As of one and a half months before the launch, pre-orders for Issue #1 have already exceeded 90,000 copies, out selling the likes of Uncanny X-Men, Spider-Man, Green Lantern, and Detective Comics. In a medium that has lost touch with children and non-superhero fans, this is a valuable development.
Now they sold 100,000.
For all single issue comics sold in 2012, the first issue came in at #90 on the best sellers for the year. May not seem that impressive but consider that it, along with The Walking Dead #100 (which came in first), were the only two non-DC, non-Marvel books to break the top 100 list, and was IDW's best-selling book.
Individual issues of both the main and micro series continue to be in the top 100 of single issues sold each month through June 2013 (the Fluttershy micro so far has been one to fail to do so) and continue to be IDW's top selling series.
The Return of Queen Chrysalis (Issues #1-4)
The changeling fight in the first issue has some great moments.
A Funny Background Event shows that Spike set a changeling on fire... only to make it angry and start chasing him!
Fluttershy scaring a whole group of changelings with "The Stare".
Rarity and Pinkie Pie whipping up duplicates of the whole Mane Six to get past a troll. Followed by Pinkie getting him to take care of a giant spider.
In issue 4, Twilight Sparkle gets to fight Queen Chrysalis head-on. Considering all the misery that the Changeling Queen inflicted on her while posing as Cadance during the Season 2 finale, this is quite satisfying to watch.
Granted, Chrysalis gets her own moments to shine, such as the Hannibal Lecture that she delivers during the first part of the battle:
Queen Chrysalis: Love is fickle. Love can change. Love can be consumed, and the leftovers of a heart spit out like a seed....and above all, love will not save you today.
Then, when it turns out that Twilight has destructive magic spells that Chrysalis doesn't know—and, even if she absorbed Twilight's magic, wouldn't be able to use since she doesn't have Twilight's knowledge— the Changeling Queen shows her hand at Xanatos Speed Chess by forcing a Sadistic Choice on Twilight: surrender and become her thrall, or watch her friends be drained into lifeless husks by her minions. If it hadn't been for Twilight's Heroic Second Wind and her being equally empowered by the Secretariat Comet, Queen Chrysalis might have won.
Of course, when Twilight's Heroic Second Wind kicks in, she's able to duel Chrysalis, a villainess who was on par with Celestia, on equal footing. Not to mention that she ended up winning!
At the climax of that fierce confrontation, Twilight finally defeats Chrysalis by hitting her with a magical blast that blows up half the freaking castle!
Lest we forget the Badass Boast that Twilight delivers to Chrysalis right before that happens:
Of course, as the Season 3 finale reveals, she was destined to become an Alicorn. The magic-boosting properties of the Secretariat Comet may have allowed her to tap into her latent potential.
And prior to all that? When Chrysalis first sees how devastating Twilight's magical blasts can become, her wide-eyed reaction is epic.
Chrysalis: How...did you...?
This scene ties into how Twilight was able to defeat Chrysalis. They were both empowered by the Secretariat Comet, but Twilight knew magic spells that Chrysalis didn't. Even if Chrysalis had managed to steal Twilight's magical energy, she wouldn't have been able to use the same destructive spells as Twilight. In the end, she underestimated Twilight, and it led to her downfall.
All the epicness Spike and Celestia (and Luna, though we weren't shown her heroics) were up to that prevented them from helping sooner. Few things in this world are as glorious as the image of Spike, with an eyepatch, riding Celestia into battle with giant magically enhanced cockatrices.
Spike: It was awesome. I had a trident!
Nightmare Forces Arc (Issues #5-8)
The Mane 5 overcoming their fears on the moon are all awesome in their own way, but Pinkie Pie gets a special mention by overcoming her nightmare through pure ham.
Pinkie: I am the MOST laughter-giving, fun-having, friend-making pony ever! YOU HAVE NO POWER OVER ME!
And, showmare that she is, follows up with a mic drop.
In Issue #7, Spike overcoming the dream made by Nightmare Rarityon his own.
The preview cover of Issue #8: Luna in golden armor leading a Big Damn Heroes team that includes the Wonderbolts, Derpy, Big Macintosh, Doctor Whooves, DJ Pon-3, Trixie, Lightning Dust, a Day Guard, a Night Guard and Wildfire.
And the issue itself delivers exactly what the cover hinted at. Most of the characters have their moment whether it's taking on the Nightmare Forces or bravely standing side-by-side with Celestia and Luna. Probably the most notable moment has to be when one of the Nightmare Forces hovering over a helpless Angel Bunny only to realize too late that he fell into Angel's trap with the help of the Cutie Mark Crusaders (Including Babs Seed), Cheerilee, Twist, Snips, Snails, and all the mane six's pets.
Or perhaps Granny Smith showing her martial arts skills, or Octavia going all El Kabong with her cello.
Since the beginning of the arc, Luna has been consumed with sorrow and fear that she will fall to the dark side again. How do you know she means it when she says she's truly gotten over her fear? For the first time in the arc, she transforms from her Season 1 appearance to her Season 2-onward appearance. Simple, yet awesome.
Spike managing to Out Gambit the Nightmare Forces into leaving him behind to free the mane six by making a dummy of himself out of moon slugs.
How about pretty much everything Spike does? From managing to outwit the Nightmare Forces multiple times using nothing but a bunch of slugs to delivering the final blow on Nightmarity, Spike proves throughout this arc what was already hinted at in The Crystal Empire Part 2 - that he can full well be awesome when push comes to shove.
Zen and the Art of Gazebo Repair (Issues #9-10)
No challenge is too great for the pairing of Luna and Big Mac!
Celestia beating Big Mac in a hoof-wrestling challenge.
Neigh Anything (Issues #11-12)
Shining Armor's band's performance gave Vinyl Scratch her cutie mark, it was that epic.
Admit it, the way Buck was taken down a few notches, in front of the whole dang academy, was bucking AWESOME, and SUPREMELY satisfying. Bonus points to Shining Armor, since he was the one to deal the final blow to Buck's ego.
My Little Pirate - Friendship Ahoy (Issues #13-14)
Rainbow Dash shows that if she was a real pirate, no one would be safe, as she easily disarms a whole group of them.
The Bookworm Saga (Issues #15-16)Reflections (Issues #17-20)
The fact that, per Andy Price, this arc was considered "bad ass" by the show's current frontrunner, Meghan McCarthy.
A bit of a meta-example: we finally get to see Star Swirl the Bearded, albeit in flashback form...and it turns out that he was Celestia's confidant!
What you think is King Sombra was shown at the end of the first part of the arc. It wasn't - the mirror-universe Sombra is a Cultured Warrior and The Good King. What was staring out of that Mirror Universe was an evil Celestia.
Evil Luna pats Twilight's horn and condescendingly asks what she's going to do with it. Twilight shocks her.
In the alternate universe, Trixie became an alicorn.
Twilight coming up with a plan to capture the mirror Luna and Celestia without harming the main versions.
Main!Celestia and Dark!Celestia finally facing off. Main!Celestia finally displays her full power - wreathing herself in starfire - before uncorking an all-out, suicidal attack on Dark!Celestia. She's only stopped when Good!Sombra isolates them both.
After the attempt to seal the evil Celestia fails, Sombra proves that, like our originial Celestia, he has the strength of will and character to use all six Elements of Harmony. What does he use them for? To more or less sacrifice himself to restore balance to both worlds, taking all the evil of Dark!Celestia and Dark!Luna into himself to make all three of them like their main universe counterparts. In doing so, he loses his love, his position as ruler, and is probably going to lose his sanity in the future like the main universe!Sombra, but he does it without a single twitch of hesitation.
Manehatten Mysteries Arc (Issues #21-22)
Trixie's show was pretty impressive, even if Applejack didn't much care for it.
Trixie and the gang escaping from the police.
The gang sneaking into the museum.
Babs figuring out that Rough Diamond is Officer Fluffles.
Angel rallying all the pets into saving Ponyville with a quite complex battle plan. It'll be hard to keep calling him The Scrappy after this.
Seeing Twilight and Rarity hoof-bump after showing off the superiority of the unicorn race. Maybe a little braggish in front of Rainbow, but still awesome to remember that Rarity's no weakling when it comes to magic.
AJ figuring out how to get past Twilight's moral code to allow her to use her magic directly against the Cattle Rustlers.