My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #81 Review

Written By: Thom Zahler

Illustrated By: Nicoletta Baldari

Colorist: Nicoletta Baldari

Lettering By: Neil Uyetake

Cover By: Nicoletta Baldari

Published By: IDW Publishing


During Wonderbolt flying practice, a young talent named Rumble is injured and is left with no option but to sit on the sidelines with an injured wing. Disappointed he’ll be missing out on his first time publicly flying with his heroes, Scootaloo decides to cheer him up. A simple walk around the Wonderbolt Academy ends with the two ‘breaking’ into the museum for a look around. With the guidance of General Dauntless, the two get a crash course on the history of the Wonderbolts – and the identity of the only Earth Pony to ever join their ranks!

History was never my strong suit back in school, but I always believed it was essential to learn from the past. This story proves that ideal yet again, with the introduction of Wind Socks’ character and his story of determination. This Earth Pony dreamed of flying and although he wasn’t born with wings – he used his inventions to take him to new heights. After a courageous rescue attempt of a fallen pegasus, he gained the recognition of the Wonderbolts and was given the honor of joining their ranks. As we learn from the surprised looks in some of the characters of this generation of ponies, many didn’t even know of this Earth pony in their own history. This Wind Sock character was a real hero, but thanks to General Dauntless sharing his story with the two ‘trespassing’ foals, Wind Socks’ story will be talked about once again.

We have both Scootaloo and Rumble learning some valuable history, through a man who only wished to share his saviours’ memory. It’s a story about working towards your dreams, even against the ‘neigh’ sayers. Exploring every avenue in order to reach your goal and soar high above the clouds. It’s not just a life lesson Rumble walked away with that day, but also the plans to create a new pair of wings! Now onto the cover art, as once again we get three variant designs. This issue’s artwork and Cover A were both created by Illustrator – Nicoletta.


Baldari. This cover art shows the historic Earth Pony – Wind Socks’ as he glides through the skies on his own set of wings. Although neither the young Wind Socks’ or the Mane Six live in the same timeline, he is nonetheless surrounded by Fluttershy, RainbowDash, Applejack and the very well hidden: Pinkie Pie. I love the bright color art used, but the depiction of all these ponies together just messes up the idea of the timeline for young readers. The addition of the Mane Six girls is only to attract the target audience and in no way does it help explain the story inside.

Our Cover B is once again by the talented Sara Richard, who drew a lovely depiction of Rumble and Scootaloo flying amongst the clouds, with Scootaloo in a parachute. Mosty I say due to her weak wings that haven’t fully grown yet. And then we have the Cover RI by Thomas Zahler, which this third cover actually relates to the story in this issue! That is a rare commodity when it comes to Cover RI designs. I actually prefer this design to the man cover, as it has all of the important characters depicted as well as throwing Rainbow Dash in there. Flying amongst the clouds is Rainbow Dash, Rumble, his brother Thunderland and General Dauntless. All pictured in front of a cloud that resembles Wind Socks’, drawn as though it was in memory of the forgotten pony.

Now seeing as this issue has been out for quite some time, it may be difficult to track down in your local comic book shops’ back issue section. You can always buy it in either print or digital format.

This issue is a lovely one shot and is great for those that are interested in learning some of the Wonderbolt history that was never mentioned in the show or through the adventures of the Mane Six.

Overall: 8/10

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