Written by: Jeremy Whitley
Artist: Brenda Hickey
Colours by: Heather Breckel
Lettering by: Neil Uyetake
Published by: IDW Publishing
A journal belonging to Star Swirl The Bearded has been uncovered in his old study within the palace walls. It depicts a time when he was tutoring the young alicorns, Princesses Celestia and Luna, to harness their magic. There was hostility and disharmony amongst the sisters, which lead to a dark encounter with another realm; a tale that chronicles the first steps of what became Luna’s sad and twisted path into becoming Nightmare Moon.
Sunburst, an old friend of Starlight Glimmer, makes a welcome return, and in this story, has been promoted to Princess Flurry Heart’s “crystaller” and magic advisor. His new position in the Kingdom has brought him closer to the Royal Alicorn family. Princess Celestia herself gives permission for Sunburst to go through the personal library and study of Star Swirl The Bearded, who, intriguingly, was also her former instructor.
Having not stepped foot into the Chambers of the Legendary Wizard since his sudden disappearance, Sunburst is probably the first pony to read any of the firsthand accounts of Star Swirl The Bearded in a great number of decades. This is certainly a story that we would never have heard in the main comic series, making this issue a very memorable one.
Sunburst’s promotion calls back to an earlier point in history, as he occupies the same role that Star Swirl played for the Sun & Moon Princesses in the past. This comic takes us back to a time when Princess Celestia was far more rebellious and indifferent to her younger sister Luna’s feelings, constantly comparing her own talent and skill to her younger sibling. It is very clear that Celestia has done a lot of maturing since the events unfolded in this comic. Luna encounters a source of dark magic that aims to both manipulate and capture the young alicorn; a brief encounter which started the chain of events that lead to the reign of Nightmare Moon over Equestria. This adds another dimension and more depth to the backstory of the reigning Princesses. Certainly, this is a story that would have been nice to see in the show, although with more issues in this series yet to come, the focus of these stories will be on other important characters in Equestria’s history.
This issue comes with three alternate covers, with the one pictured above by this issue’s artist – Brenda Hickey. This eye-catching image shows Princess Twilight Sparkle looking upon images of the greatest ponies in history, with Star Swirl The Bearded in the top left-hand corner. Unfortunately, Twilight does not even appear in this issue, so her inclusion in the cover art is misleading. The second cover art sees Twilight nose deep into a book, as AppleJack, Fluttershy & Pinkie Pie look on behind her. The third and final cover art is done in homage to the original 1980’s character designs, shown on cave walls that have been discovered by our Ponyville Mane 6. The comic itself has its own distinct look, as you can clearly see the age difference between the Princesses.
Although this will only be a short miniseries, Legends of Magic has already set itself up to be a memorable chapter in Equestrian history. I will have more reviews of this miniseries coming up over the next few weeks. So, make sure to pick up your copies today and let me know in the comments below what you thought of this issue.