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Comic Book / My Little Pony: The Movie Prequel

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My Little Pony: The Movie Prequel is exactly what it sounds like: a limited comic book series that serves as a "prequel" to My Little Pony: The Movie. It is published by IDW Publishing, and is written and illustrated by Ted Anderson and Andy Price, respectively. The comic spans four issues, each shedding light on one of the new characters featured in the film: The Storm King, Captain Celaeno, Capper, and Tempest Shadow.

The series was first unveiled in March of 2017, and was released from June through September that same year. See also The Stormy Road to Canterlot, another "prequel" and junior readers' novel that adapts and expands Tempest's issue.


This series provides examples of these tropes (for more, please also visit the character guide):

  • Affably Evil: The Storm King's forces, particularly Grubber and especially the king himself, are all relatively laid-back and chummy to each other, even while they're bringing Abyssinia to its knees.
  • The Artful Dodger: Chummer and Capper were both street orphans in Abyssinia and managed to thrive on stealing from street vendors. Chummer is perfectly happy with the idea of doing this for the rest of his life, to the point where he abandons his best friend just for suggesting they settle down somewhere for once.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Misfortune Malachite is a magical gemstone that features in all four issues, and is stated to bring disaster upon those who use it. While it's never explicitly shown, it's implied to be the driving force of conflict throughout the story, since everything bad that happens to the characters only happens after they get a hold of the Malachite. In the final issue, the Storm King reasons it's more trouble than it's worth and smashes it.
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  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Misfortune Malachite is both very powerful and very valuable... but it'll also backfire on you sooner or later. The Storm King comes to agree with the "Impractical" part, leading to him just destroying it instead of recklessly trying to harness it anymore.
  • Benevolent Boss: For an evil overlord, the Storm King treats his invasion force amicably well, planning to throw them a pizza party or a hat-themed holiday out of appreciation for their hard work. As he reveals later on, however, he only treats them well because they're his faithful servants, and doesn't once think of them as his friends.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the first page of Issue #1, the Storm King interrupts the narrator for trying to tell his story, and turns the page all on his own so he can do it himself.
  • The Cameo:
    • As with all of Andy Price's pony comics, one can see the Observer pony (based on Fringe) watching events unfold.
    • In the pages of the Stork King's diary, there's language "King Loves Chrysalis", and a "SK/QC" marking on the front.
  • Cat Folk: Abyssinia, which was first fleetingly mentioned in season 4's "Three's a Crowd", is revealed to be a country of cat people where Capper and his friend Chummer hail from.
  • Continuity Nod: Capper's hometown, Absynnia, is first mentioned in the show in "Three's A Crowd" when Discord wants pastries from there.
  • Covers Always Lie: The main trade paperback cover (pictured above) shows nearly every major character that appears in the movie, both from the show and those introduced in the film. However, only a handful of the show's characters actually appear in the comic during a brief Imagine Spot in Issue #4, while Princess Skystar and Queen Novo are absent entirely.
  • Create Your Own Hero: A rather indirect version. Through his sacking of Abyssinia, the Storm King causes the events that led to Capper being stranded in Klurgetown. This in turn leads him to later encounter and team up with the Mane 6 to fight the Storm King.
  • Downer Ending: Issues #2 and #3. In the former, the Storm King catches up to Celaeno and her crew and repays their insubordination by putting them to work on his dingy cargo ships, eventually breaking their spirits. In the latter, Capper's hopes of finally settling down and quitting his life as a thief are dashed when his own best friend betrays and abandons him in their last job, leaving him in serious debt to the guy they tried to scam.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Strife, the Storm King's original second-in-command, has no problem betraying and abandoning the Storm King as soon as his master's plans no longer align with his own. Whatever those plans may be, however, the Storm King punishes him before he can make good on them.
  • Easter Egg: In the second issue, Mullet is wearing what looks suspiciously like Celestia's tiara while the pirates are celebrating the treasure they stole from the Storm King. Shortly after, a barrel and crate are visible marked, respectively, "Long John" and "Silver".
  • Et Tu, Brute?:
    • Despite going on about avoiding friendships to avoid being betrayed, the Storm King is still shocked and angered when Strife gives him away to the pirates, because friendship or not, he still gave Strife his trust.
    • Capper is likewise devastated when his companion Chummer leaves him in Klugetown when he refuses to give up a life of thievery. So much so that when Verko accuses his friend of betraying both of them, Capper coldly says Chummer was never his friend.
  • The Fagin: Verko claims that "every lowlife, knave, and villain who ever picked a pocket" in Klugetown answers to him.
  • Fantastic Racism: Subverted. Celaeno at first looks less than thrilled to find Capper and Chummer stowed away on her newly commandeered airship, on account of them being cats while her whole crew is nothing but birds. But then she drops all pretenses of prejudice and happily offers them spots in her crew.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: The Storm King is obsessed with finding all sorts of magical artifacts to strengthen his rule, but he hardly believes in the curse the Misfortune Malachite is said to inflict on those who hold it. After nearly suffering from the curse and seeing the ruin it could bring, however, he's convinced enough in its power to take no chances and crush it in his fist.
  • Idiot Ball: Despite being aware of the Misfortune Malachite's reputation, Verko's still Greedy enough to want to trade for it. Sure enough, he ends up ruined alongside Capper and Chummer.
  • Lack of Empathy: Despite showing no interest in actually ruling Abyssinia, the Storm King casually leaves the country in a state of financial ruin without batting an eye, even acting like he's doing its citizens a favor by leaving them alone.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Soon after betraying Capper, Chummer loses "their" airship and is forced to invoke Screw This, I'm Outta Here! with nothing — just like how he left Capper.
  • Love Is a Weakness: The Storm King has a speech about friendship to this exact effect:
    Storm King: Friendship is a weakness. A liability. Friends distract you. Make you weak. Friends can betray you, make you forget your goals. I have soldiers, commanders, workers—but no friends. Which means nobody will ask me to sacrifice my ambitions. My goals are my own.
  • MacGuffin: The Misfortune Malachite drives the stories in each issue, with the Storm King, Captain Celaeno, Capper and Tempest all vying to use it for their own ends.
  • Message in a Bottle: In Issue #2, Celaeno receives the same kind of magical, holographic message in a bottle used between Tempest and the Storm King in the film.
  • A Mother to Her Men: Celaeno explicitly refers to her crew as a family, and refuses to risk their safety until she finds a suitable payload for them all. It's for this reason she refuses the Storm King's offer to be his new second-in-command, instead joining them as lowly cargo haulers.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: No surprises with Strife, who serves as The Dragon to the Storm King and turns out to be a turncoat.
  • Pragmatic Evil: The Storm King doesn't want to take over the countries he invades (taxes, politics, bleh...). He quite happily leaves those who surrender to him unharmed, he treats his minions well, he avoids emotional attachments, and is especially interested in not only money, but artifacts he can use to increase his power. And in the end, he even destroys the Misfortune Malachite altogether — despite initially wanting it as a potential weapon — simply because its Necessary Drawback is just too much trouble.
  • Prequel: The series as a whole serves as one for the 2017 My Little Pony movie, in a loose sense of the word.note 
  • Sacred Hospitality: Celaeno feels compelled to offer Capper and Chummer positions on her crew, food, and a bath, since they're stowaways far from home.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Storm King's advisor is a cloud named "Strife".
    • One of the Abyssinians in Issue #1 is modeled after Tom of Tom and Jerry fame.
    • The two minions idly chatting in the beginning of Issue #2 are named "Ralph and Sam" after the two obscure Looney Tunes characters Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog.
    • The cover art for issue 4 is a take on the poster for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and it even ends with a And the Adventure Continues tagline riffing on the actual tagline for that movie.
    • After Chummer and Capper crash their airship, they pass a life buoy from the S.S. Minnow.
  • Shown Their Work: Capper and Chummer are Abyssinian cats and described as "kids" by Celaeno. When Celaeno picks up Chummer by the scruff of his neck, he immediately becomes docile, just like a real kitten when picked up by its mother.
  • Those Two Guys: The comic opens with two Storm Creatures called Ralph and Sam drolly chatting the afternoon away and the fact that they're about to be boarded by pirates.
  • Villain Episode: Issues #1 and #4 focus on the Big Bad and The Dragon of the movie, respectively.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Celaeno receives a message in a bottle from someone offering up the Storm King's convoy on a platter. To her credit, Celaeno has some doubts about this, but is talked into it by her crew.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Strife and Chummer — two significant characters in the comic — end up disappearing from the story with no clear answer of what becomes of them, since they're never mentioned again in the movie. In Strife's case, he's literally kicked off Celaeno's ship by the Storm King, but he can float so it's unclear if the fall makes much difference. As for Chummer, a trail of pawprints can be seen leading away from the wreckage of his crashed airship after he ditched Capper, however it's unknown whether or not he survive in the desert long enough to find civilization.
    • There's also Rambler, an Earth pony who helps distract the Storm King's forces long enough for tempest to escape. While Tempest herself doesn't get very far before running into the Storm King, we never find if Rambler was captured or managed to escape himself.
  • Would Hit a Girl: The Storm King puts Celaeno in a pretty nasty choke hold after she manages to let Capper and Chummer escape.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: The Storm King's default plan is pretty basic ("Loot a kingdom, then rinse and repeat"), yet his Pragmatic Evil helps him quickly subvert any setbacks.

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