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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) Annual 2017

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You know they've brought out the big guns when Cheese Sandwich has his rubber chicken at the ready.
Written by Jeremy Whitley and Christina Rice, Art by Andy Price, Tony Fleecs, and Jay Fosgitt, Coloring by Heather Breckel
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Guardians of Harmony

The book consists of six different stories tied into a larger narrative about an attack of Queen Chrysalis and the changelings against Equestria.

  • "Shadowbolts" (Story by Jeremy Whitley, Art by Andy Price) - When Queen Chrysalis attacks the Crystal Empire, Rainbow Dash races off to join up with the Wonderbolts knowing they'll be at the call. However, on the way, she is intercepted by two Shadowbolts, who dare her to race them and if she fails to win, she would be forced to join them. Rainbow Dash manages to outwit the pair, and they crash into each other. Rainbow finds out the two are actually changelings, sent off to purposely waylay Rainbow from engaging in the fight.
  • "Pinkie Pie" (Story by Christina Rice, Art by Tony Fleecs) - Twilight Sparkle has secretly arranged for Cheese Sandwich to arrange Pinkie Pie's birthday party, but word of the changeling attack comes, and Twilight flies off to try to protect Ponyville. Pinkie happens by, and Cheese attempts to make up stories why he's there, letting Pinkie be absorbed by his rubber-chicken cannon. While she's distracted, changelings abduct Cheese and take his place, but she quickly sees through their ploy, and uses Cheese's cannon to rescue him.
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  • "Shining Armor" (Story by Jeremy Whitley, Art by Tony Fleecs) - In the Crystal Empire, Princess Cadance has erected a force field to protect the empire from the changelings, but leaving Shining Armor with little to do. He takes after his sister and starts research in the library, discovering that Princess Amore left a secret laboratory in the crystal caves under the castle which contains a potential weapon to use against the changelings. In the caves, he is tempted by a figure of Fluttershy, which was put in place by Amore to test the resolve of these seeking her laboratory. A image of Amore speaks to Shining that he passed the test, and shows him the way to the laboratory, where he finds a strange vial of fluid with the image of a dragon in it.
  • "Twilight Sparkle" (Story by Jeremy Whitley, Art by Andy Price) - Twilight intercepts Lyra as she fends off a changeling posing as her in front of Bon-Bon. Twilight finds her castle's map is calling her, and the trio race back to the castle, and Spike informs Twilight that the map is pointed them to the upper halls of the castle. There, behind a door that was previously unlocked, Twilight finds the Armor of Friendship, which had the ability for her to detect a disguised changeling and scoop them up. Twilight quickly dons the armor and she and Spike set off to remove the changeling threat from Ponyville.
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  • "Wonderbolts" (Story by Jeremy Whitley, Art by Jay Fosgitt) - Princess Celestia summons Spitfire and Soarin' to round up the Wonderbolts and take off to defend the Crystal Empire. With the other Wonderbolts scattered around, Spitfire realizes there's little time and tells Soarin' to gather the troops while she flies back to Wonderbolt headquarters to get some equipment. With the other Wonderbolts gathered, except for Rainbow Dash, Spitfire shows them special gliders that will all help them achieve sonic rainboom speeds to reach the Crystal Empire in time. The Wonderbolts arrive and quickly put an end to the threat there.
  • "Big Spike" (Story by Christina Rice, Art by Jay Fosgitt) - Shining Armor has raced from the Crystal Empire to Ponyville with the vial just as Queen Chrysalis and the changeling make their final push. Spike recognizes the dragon symbol on it, but Twilight decides that she should try the potion. The potion gives her great magic powers that allows her to grant her friends and her brother special armor to fight off the changelings, and they easily fend off a first wave. But with more pressure coming, Spike convinces Twilight to use the potion's magic on him. Her magic causes Spike to become Big Spike and his size and fire breath quickly put an end to the changeling threat.

This issue provides examples of:

  • Big Bad: Queen Chrysalis.
  • Covers Always Lie: Despite appearing on the cover, Nightmare Moon never appears in this comic.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Guardians of Harmony is tied in with a Hasbro toy line of the same name, which includes articulated figures aimed less at fashion and hair-brushing as part of an action-oriented, gender-neutral push for the franchise. As such, the stories are very toyetic.

Alternative Title(s): My Little Pony Guardians Of Harmony

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