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"[FoME] manages the impossible combination of being an actual legitimate nerd while staying unabashedly pleasant." —Aragón

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  • Friday
    Master of the Feast

    My apologies for a belated happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating it.

    I've been busy for the past few days.

    11 comments · 116 views
  • 6 days
    Friendship is Card Games: Generations #1

    We’re not quite done with IDW yet. This week, we look at what may technically be part of G5. After all, what else do you get when you add G1 and G4?

    Read More

    5 comments · 201 views
  • 1 week
    Sovereign Pride: Imposing Sovereigns III Results

    Don’t worry, Flurry is volcano-safe. Mostly.

    Hello, one and all. Imposing Sovereigns III has produced numerous entries worthy of its lineage; selecting the top picks was by no means a simple matter. That’s why I got help. Below, the other judges introduce themselves before we move to the results.

    Read More

    18 comments · 714 views
  • 1 week
    Muddled Mixture

    Bit of a good news, bad news situation, and I'll lead with the more important stuff. B_25 is currently stuck on the other side of the U.S.-Canadian border than his usual and could use some help getting back.

    In happier news, the contest results are locked in, and we'll be announcing the winners soon.

    1 comments · 122 views
  • 1 week
    Friendship is Card Games: Rainbow Dash and the Daring Do Double Dare

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    Read More

    9 comments · 183 views

Friendship is Card Games: The Knights of Harmony · 12:08pm October 17th

And so the unsung underbelly of G4 draws to a close… more or less. There’s that intergenerational crossover coming up. But this is certainly the finale to Season 10, and to the FiM line. 102 issues isn’t a bad run, and that’s not counting alll the spinoffs. Let’s see how it wraps up.

Issue #101

While I do love the two-part cover commemorating every Bearer and Bearer-adjacent character, the main cover for #101 is pretty great in its own right. I especially appreciate how Ahuizotl is going less for intimidation and more “Ha! You flinched.”

Good to see Twilight’s planned out emergency plans in the event of yet another attack on Canterlot. I am surprised to see one of the Manehattan ravers here. Best Pony less so; she shows up wherever and whenever she wills.
(There’s also the question of where ponies will evacuate to when the target is in the heart of the country. The answer seems to be the castle, which leads to the question of just how much space it has if it can contain the whole city. Granted, that is what castles are made for.)

Starlight promising the Student Six’s parents that they’d be safe seems reasonable… for four out of six. In Gallus’s case, she probably means Grandpa Gruff. But Smolder? I’m not sure how aware her parents are of anything she’s been doing in her schooling aside from that climactic speech in “The Ending of the End.”

Ooh, nice to see Trixie helping manage the evacuation. Good example of the utility of big, attention-grabbing illusions.

I definitely feel like Star Swirl and Cadence’s dialogue got swapped at some point. Unless he also put up a force field that held off Sombra, which isn’t out of the question.

Ooh, Big Mac gets custom armor. Unexpected by neat to see.

It’s not that Ceridwen brought down a whole kingdom, just a single very precariously designed city. Of course, given how loosely the series has used the term “Equestria,” some confusion on scope is par for the course.

While I do like the lampshade hung on the frequent invasions of Canterlot and the idea that Twilight’s learning from her predecessors’ mistakes, I’m not too big on attacking Celestia and Luna while they’re not here to defend themselves. Of course, the cast has bigger concerns right now.
Also, the end results of the bandage fight are lovely.

Yeah, that force dome doesn’t do much about attacks from beneath.

“How little you understand,” says the creature who has done everything in his power to keep anyone from understanding. Followed by “Then you understand why we must destroy you.” No, she doesn’t, because you refuse to explain anything.

Oh, sorry, he was to explain how he’d destroy Twilight, but not why.

Ah yes, the classic trope of villains explaining their capabilities to one another despite already knowing them so the audience can find out.

Interesting to see that Danu has a cutie mark. And that he’s leading his knights as Bearer of Loyalty. (Meanwhile, Taranis presents a very worrisome presence as Bearer of Pride. That wouldn’t bode well for reasoned negotiations even if talks hadn’t already broken down.)
… Huh. The octo-shark has a cutie mark as well. Maybe that’s seapony back there?

So, let’s go over the Knights of Harmony other than Ceridwen now that we’ve seen all of them, and that I’ve looked up the name of the one as yet unidentified:

Danu — Bearer of Loyalty and terrakinetic. Half-pony, half-lion. Named for… the mother of the Celtic pantheon. Still very much associated to the earth, though more its bounty and less seismic activity. Still, there is evidence that she had a dualistic nature, one part earth mother and one part warrior goddess. The associations are clear.
Taranis — Bearer of Pride and aerokinetic. Appears to be an ophiotaurus, though one with hands. Named for the Celtic god of thunder. Also associated with the wheel, which contributes to the knight spinning his staff as part of invoking his magic.
Mannah — Bearer of Acceptance and hydrokinetic. Appears to be an inverse lusca—rather than having the head of a shark and the tentacles of an octopus, she has the mantle and four tentacles of an octopus attached to most of a shark’s body. Doesn’t appear to have a corresponding Celtic god; the closest match I can find is a moon goddess of the Sámi people of northern Scandinavia.
Balor — Bearer of Magic and accomplished mage in her own right. Named for the leader of the Fomorians, a malevolent group of supernatural beings who opposed the Tuatha Dé Danann, literally the people of Danu. Balor himself had a single massive poisonous eye that killed anything he looked at. Definitely one of the looser connections. The triskelion on her wing’s an interesting touch, though.
Morrigan — Bearer of Faith and terrifyingly effective hypnotist. Appears to be a ghostly, vaguely humanoid bird. Named for the Celtic goddess of death, discord, destiny, and war. Fitting themes for the end of the comic line, though arguably would’ve worked better if she’d swapped with Balor, especially given how her abilities work based on eye contact as much as through her voice.

Ceridwen, for the record, is the Bearer of Equity. To summarize, Equestria is under attack by fantasy Ireland.

Okay, Shining’s definitely been mind-controlled enough times to get a free coffee by this point. And the black ooze coming out of Morrigan’s eyes is wonderfully creepy.

I am kind of amused by how Twilight’s going for “Ponies! Spike!” every time she needs to refer to everyone.

Oh, now Danu’s claiming he was just going to explain himself. Yeah, sure, very unreasonable of the mare whose life you threatened to not stick around for the exposition afterwards. :ajbemused:

Also, to be fair, the royal guard did manage to do something. They had to be mind-controlled again, but still.

Issue #102

This cover is gorgeous, but man does it feel bittersweet…

Yeah, the Elements of Patriotism raise all kinds of red flags. Acceptance, Pride, Loyalty first and foremost… They’re jingoistic zealots waiting to happen.

Ah. It all came down to poor timing. The Knights’ efforts to spread the gospel of Harmony came smack in the middle of Discord’s unrule… which was apparently localized to Equestria at the time. I’d figured that would’ve been worldwide. Still, he got his kicks by inciting global war. Good enough for his purposes.

Interesting to see Ceridwen (or her predecessor) created the grootslang. I wonder how many other monsters out there are the work of the Bearer of Equity.

And so, cut off from the rest of the world, Cunabula sees themselves as constantly under threat, surrounded on all sides by potential enemies. They’re not evil. They’re terrified. And that may make it even harder to reason with them than the alternative.

Huh. Discord and Cosmos in the Gallery of Hated Enemies makes sense. Chrysalis is unexpected, but given her track record of upsetting city-states, I can see why she’s on the list.

Danu sent Cadence falling down a chasm. Cadence. Who can fly. And was born a pegasus. I’m going to assume there’s some extra magic involved there. Still, kind of disappointing that her epic moment was cut short so abruptly.

I can’t help but note that Danu does nothing to deny that he’s going to execute everyone who bears an Element in their soul.

On the one hand, great to see Trixie in her lowercase-e element. On the other, again, kind of burns to see her get more dignity than Cadence.

Oh, Mannah’s male. Hard to tell with sea creatures, especially given those curling eyelashes.

Interesting. The ancient Knights may have resisted Discord’s wiles, but the new ones are a bit more fractious.
Also, Morrigan found some Night Guards between issues. Neat.

Nice to have Danu consult their Bearer of Magic on which Discord is real. Good to see someone who can acknowledge and learn from their mistakes. Unfortunately, Balor didn’t expect to deal with chaos magic today.

Ah, divide and conquer. Also, Canterlot has a Crime Alley. Which implies it has a Batman. Bets on it bing Blueblood?

Ah, Ocellus was the decoy Discord for the Student Six. Wise choice.

Ha! The Cunabulans never encountered any of the species currently assaulting Mannah. Nothing like a surprise seapony/yak takedown.

Similarly, Morrigan knows nothing about potioncraft. What you don’t know can hit you with a shovel.
Also, Tiberius and Philomena apparently have a tell-all book about their time as power behind the thrones. A gripping read, I’m sure.

Oh, that’s the context for confused Tempest. She is missing a bit of time, after all.

:rainbowlaugh: Maud counters Danu. She’d be a terror in the Earth Kingdom.
… Well, she counters him until he decides to shake Canterlot off the mountain. Oh dear.

Ah. I was wondering what happened to Balor.
… Oh. Spike was supposed to take care of them. Bit of disrespect there… or this is another illusion. We’ll see.

Ah. Danu sees the issue as analogous to nuclear non-proliferation.

Oh. Oh dear. Well, Twilight still put on a good showing, and credit to Balor for turning the opposition’s tactics against them.

Okay, this was a very nice dramatic turnaround. (And Dash refusing to leave AJ works great regardless of whether or not you ship them.)

Heh. One last appearance by Andy Price and Katie Cook’s OCs. Also, looks like Quark opened a branch in Canterlot. Good for him.

Danu’s prediction does paint a grim picture. Mutually assured harmonization may well explain the state of the world come G5. But for now, at least he’s a graceful loser… after taking a Super Rainbow Beam of Fix Everything VI Deluxe: Game of the Year Edition™ to the face.

Hmm. That “Luna was here” on the moon is new. I wonder if she zipped back for something after her abdication.

And so Twilight forges alliances that will last… for a time. Or much longer in timelines that don’t lead to Maretime Bay. Probability space is a wonderful tool. But no matter how you look at it, this Federation of Creatures definitely has some good years ahead of it. Though they will have to deal with Chrysalis at some point. Maybe that’s how she showed up in the first Transformers crossover…

And… that’s the lot. As I said, bittersweet. Goodness knows these comics had some lows with their highs, but there’s still a lot of great material here that far too few people have seen. This was a great way to close things off. Rushed at times, yes, but good twists, turns, and intelligent plays from both sides.

It’s not like this is the last bit of official MLP sequential art, either. There’s still more to come in the Generations crossover I mentioned earlier, to say nothing of whatever they have planned for G5. For now, though, let’s see how I can close out Chapter 1 of the Observer’s reading.

Canterlot Geologist 2W
Creature — Pony Advisor
Prevent all noncombat damage that would be dealt to other creatures you control.
Horned or not, the Gifted School’s faculty excels at negating spells gone awry.

Obvious Threat 3W
Destroy target creature if it’s attacking, blocking, or has power 4 or greater.
Cadence grumbled in the chasm. Next time she wouldn’t bother giving a speech before opening fire.

Faith Elemental 3WW
Creature — Elemental
Damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 reduces it to 1 instead.
“The faithful may waver, but Faith itself cannot.”
—Mineral MacGuffin, A Guide to the Elements of Harmony, Sixth Edition

Acceptance Elemental 2U
Creature — Elemental
Whenever Acceptance Elemental becomes the target of a spell you don’t control or is dealt damage, draw a card.
“Acceptance understands that everything is a learning opportunity.”
—Mineral MacGuffin, A Guide to the Elements of Harmony, Sixth Edition

Armed Merchanttom 2U
Creature — Cat Pirate
When Armed Merchanttom enters the battlefield, create a Treasure token. (It’s an artifact with “T, Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color.”)
Armed Merchanttom gets +1/+1 as long as you control an artifact.

Quelling Geysers 2U
When you cast this spell, copy it for each Island you control. You may choose new targets for the copies.
Target creature gets -2/-0 until end of turn.
Canterlot’s aquifers were the first things turned against it.

Mannah, the Drowner 3UU
Legendary Creature — Octopus Shark Knight
1U: Creatures target player controls get -1/-0 until end of turn.
At the beginning of each opponent’s end step, that player mills two cards for each creature they control with power 0 or less.
“Accept your fate in the sea’s embrace.”

Signal in the Noise 4U
Create a token that’s a copy of target creature.
Chaotic UU (You may cast this spell for its chaotic cost. If you do, choose its targets at random.)
“It’s not easy to get chaos magic to do more of the same, but if that same is me, well.”

Silence Harmony 1B
Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn, where X is the number of colors among permanents that creature’s controller controls.
“To protect our land, we must keep this power from all others.”
—Danu, Knight of Loyalty

Farasi Privateer 2B
Creature — Zebra Pirate
Farasi Privateer has lifelink as long as it’s attacking.
The zebras provided both medicine and more recreational libations during the raid on Cunabula.

Loosened Bindings 2B
Target opponent sacrifices a creature or enchantment.
Whenever a spell or ability an opponent controls exiles a permanent you control, return Loosened Bindings from your graveyard to your hand.
No seal holds forever.

Crime Alley 2BB
When Crime Alley enters the battlefield, destroy target creature.
Whenever a creature dies, create a Treasure token. This ability triggers only once each turn.
Even Canterlot has a dark underbelly.

Riled Sea Dogs 2R
Creature — Dog Pirate
Riled Sea Dogs attacks each combat if able.
Discord found the Diamond Dogs the most easily swayed raiders. The lightest push sent them rushing at their benefactors.

The Serpent’s Wiles 2R
Enchantment — Saga
(As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after III.)
I — The Serpent’s Wiles gains “Creatures get +1/+0 as long as they’re attacking your opponents.”
II — Goad any number of target creatures.
III — Each tapped creature you don’t control deals 1 damage to its controller.

Shatter the Canterhorn 2RR
Replicate 1R (When you cast this spell, copy it for each time you paid its replicate cost. You may choose new targets for the copies.)
Destroy target nonbasic land. Shatter the Canterhorn deals 2 damage to each creature without flying.

Sheer Numbers 2RR
Choose any target. Each creature you control deals 1 damage to it.
A lifetime of training is no match for befriending the entire known world.

Draconequus with No Name 3R
Creature — Chimera Warrior
Whenever Draconequus with No Name becomes the target of a spell, that spell’s controller discards all the cards in their hand, then draws that many cards.
Everything changed when the stranger blew into town.

Regal Phoenix 3R
Creature — Phoenix
Flying, haste
When Regal Phoenix enters the battlefield, you become the monarch.
At the beginning of your upkeep, if an opponent is the monarch, you may pay 3RR. If you do, return Regal Phoenix from your graveyard to the battlefield.

Pride Elemental 4RR
Creature — Elemental
When Pride Elemental enters the battlefield, it deals 5 damage to each creature with power 3 or less.
“Pride does not harmonize easily. It tests the worth of all who would call themselves its equals.”
—Mineral MacGuffin, A Guide to the Elements of Harmony, Sixth Edition

Outmatch 1G
Target creature you control fights target creature you don’t control. If those creatures share a color, the creature you control deals damage equal to its power to the creature you don’t control instead.

Ominous Cloak 3
Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature gets +0/+2 and has hexproof.
Equip 2
Cunabulans travel in disguise to limit knowledge of their land and abilities.

Bowl Over (rg)(rg)
Until end of turn, target attacking creature gets +2/+2 for each creature blocking it and gains trample.
Cunabula never reached Yakyakistan before isolating itself. Yona made for quite the first impression.

Morrigan, Mindtwister WUB
Legendary Creature — Bird Spirit Knight
Flying, vigilance
Ward — Morrigan’s controller gains control of a creature you control. (Whenever this creature becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, counter it unless that player has you gain control of a creature they control.)
Sacrifice another creature: Morrigan gains indestructible until end of turn.

Desperate Defense 1BR
Legendary Enchantment
When Desperate Defense enters the battlefield, target opponent creates three 1/1 red Pirate creature tokens with menace.
At the beginning of your upkeep, if your opponents control no Pirates, transform Desperate Defense.
First Temple of Harmony
Legendary Land
T: Add one mana of any color.
2BR, T: Destroy target nonbasic permanent. First Temple of Harmony deals 2 damage to you.
With the invasion repelled, The Knights of Order turned to ensuring another would never come.

Equity Elemental 1GU
Creature — Elemental
GU: Target creature has base power and toughness 3/3 until end of turn.
“Equity must be tempered, lest harmony become monotony.”
—Mineral MacGuffin, A Guide to the Elements of Harmony, Sixth Edition

Balor, Spell Strangler 2WU
Legendary Creature — Dragon Fox Knight
Balor, Spell Strangler gets +1/+1 for each detained permanent your opponents control.
1WU: Detain target nonland permanent. Activate only as a sorcery. (Until your next turn, that permanent can't attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated.)

Mark of the Triskelion 2RG
Enchantment — Aura
Enchant creature
When Mark of the Triskelion enters the battlefield, put three +1/+1 counters on enchanted creature.
Enchanted creature has “1, Remove a +1/+1 counter from this creature: It deals 1 damage to any target.”

Morrigan’s Gaze 3UB
Choose one —
• Gain control of target creature.
• Return target creature card from a graveyard to the battlefield under your control.
“Your old master left you in ruin. I will guide you to glory.”

Taranis, the Blowhard 3RG
Legendary Creature — Minotaur Snake Knight
Whenever Taranis, the Blowhard attacks, you may pay XRG. If you do, Taranis deals X damage to each creature defending player controls with flying.
“The skies are mine! Take them if you can!”

Imminent Disaster 4WU
When Imminent Disaster enters the battlefield, return up to three target nonland permanents you own to your hand.
At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Imminent Disaster. If you do, destroy all nonland permanents.

Danu, Liege of Order 4RW
Legendary Creature — Horse Cat Knight
Vigilance, trample
Other Knights you control have vigilance and trample.
1RW, T: Danu, Liege of Order deals damage equal to its power to target attacking or blocking creature. Excess damage is dealt to that creature’s controller instead.

Comments ( 10 )

I can finally close the tab in my iphone browser that has been open for the better part of 4 years now, with the comics ended it feels like gen 4 got the finally it deserves

whatever they have planned for G5

Officially, we don't know anything. Unofficially, Pencils has apparently gone on record confirming they will exist and he'll be working on them.

Not personally the biggest fan of this issue or season 10 as a whole (though it's not the worst showing we got from the comics), but I do agree there are some great scenes, and Andy's over abundant of self references feels at least justified by it being the end. Would have been better if they had a couple more issues at least for this finale, they could have done a lot better with the Knights if they had time to actually have Twilight and the others show them the irony of their own situation instead of resolving everything in 5 pages or so and leaving all that to the reader, but knowing how abysmally poor the sales were getting I have my suspicions it might have been a Bleach type of deal. Still, they could have paced all of season 10 better, or avoided doing a grand storyline they wouldn't be able to deliver on in limited pages. At least it's not Cosmos levels of rushed (though close), or Seige levels of lacking quality checks.

Hey, at least we got some good covers out of it. And it definitely won't be the last time we'll see the girls, even past the G1 crossover. Perhaps ironic considering one of them had such a famous death scene, Hasbro has a tendency not to leave its more popular characters and incarnations thereof buried for long. Here's hoping we at least don't get live action movies.

Inside Baseball Alert: The OG MtG Triskelion looked really dorky, so I'm giving you the Mirrodin reprint instead. You can click the expansion symbols if you care (I'm not saying it's bad art, just that it's a bit too comedic for the last thing you see before you die to an infinite combo)

...a single massive poisonous 🔴 that killed anything he looked at.

You forgot to dot the eye. :trollestia:

This is the problem I have with the timeline: no one explains anything because it's assumed that the person they're speaking to knows what the speaker is talking about. This not keeping records and simply assuming things will lead to ponies who talk like Chang from Community worrying about being zapped by horn lasers. Wonder how they'd react to planeswalkers crashing the party.

Hmm. That “Luna was here” on the moon is new. I wonder if she zipped back for something after her abdication.

Nah, I know we've seen that before. But I forget which issue had it.

It's sad to say goodbye. I do wish we'd had more time with all of these new characters, but I gather the pandemic sharply cut the season plan.

And well, the idea that the Elements of Harmony are general magic weapons that can be used for unworthy purposes just as easily... doesn't sit well with me :unsuresweetie: It's easy to see how closely they tried to hew to the theme of Friendship is Magic but that also just made that one big deviation stand out very clearly.

But yeah. I read the comics from the beginning to the end, and they gave me a lot of enjoyment over the years. Here's hoping there's new blood coming.

Danu sent Cadence falling down a chasm. Cadence. Who can fly. And was born a pegasus. I’m going to assume there’s some extra magic involved there. Still, kind of disappointing that her epic moment was cut short so abruptly.

It weirded me out that Cadance defended Discord instead of using the opportunity to attack Danu directly, considering it should be well within Discord's abilities to protect himself when he's not completely caught off-guard, and she'd probably know that.

It's also strange how they acted like "they're doomed" when Starlight (who only cameo'd in the last issue, when she's as good at fighting as she is) and Discord were never actually defeated by anyone onscreen, that the latter unquestionably still had his magic, and was untouched to the very end.

This finale felt more like something to contrive the ponies into losing, to then be saved by very unmemorable characters, than something that'd logically happen. Spike didn't summon Celestia and Luna for help in defense, because reasons (worst case, even two high-level mages out of practice would help to some extent), Cadance and Discord did nothing after the barrier was breached, for the longest time (what the heck happened to "add a few twists?"), and Discord in general felt like he should've been wiping the floor with most of them if he were actually doing more, which emphasizes how artificial it all feels. Where did Shining Armor even go after he was brainwashed? He wasn't with the group with Rockhoof and Tempest and Flash Magnus.

Why was Trixie suddenly with Cadance to be defeated offscreen, when she wasn't even with Stygian and Maud before?

I think S10 would've been better off if they showed how the CMC got a stained glass via some heroic deed, had them grow into their own with their abilities (Apple Bloom potions, Sweetie Belle's good magic [seriously it didn't stop bugging me that canon didn't emphasize those skills more, especially on Sweetie's part, if it's notable enough to be exceptional], etc), or gave the Students more development (especially Ocellus). It's a damn shame that we never got a followup for Feats of Friendship, with that sequel bait, with Swift Foot.

And/or sticking to slice of life stuff to serve as a bit of a bridge between The Last Problem's time gap. They did best with the Marble and Cheese Sandwich comics, after all, versus the largely forgettable lore and worldbuilding, unmemorable characters that oversaturated in a rushed timespan. This was a time when, for starters, being overly ambitious was its downfall, I think.

Yes, there's very little denying that Season 10 was...troubled, not least because of the pandemic, but I'm glad we got what we did, especially Something There That Wasn't There Before, See You Later, the Season 10 premiere, and both Transformers crossovers. Thankfully, Generations should begin to fill the Friendship is Magic-shaped hole in our lives in just a couple of days (Lord willin', Devil don't care, an' the crick don't rise) and it seems that IDW might have some other pony projects in the works...

P.S. I have a Protection From Editors alert for our host: Morrigan's Gaze doesn't have a card type.

The whole deal with Discord was that the Knights were using / able to use Harmony, so they'd effectively hard counter him if they got a hit in. It is, unfortunately, one of the many things the last two thirds of the issue are too busy running through their storyboard without expanding it to actually address, leaving it up to the the reader much like other things.

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