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  • 42 weeks
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    This week is a Spike episode? What a re-”molt”-ing development this is!

    Let's look at “Molt Down,” the episode that will surely be perfectly normal and have no long-lasting repercussions on a character's appearance.

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  • 43 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Break Up Break Down

    I dread going into this week's episode. For today, we discuss matters of the heart. Romance, love, heartbreak, and all that rot. Which means we run right into the most loathsome of all fandom constructs, the kind of thing that destroys friendships and leaves the most brilliant of minds curled up helplessly in a corner, foaming from the mouth:

    SHIPPING.

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  • 44 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Non-Compete Clause

    We've had a string of good episodes the last few weeks. Whether it be shapeshifting seaponies, an actual Celestia episode, or discovering Starlight's dark phase, we've had lots of fun and plenty of laughs.

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    The good times are over.

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  • 45 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: The Parent Map

    Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone who cares about that! What better way to spend the day than watching a cartoon about horses dealing with their mommy/daddy issues? Well, tough, because that's what we're doing. This is “The Parent Map.”

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    4 comments · 299 views
  • 46 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Horse Play

    So hey, it's a new episode. Surely nothing to be excited about. Just another standard episode of a cartoon pony show.

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    Prepare for extra spicy biased scoring as we look at Best Princess' newest episode, “Horse Play!”

    Read More

    5 comments · 352 views
Mar
5th
2013

Comic Review: Issue #4 · 6:19pm Mar 5th, 2013

The new issue of IDW's comic has just come out (early, thanks to a leak at Hot Topic), and it's time to finally bring the “Return of Queen Chrysalis” story to a close. Will our heroes stop the Changelings, or are they doomed to become love-flavored kibble to Chrysalis' minions? We'll find out as we look at Issue #4 of the main series.

Also, spoilers.

---

Main Story: “Return of Queen Chrysalis, Part 4”

Yes, this is the first issue since, well, the first to include a backup story, so we'll split the two up. They do tie together this time, though, instead of just using the backup to rip off what is considered by television historians to be the funniest moment in TV history.

The story opens with our heroines finally reaching Chrysalis's castle, along with a few callbacks like Pinkie's creepy costume of herself and the remains of the Lovecat village scaring the crap out of Fluttershy. Meanwhile, Chrysalis is doing that incredibly stupid thing villains keep doing and gloating over her soon-to-be victory. However, she has no intention of actually eating the Cutie Mark Crusaders, but instead apparently wants them dead because they're just too annoying to have around.

The first thing the team runs into is a series of doors. They have to find the right one, or they'll face something terrifying. And this moment is really the highlight of the entire comic. Pinkie's door opens to a giant monster's eye, Rainbow Dash runs into the creepy twin girls from The Shining, Applejack running into the set of The Temple of Doom, and Fluttershy...running into Pennywise from It. My favorite, though, is what Rarity encounters: the Phantom of the Opera. Who then proceeds to ask her out, only to get the door shut in his face because she would never date a musician who lives in a basement. And so a thousand bronies cried out in pain, but then remembered that most of them weren't musicians, so hope returned.

Twilight finds the real door, which leads to a short riddle that, for the life of me, I just can't figure out, so someone else who's read the issue, please fill this stupid boy in on it. Either way, they finally reach Chrysalis's lair, just as the comet is passing overhead. With both her and Twilight's powers now magnified, it's a fight to the finish as...

Okay, I'm not going to spoil the rest of the issue here, but the ending is...disappointing. I don't mean it's bad or anything, but it's a real letdown after all the buildup we've been getting so far. To put it the most spoiler-free way I can, it's basically what people criticized the ending of MMC for, only without the justification that episode provided. (And no, she does not become an Alicorn.) After several issues of the ponies all working together, getting fantastic moments and plenty of chances to show their stuff, the last issue is really all about Twilight and how she's ultimately the most important pony in the group.

And in the end, nothing's really resolved outside of saving the CMC. The Changelings' fates are basically just slapped on at the last minute, they still have their kingdom to launch plots from, Celestia and Spike appear to link the story with the backup, and that's really the end. It just feels rather empty after all the buildup.

Character-wise, there's not a whole lot of good individual moments (outside of the doors scene, which is hilarious), but the CMC continue to bug me. When they learn the others have made it, Apple Bloom cheers for AJ and Scootaloo praised Rainbow Dash...but Sweetie Belle instead opts to second Scootaloo's notion rather than cheer for Rarity. Their characterization has been a real sore spot for me the entire series, but this is where it gets really irritating. Plus, they have a similar moment during the stuff I mentioned in the previous paragraph that just feels out of character for them. Chrysalis herself is great, and the actual fight between her and Twilight isn't too bad in execution, but the way she's taken down just feels like an anticlimax.

Overall, this issue was a real letdown. Unlike the show, I can't blame this on not having enough time to develop ideas, but instead have to point the finger at just a rather bland and forced story idea that ends things on a sour note. The art is still pretty damn good, but I only really enjoyed the first half this time around. All in all, this is my least favorite issue so far.

Backup Story: “In the Interim...”

This is a two-page story that covers just what was going on with Spike during the events of Issues #2-4. Again, it's really hard to describe this story without giving away key pieces of the ending, but it's just a lot of fun and, like in TCE, we get to see Spike be rewarded as a hero rather than just used as a cheap punchline. It also has the single most awesome moment in the history of My Little Pony, a single panel that will echo through the halls of time itself:

An eyepatch-wearing Spike, carrying a trident, riding on the back of a slightly battered Celestia as they battle a giant cockatrice. I am not kidding. It is GLORIOUS to behold.

So in the end, the ending was a real letdown, but the first half and the backup story were both a lot of fun. Here's hoping this comic continues to shine into the next arc, where another villain comes roaring back...and a rather nightmarish one at that. See you moon.

...I shall now go to the corner of shame.

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Comments ( 30 )

An eyepatch-wearing Spike, carrying a trident, riding on the back of a slightly battered Celestia as they battle a giant cockatrice. I am not kidding. It is GLORIOUS to behold.

Sweet lord, scan that bitch in because I want to see that! But otherwise it sounds like nothing really was accomplished aside from saving the CMC (I'd have let Chrysalis off them as she had the right idea) and saying Twilight is the most important (see: worst) pony.

Wait your saying the changelings live. WHY DON'T THEY KILL BLASTED THINGS:twilightangry2::flutterrage::twilightangry2:
KILL THEM ALL AND BRING THEM BACK AS ZOMBIES. no. retcon the changelings and replace them with zombies. or steam punk robots.
Yes I hate These thing that much because they are just horrible villains.

Have you considered making use of the site's spoiler tag feature? It might make it easier to talk about these kind of things. Anyway...

but Sweetie Belle instead opts to second Scootaloo's notion rather than cheer for Rarity.

Given just how much Sweetie Belle has been shown to look up to and admire her big sister, that really is quite inexcusable. :raritycry::unsuresweetie:

...I shall now go to the corner of shame.

If this is supposed to be a joke, I don't get it. You didn't do anything to even pretend warranting such scorn.

891527
It was for the Nightmare Moon puns at the end there.

Which were horrible, by the way, IAH. You get no pudding. :trollestia:

(I kid, they made me chuckle, which is all you can really expect from a pun)

Wait, if that pun is true, then NMM is returning? :pinkiegasp:

An eyepatch-wearing Spike, carrying a trident, riding on the back of a slightly battered Celestia as they battle a giant cockatrice. I am not kidding. It is GLORIOUS to behold

Oh God damnit. Now I have to go find this fucking comic, justify buying it, hide it from everyone i know, and then finally relish in its awesomeness in privacy.....

Wat, "Rilish in its awesomeness".... that just sound perverted :pinkiesick:

891623

Unless the previews were made of lies, yes, that is the next arc in the comic

After several issues of the ponies all working together, getting fantastic moments and plenty of chances to show their stuff, the last issue is really all about Twilight and how she's ultimately the most important pony in the group.

That's disappointing to hear. :fluttershbad:

Not that I completely dislike Twilight or anything, but I was really hoping this comic wouldn't pull off a "Twilight is more important than the rest," scene, especially after how awesome the previous issues handled the mane 6. I'll still be buying the comic for the first half and the Spike/Celestia short (and because I insist on collecting all the generic variants), but between this and MMC, I personally can't help but feel like this is a bad time to be anything other than a Twilight Sparkle fan (being a Fluttershy/Rarity fan myself).

Really excited for the next arc of comics though! And if the #6 and #7 covers aren't lying and the rumors are true, it would be super awesome to see Rarity as Nightmare Moon!:pinkiehappy:

891757
891766
Ah, so they're going with the Dark Corrupting Influence route for NMM?

891805
Again, that's only implied (as in, not confirmed) from what the later issues' covers show (and what the synopsis say; put 2 and 2 together and all that), but I would love it to be so!

891748
Ditto. Except that hell no, I'm not hiding this :P

891766

but between this and MMC, I personally can't help but feel like this is a bad time to be anything other than a Twilight Sparkle fan (being a Fluttershy/Rarity fan myself).

Actually, it might be a bad time to be a Twilight fan right now, since you have all the fans of the other characters still reeling from MMC and now having it happen again in the comic. Going into next season, everyone is going to be watching for some sign of Twilight being treated as full-on superior to everyone else and jump on that as proof that she's an awful character who's pulling attention away from the other, better ones.

Speaking as a Twilight fan, I thought MMC handled things a whole lot better than the comic did, since there it still showed her friends as being important, kept pounding that it was their friendships that helped her grow into the pony that would be princess, and that they are still important. The comic...has them get demoted to Twilight's cheerleading squad. Granted, there is a story reason why they can't just jump into the fray (it ties back into the comet that's been foreshadowed since the first issue), but it's still just really grating to see after the last three issues did a great job balancing the cast out, giving them all important things to do, and showing them all as competent.

But yes, the next arc sounds really good, and the ending here isn't Mass Effect 3 bad like others have said. (I'd even argue that Mass Effect 3's ending wasn't all that bad either, at least after the extended cut.) And we still got the micro-series, so things are looking good this drought.

891839
VIDEO GAME TIME!

Mass effect 3's ending wasn't Bad, as in Aliens Colonial marines, but it just didn't have any closure.
Without going into too much detail, Sheppard didnt act like he normally would when he was talking to the god child. It didn't have any reasoning as to why joker ran away, and also, in general, people were hating the fact that all it was at first was a different colored explosion, and beyond that, an exploding mass relay was susposed to have enough force to destroy a solar system.
Then of course, the indoctrination theory, but im not getting into that.

also, it wasnt the ending per se, but the way it was. You were seriously in a room and you had 3 choices, (a forth one later). and fans wanted somthing more. the devs even promised it would be more intricate than an ABC choice ending.
fc09.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/076/d/3/mass_effect_fail_by_akael-d4t0nrx.png

which, is a bit of a fail for a mass effect game, whereas Deus Ex Human Revolution did that but for an ironic effect, being that the end of it all he needed to do to play god was to simply press a button while the bad guys did truly devious things to get into that position. but that's beyond the point.

Where did this even start again? i forgot. all i want for christmans is my FUCKING N7 COMMANDO CHARACTERS! but instead all i ever get is worthless human soldier color unlocks.

891839

Actually, it might be a bad time to be a Twilight fan right now, since you have all the fans of the other characters still reeling from MMC and now having it happen again in the comic. Going into next season, everyone is going to be watching for some sign of Twilight being treated as full-on superior to everyone else and jump on that as proof that she's an awful character who's pulling attention away from the other, better ones.

I apologize if I sounded so negative about Twilight. It's just that when one character in a series with an ensemble cast is perceived or implied to be more important than the rest, it's hard not to feel a pang of jealousy when they're not your favorite character. However, I do understand how you would feel if your favorite character was constantly attacked by others, and how that would make you feel kind of cruddy. I apologize if I brought you down because of that. That was certainly not my intention.

But yes, the next arc sounds really good, and the ending here isn't Mass Effect 3 bad like others have said. (I'd even argue that Mass Effect 3's ending wasn't all that bad either, at least after the extended cut.) And we still got the micro-series, so things are looking good this drought.

No arguments there! I'm especially looking forward to the Rainbow Dash micro. Have you seen Fleece's cover yet? It's adorable and hilariously awesome at the same time!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1ZMv4dUzF4k/US11logGjEI/AAAAAAAACFo/SpDVD3e91Ro/s1600/MLP_micro2_RainbowDash-cover_b.jpg

Edit: It's apparently based on this image:
http://a51.idata.over-blog.com/460x643/2/81/69/86/frazetta/Death-dealer/deathdealer-vrai.jpg

892223

While I agree the setup was not the best, I do think the ending was nowhere near as bad as most people have said. At the very least, the extended cut resolved a significant portion of the issues raised, explained things quite a bit more, and tried to bring more closure to everything. Part of the problem, though, is that Mass Effect is such a huge undertaking, with so many different story threads and possible choices on the part of the player, that it would basically be impossible to do anything but make an A-B-C ending without sacrificing everything else that makes the games memorable. Considering the weight of the story leading up to it, I'm amazed ME3 was able to tie things as well as it did to begin with.

892253

Eh, don't worry about it. This situation hasn't exactly been fun for anyone.

892253
Ensemble cast or not, Twilight has always been more or less the first among equals, such as it were, from the very first episode. Her Harmonic quality is the elusive sixth element, and the entire first season was basically structured around her studies into the "magic of friendship".

That doesn't make the other characters any less important, nor does it make them any less valid when choosing one's personal best-pony, but this has always been Twilight's show, and the rest of the cast have always been to an extent her sidekicks.

892223
The lack of closure was bad, but at least the extended cut mostly fixed that. Unfortunately the worse offender, which we are still stuck with, was by far the whole ABC(D) endings and all of which pretty much trivialized all the other choices players makes thought-out the trilogy.

892378

Thats the way I have always seen it, Twilight is always the main character, and always has been. But then again...I guess the reason why it doesnt bother someone like me too much is because of the following-Sailor moon, Winx, and One Piece.

Lets face it, in Sailor moon, she is the most powerful character of the senshi. She is the princess and the weilder of the Guinshiso. However, she is still part of an ensemble cast.

Heck in Winx club, Bloom is one of the most powerful faries of the bunch and is the main character over her team (can you believe I like this show and yet...I have only watched the show as background noise. Yet its still a fun series in my opinion) however, some of the better episodes can still focus on the other girls.

But I think the best example and the reason why I am not too worried (because the writers have shown before that they can do it and focus on the others) is...One Piece. Quick, fans, go and label your fave character off the strawhats not Luffy. Now we do know who is the main character right (here's a hint, he has a straw hat) However, despite that...the others still have a moment to shine (especailly the great and powerful...I mean the Great captain USSSSSSOPPPPP!!!!!)

I guess thats why I dont see it as a problem at all.

891623

Yup, and apparently Rarity is going to be her new "host". Both covers by the interior artist have the Mane 6 minus Rarity, and one of the synopsi says Spike is their last hope.

Back to this Issue though: I think we all expected Twilight getting her spotlight in the showdown. But it's heavily implied she wouldn't have been able to defeat Chrysalis without the support and encouragement of her friends, even if they were trapped on the sidelines.
Chrysalis just being trapped at the end and not providing closure is just another way of saying she'll be a recurring villain.

Generally speaking I have to agree, I found the ending to be a little bit of a let down. That, and the Spike side story was glorious. You are so correct about that one particular panel.

895146
what i feel Spike's word bubble should say:

895146
Awesome! :yay:

Go Spike and Tia!

895146 ......So how is she flying with one wing wrapped up?

The way they handled the ending reminds me of video games that have several playable characters but in the end, only the main protagonist can fight the final battle. Though I did like this comic arc. Wonder how the next one will go? Until then, we have the RD micro comic to hold us over (RD is my 2nd favorite so I hope they don't screw it up.).

896080
Magic.

(It's not like her wings are actually large enough to support her flight anyway...)

The door's riddle was a trick question.

The question itself is a slight modification on the Mad Hatter's nonsensical riddle from Alice in Wonderland. He asks, "How is a raven like a writing desk?" After everyone at the Mad Tea Party fails to guess the answer, the Mad Hatter admits, "I have no idea." Lewis Carroll later said he never intended it to have an answer.

But that's not actually what the door asked. It posed that riddle, but then asked, "Can you answer it?" Pinkie gave a true answer -- no.

As for the review, I completely agree. After all that buildup, Twilight just tosses off a "power of friendship" speech and punks Chrysalis force-on-force? Bleh. Chrysalis' threat, and her ultimate plot, were damn good. I hated to see it stymied by just having Twilight go all Dragonball Z on her.

892330
I'd like to point out that every Fallout game ever has managed to avoid the A-B-C ending. Granted, it's a series of A-B endings for specific groups, but it still manages to give you the sense that the choices you've made over the course of the game had a lasting effect on the game world. But, moreover, I'd have loved to see the specific resources you gathered have visible effects on the ending path. For example, perhaps the god-child's choices could be the default/fail ending. If you collected enough technical resources for the Crucible project, then the Crucible works as expected and you get a different outcome. If you have sufficient military power -- critically, the Krogans -- then it could open up other possibilities. Maybe only a Renegade would be ruthless enough for some paths to lead to victory, while a Paragon could inspire the kind of cooperation necessary to achieve others. It's really not any more effort than they put into the friggin' romance trees...

895146
WIMBLI'S TRIDENT!
...a cookie to the first person who recognizes that reference without resorting to Google. :pinkiehappy:

925618
"Poe wrote on both of them."

944020
That is indeed one of the popular answers that people came up with after the fact.

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