If you're looking at my avatar you're probably noting that it has Rarity and Spike snuggling together. I'm also expecting a reaction along the lines of "oh that's a cute fanart picture of them hugging. A nice, cute romantic picture that was well drawn by a fan!" Well guys....this isn't fanart. This is actually canon....or at least in the comic...which if McCarthy isn't lying said she's keeping tabs to make sure it's as close to the show as possible to keep it canon....so it's canon.
But we'll talk about the Sparity moment towards the end in favor of reviewing the issue itself. No early review this time because the publishers weren't drunk and didn't release it early again (sadly) but the timing in which this came out is what I needed because in about 3 days...
We start off with Luna flying away towards the village to warn the others of the Nightmare Forces coming. I'm not going to lie, the way she downs her abilities is laughable throughout the comic...I'm just going to say that right now. She's trying way too hard to be the Sasuke and/or Shadow the Hedgehog of the comic and comes off as this wannabe emo character sometimes in this comic (though I still like her before people try stabbing me with a pitchfork). A little exchange with Celestia and she says that her and the village will prepare for the upcoming forces. Oh good, that means Celestia will finally do something right ? Well, we'll find out when we return to earth. First we go back to the moon with the trapped elements arguing with each other. Boy is this argument a weak one.
RD: You're always saying "howdy all the time!"
AJ: Well you're a jerk who won't shut up!
Twilight: Well you all are grating me! Stop fighting!
Fluttershy: Please stop fighting.
All: Ok ~Magic Element colors~
I'm dead serious! That's basically how it happened. 2 panels of argument and then bam, resolved and they glow without their elements. I'll talk about this later since it's more important in the later act, but now lets get to Spike's situation, which is being trapped by the Nightmare Forces and watching them crush the Fire Ruby of his loved one (keep the word love in mind...cause they sure made sure you wouldn't forget ). However Spike gets away, in probably one of the smartest and funniest ways ever. He gets the snails to form into his shape and the dumbass gaurds never notice he got away. So he picks up the shards and places them in a hankerchief in the style of Rarity's cutie mark (which came out of nowhere since it wasn't shown in the other chapters :P) and goes to the prison where the others are captive. Only problem is how they're gonna get out.
Well Pinkie has the answer...she had a key hidden in her hair...wait...are you **&^(# kidding me!! Okay, I'm convinced now...it's no longer the writers fault that Pinkie sucked in season 3, it's Pinkie's fault...her character is retarded, or at least in this scene. If she had the key the whole time, why didn't you give it to the others instead of Deus Exing the story you idiot! This isn't a jokey situation where everything is all rainbows and sunshine, Spike was flung halfway across the moon and Rarity is being possessed. I think that calls for some seriousness for a minute you freaking retard! Pinkie's character is really getting on my nerves at the moment and because she pulled of such a BS resolution, I'm gonna have to watch Party.Mov, the one where she whores herself out, in order to get over this.
But moving on...we get down to the villagers getting ready for battle and with Luna sporting a battle armor. Of course Celestia doesn't wear one cause she doesn't need it right? She'll be fine without right?? But anyways, NMR (Nightmare Rarity) comes and Luna's fears remanifest itself as she fights her. On the other hand you have the entire village fighting these creatures in epic harmony! The Cakes (who fight them with cooking utensils and to be honest was pretty funny), Big Macintosh, Zecora (being so chill with it she carries one in a bottle XD), Trixie, Babs Seed, Granny....
Whoa whoa whoa!! What the hell are Trixie and Babs doing there? Even if this is in line with Season 3, Trixie high tailed it out of the city right after she got beaten and apologized. And Babs lives in Manehatten, so for her to be there convienantely is confusing as hell! Guys, you shouldn't put characters in just for cameos if they don't belong. Don't try to do the Hasbro thing and pander; stick to what you've been doing, cameos where it mattered and not forced.
So Luna gets beaten by NMR because she let her fears get the best of her and gets thrown into the ground. No I'm not kidding, she gets slammed into the ground with force. If the beam that blew a crater into the earth would have hit her, she would have been dead. Oh, and notice how I haven't said what Celestia has done yet. Well frankely...IT'S CAUSE SHE DIDN'T DO SQUAT! All she did was cover her sister and give her the "you're one of us now. You are forgiven," peptalk, which the CMC and Trixie also said, so it wasn't like it was anything special. But soon, riding along with the newly reformed retarded guard from before (with a new look no less) comes Team 7...I mean The Mane Ninjas...I mean, Team Mane 7: Retrieval Sasu...I mean...you know what, yeah I meant what I said. This whole setup is something you would probably see in a Naruto setup, right down to the whole friendship setup that caused this guard to turn good in the first place. Speaking of which...it's time for the resolution.
They somehow learned how to use their elemental magic without having the elements on them. While I want to call BS, I was willing to suspend my disbelief this once since wierder things did happen in the actual show. Though this ability would have certainly helped in The Return of Harmony. They start getting through to Rarity and begin to destroy the barrier, leaving only Spike to do what he needs to do...I will let this next panel speak for itself.
Yeah, do I need to even say anything about that. Though this brings me to one small thing; if Spike has magical abilities without the need of Twilight, and it seems to be driven by love and affection (the same thing that reverted his magic growth in SoME), doesn't that make Spike not only the only magical dragon known so far, but also the Element of Love. Well Cadance, you best be finding a different source of income, cause you just got put out of a job :3 (btw please explore Spike's so called dragon powers, in both the comic and show). So we get a resolution to the event, Rarity comes through explaining her fears, and even Luna copes with hers, so it's a happy ending all around as Shadowfright (I mean Larry) and his Hetero Life Partner take the main antagonist who reverted back into that weird demon bunny that Fluttershy found.
As an issue, this one was probably the weakest in writing and pacing. This should have been a six issue arc, and needed more time to develop situations, kind of how the Archie Sonic comics try to do. This felt like the writers saw that issue 4 was next and were like "Oh crap! We got to cram the rest of this story in 25 pages!!". I also found some of the dialogue being poorly written. I found it hard to take the whole thing seriously when half the time, the drama was solved by "friendship" or those clique speeches you get in an anime; any sort of remorse and sadness I was supposed to feel for Luna was sucked out because of the dialogue. Not to say this issue was terrible; it did follow well with the already nice Nightmare Force arc; and the battle, as well as that epic Sparity moment, more then made up for it's short comings IMO. Bottom line, this was the weakest installment and therefore made the saga suffer, forcing the first arc to be better, but it was still good and...dare I say it...still better than half of the episodes in Season 3. A 3/5; the whole saga gets a 4/5.
So that was the review, but now it's time for our discussion topic. I'll do these in each issue to keep a conversation going, and this one is...
When the Hell is Celestia Going to Do Stuff?
It's kind of embarrasing when the CMCs do are more helpful then a celestial being. Celestia contributed practically nothing this issue, which was kind of off putting. Here I was, expecting her and her sister fighting this force side by side, making sure each were protected. But no, she watches Luna and the others fight eating a bag of popcorn. This is unforgivable to me...I can understand defenses on her banishing Luna to the moon; I can understand her inactivity in Return of Harmony until the very end; I can understand her getting her flank handed to her by Chrysalis; but what I will never understand is how someone...who claims to love her people...just stands there, looks pretty, and doesn't lift a finger! She's basically the Sakura of the series: she's said to have a crap load of abilities and usefullness, but never uses them, or displays them. And as fun as it is making fun of her lack of participation at all, it's starting to get old (older than Pinkie's jokes), and I think most agree. I honestly would love for the writing team to take Celestia on a complete U-Turn and make her a likable character, but they aren't doing that with her. So what do you guys think should be done about this:
Well, like last time, feel free to give me your thoughts and input on this issue and my thoughts on Celestia's actions (or inactions to be more accurate) and just what you thought of the issue. Hope you enjoyed reading this, and I'll see you in some other discussion. Now because I'm a sucker for this ship...here's the piece that pretty much set it in stone...again.
Note: Before I get someone who pays more attention to small details then I do, yes I know they made a fart joke involving Rarity/NMR...but it was so subtle and pointless, I didn't think there was much of a reason to point it out....