is when we start to learn about a new Legend of Equestria, Mistmane. Once the most beautiful pony in Equestria, she gave up her beauty in order to save her kingdom. Now the aged Unicorn travels all around Equestria, which is how she comes upon the woodland where the Sister Princesses will build their new castle. Mistmane investigates the suspected hauntings of the site, which according to construction workers, is plagued with bad luck. Suddenly, an unexpected character makes an appearance during the night…
With Sunburst now residing in the Crystal Empire (as the Royal Crystaller for Princess Flurry Heart) Princess Celestia has given permission for Sunburst to use the former study of the Great Starswirl the Bearded as his own. He had already found two volumes of Starswirl’s own written works, detailing stories of some of Equestria’s most well-known heroes. These are tales that have not ever been shared before, and the focus of this issue is Mistmane. To us, she is an unknown pony, but the story of how she sacrificed her own youthful beauty to save both her Kingdom and her friend is told to foals across the land. Hopefully this tale will be told to us in a future issue or episode, but this story in this issue takes place some time after her legend began.
Mistmane appears as an aged pony, now travelling on her own, but stops to speak with the woodland creatures that she meets. Upon hearing some commotion at a nearby building site, she learns of their bad luck, with tools going missing and ropes suddenly snapping. A serious situation indeed, which puts all those working there in peril. Her selfless nature shines through, and she offers her assistance to solve the problem. She aids a midnight flyer, who demands immediate obedience from those around her. Mistmane offers a valuable lesson in return for their patience, thus opening a line of communication for those involved to solve this problem. Mistmane works on the sidelines, never wanting thanks in return. She does not overstay her welcome for long, but her presence has generated a positive outcome in what could have become an unwanted mini-war.
Issue 3 of the mini Legends of Magic series can be found with a choice of three variant covers. The regular cover, pictured above, is by this issue’s artist Brenda Hickey. Mistmane is pictured floating in the background, semi-translucent as her name suggests. Before her is a standalone arch window, that frames her in a very familiar looking garden. Although I do like the almost see-through image of Mistmane, her name and ghost like appearance does remain unexplained. The character designs are the same style used in the issue. The two sister princesses do also make an appearance in this issue. As young teenagers, Celestia’s attitude is far from desirable. Acting as a bratty older sister, her facial expressions towards Luna express the right amount of anguish and disgust. Their designs are impressive and I do enjoy seeing them in their younger years. Moving on, we have the subscription cover by Zachery Sterling, which has Luna and Mistmane looking upon shadowy creatures above them; an image well connected with the story. Lastly, we have a Romeo & Juliet inspired cover RI, by Paul Abtruse and Eddy Swan. This is a romantic image from a classic Shakespearean scene, but, of course, with ponies. This is not connected with the story at all, but remains a well-drawn image all the same.
Overall, this has been quite a lovely story, with Mistmane bringing with her a very calming personality. Her age has also brought wisdom, that she passes onto our second main character. This is a charming tale and features a character I would love to see appear again in the franchise, perhaps with a more in depth look into how her legend began. I recommend this issue, and it is available to buy now from IDW Publishing.