Written By: Thom Zahler
Artist: Andy Price
Colorist: Heather Breckel
Lettering By: Neil Uyetake
Published By: IDW Publishing
Today is Princess Celestia’s annual tradition of disguising herself and walking amongst the common ponies. Using a mystical amulet, powered by old Changeling magic, Celestia takes a break from her royal duties and focuses on travelling across Equestria in a new form every year, as part of her ‘Royal Duties Performance Survey’. At one of her stops, her amulet is stolen, taking away her only chance of reverting back to her regal form. Now the disguised Celestia must track down the thief, but first she needs some help.
Princess Celestia is beloved by all in Equestria, or so it seems. Her appearance is known throughout the land, so she can not actually walk amongst her subjects without causing a fuss. The addition of this old mystical amulet is Celestia’s only hope when it comes to learning exactly what the ordinary folk really think of her and to have the chance to interact in conversations with them. I would actually love to see this amulet come back again in a future issue, perhaps in some form of flashback, where we can see how Princess Celestia acquired it.
Celestia’s new appearance for her annual excursion is really cute, although in the second cover art she is pictured without wings, despite being a Pegasus. With a golden colored mane and tail, a sun symbol with shades on her flank, she sports a short blue curl over one ear. With plaits in her hair and an edgy looking mane, she appears youthful and carefree. So carefree, in fact, that her dear sister Luna would not let her leave the castle without combing her mane down. The only downfall to her new look is that she is also subject to being on the receiving end of some bad luck, such as getting mugged by a hooded foal. Without any magic, she must seek some help from her fellow Princess, Twilight. Proving who she really is though, proves to be challenging.
The young foal who took Celestia’s amulet is known as Scarlet Petal. A young filly, along with her even younger brother, Winter, who have fallen on hard times. Without any visible parents, they reside with Auntie Shadowfall, a mean old mare who is as sketchy as ponies get. She teaches the youngsters that they must steal in order to pay their way in her home. Magic gets misused, things get heated and overall this leads to a good and surprising conclusion. Hopefully we will see these two young foals again in the future, as I’m sure Celestia will make sure they are given a good home.
This issue of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic can be found with three variant cover arts. The first, cover A, is pictured at the top of this review. Created by Andy Price, it shows Princess Celestia taking centre stage in a relaxing position on top of a cloud. Cover B is from Sara Richard, with Celestia being shown in her new form as an Earth pony, even though in the story she is a Pegasus. Strolling through Ponyville, she glances upon a young philly who warmly embraces her Princess Celestia doll. A charming image, that once you read the issue, is all the more touching. Lastly we have the cover RI artwork from Trish Forstner, with Princess Twilight in the foreground and the rest of the main six grouped together in the back. All appear to be in good spirits for the most part. The artwork within the issue itself is by Andy Price, whose work is what I deem to be the closest in design to that of the show, with perfect proportions and expressions from all characters. Even though I have been reading these comics for quite some time, I do enjoy seeing new faces emerge and the story highlighting personalities of well-know characters that we might not experience as regularly.
Although this issue has been out for some time, get out there and track it down. Very enjoyable, with new, interesting characters and some regal sisterly love within the first few panels.