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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW) Issue 1 to 4

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The Return of Queen Chrysalis

Written by Katie Cook, Drawn by Andy Price, Colored by Heather Breckel

The Cutie Mark Crusaders are fillynapped by Queen Chrysalis, under the guise of an invasion of Changelings across Ponyville! The Mane Six quickly defeat the underlings and rescue the rest of the town, but find that Chrysalis has taken the fillies to her distant lair, and challenges the Mane Six to come rescue them in three days' time. Unknown to the trio, Queen Chrysalis, having taken over "Wuvy-Dovey Smoochy Land" after being ejected from Canterlot after "A Canterlot Wedding", and using the endless love of its cute cat-like critters to feed herself and her minions, now seeks to gain Twilight Sparkle's magic, using the CMC to lure her there.

With Princess Celestia out of pocket, Twilight Sparkle and her friends set off to rescue the fillies, with Twilight worried that Chrysalis' deadline just happens to correspond with the passing of the Secretariat Comet. Traveling through an abandoned Diamond Dog mine, Chrysalis sets her Changelings to split the six into pairs and then create resentment between them through the mimicking abilities. Though the Six regroup and defeat a pack of giant spiders before exiting the cave, the damage has been done, as the three pairs split off in separate directions to rescue the CMC. Each pair runs into its own sets of problems: a giant chupacabra, pony-eating jackalopes, and blood-sucking giant flowers, and as they all escape these, they run back into each other, letting their predators fight for dominance. After a series of apologies - and an ad hoc cake break from Pinkie - they continue towards Queen Chrysalis.

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They finally make it to the Queen's castle and meet Chrysalis face to face. Queen Chrysalis traps Twilight's friends into her cocoons and challenges Twilight to either join her as her student in dark magic, or to have her minions kill her friends and the Crusaders. Twilight realizes she can't fight Chrysalis and opts to let her friends go, but this is further part of the Queen's trap - to now consume her love and control Twilight's magic for herself. As the Secretariat Comet passes overhead, both Twilight and the Queen feel a surge in their magical abilities, and fight each other with magic. Twilight succeeds after recalling how much the love of her friends means to her, allowing her to overwhelm the Queen with a powerful burst of magic that bests the Queen.

The Mane Six rescue the Crusaders and regroup outside the castle, along with the arrival of the battle-damaged Princess Celestia and Spike. Celestia apologizes for not being there sooner as she and Spike had to defend Canterlot from a horde of giant magical cocktrices which also tried using the comet's magic surge to cause trouble. As they all relate their tales, Chrysalis finds herself locked inside their castle, and having to deal with her minions entranced by Pinkie's animated costume silliness.

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These issues contain examples of:

  • Abandoned Mine: The Mane 6 travel through one to begin their journey to the Changeling Kingdom.
  • Adult Fear: The series kicks off with the Cutie Mark Crusaders up to their usual adorable shenanigans, trying to get their cutie marks in Fluttershy's backyard... and then they get attacked by animals. It's also implied they were the only ones to bear sole witness to the ghastly death of a luvcat at the hands of Queen Chrysalis. Thankfully it was off-screen, but still...
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Not related to Equestria, but this happens to the uber cute kingdom of cat people that Chrysalis and the Changelings land in after getting blown across the sky in A Canterlot Wedding. They promptly twist the place into their own image and drain the populace of their love, indicating that the Changeling Kingdom we've seen in the comic isn't the original. By the time the Mane 6 have gotten to the Queen at the start of issue #4, all that's left are green-goop-covered homes and solitary heart-shaped greetings on the ground.
  • Always Someone Better: Upon seeing the sheer power Twilight possesses, Chrysalis immediately declares she wants Twilight to be her apprentice.
  • And Call Him "George"!: The cave troll in #2. It's even lampshaded.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!:
    Scootaloo: She was all "I'mma' getchoo Twilight! And your little pony friends too"!
  • Anvil on Head: The first issue's third page has a 100 weight that was apparently dropped by Bulk Bicepsnote , prompting an "OUCH!" from the pony underneath and laughter from a pony in a doorway nearby.
  • Art Shift: Issue #3 starts with a quick summary of the previous two issues in a 50's style sepia-tone and slightly simpler-draw ponies, ala the educational film from "Hurricane Fluttershy".
    • Parodied by the end of the issue: in the same sepia style, Spike provides a cliffhanger dialog, and then Angel flips a switch, reverting the art style back to normal.
  • Ascended Meme: Issue #1's synopsis uses the fan-coined term "Mane Six" (already more than a Fan Nickname due to being used on a couple of licensed shirts, but this further elevates the term).
    • Upon being confronted by Chrysalis, Applejack and Rarity are quick to insult her, and reference the meme of Chrysalis having swiss-cheese legs.
    • And of course Derpy's in the comic (though not named), including being lured into a trap by a trail of muffins. Furthermore, when one of the Changelings changes into Derpy, its companion is forced to bonk it on its head to get the derped eyes just right.
      • In issue 2, one of the spiders is gray, has a bit of blond hair, one set of its two pairs of eyes in a wall-eyes fashion, and has a pattern of bubbles on its rear section.
      • At the end of issue 4, one of the Changelings surrounding Chrysalis is also derping, firmly staring into space.
  • Badass Mustache: Spike and Angel in the flashback at the start of issue #3.
  • Berserk Button: While Fluttershy's comes up again, we find that it's never a good idea to talk about bad fashion in front of Rarity.
  • Artistic License – Biology: In-Universe example: Sweetie Belle thought that teeth grew back. They do. Once, after your baby teeth fall out.
  • Batman Gambit: Queen Chrysalis tricks the Mane Six into getting into a huge argument, knowing full well that they will inevitably reconcile and strengthen their bond, thereby giving the Changelings more energy to feed on, and making Twilight's magic more powerful for when she needs to drain it.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: The Changelings do this to the Mane Six in issue #2, and Queen Chrysalis even mentions this in issue #3. By the end of issue #3, though, they're back together. Chrysalis claims that the fact that they're back together actually helps her in the long run.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The Changeling castle seems to have an interior inspired by an Escher painting.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: As the ponies set off for Changeling territory at the end of issue 1, Pinkie wonders if they'll encounter ninjas, monkeys, or monkey ninjas along the way.
  • Brick Joke: Angel is seen buying a moustache on a stick in the large full page spread in Issue #1. Why doesn't become apparent until Issue #3, where he's using it as part of the Art Shift narrative with Spike.
  • Buffy Speak: Sweetie Belle to Queen Chrysalis in #4:
    Sweetie Belle: And you'll never be able to take away Twilight's magic, she's a bajillion times the... magical... pony... thing... you are!
  • Canon Immigrant: Toyline ponies Sweetcream Scoops and Sugar Grape cameo as background ponies.
  • Captain Ersatz: What civilizations lie outside Equestria, a place based on the My Little Pony franchise? Well, you might expect something like Care Bears...
  • Chekhov's Gun: Parodied. Pinkie claims that since she lugged those "bulky" costumes all the way from Ponyville, they ''have'' to be useful at some point in the quest. While Rainbow's costume never serves a meaningful purpose, Pinkie's costume is animated to keep an eye on the Changelings after their defeat.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Pinkie finds the cave troll and has him save the others from a group of giant spiders.
  • Comet of Doom: The Secretariat Comet will be passing the Horsehead Nebula in three days, an astronomical event said to effect every magical being in Equestria.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The CMC have been fillynapped! What's the first thing they think about? Whether or not they get "fillynapped" cutie marks. Queen Chrysalis even considers revising her opinion that trolls are the stupidest creatures alive after putting up with their constant chatter for a while.
    • In #2, Twilight is more impressed by how large a cave troll is instead of any possible threat the troll represents.
    • When Rarity faces the Phantom Pony of the Opera in the changeling castle, she is more disturbed by the prospect of dating a basement-dwelling musician than anything.
    • Sweetie Belle is more upset about Chrysalis being boring than her being a threat to their lives.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Wild Fire, the pony avatar of series storyboard artist Sabrina "Sibsy" Alberghetti, appears in issue #1.
    • The troll in issue #2, named Jim in story, is based on Jim Miller.
  • Crystal Ball: Queen Chrysalis used one to communicate with the Mane 6, telling them to confront her in three days. It even provides a map. And functions as a means of surveillance for Chrysalis.
  • Darkest Hour: The second issue ends with the Mane Six parting ways and continuing their journey separately.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Princess Celestia is unavailable because she is preparing for the comet, because if she weren't the plot would be resolved in five minutes.
  • Divide and Conquer: The changelings separate the group with a cave-in and start causing feud between them through the use of disguises and personal insults.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Though on a much smaller scale. Queen Chrysalis hijacks Spike's fire-mail line to Princess Celestia to deliver a crystal ball to the Mane 6, which serves as a two-way video conference and a map.
  • Door Roulette: In the castle, Chrysalis challenges the Mane 6 to find her behind one of the many doors. The other doors contain a slew of movie Shout Outs, such as a Monster Clown or a pony Phantom of the Opera.
  • Drunk on Malts: Rainbow Dash explains that her memory of the wedding is hazy after having Pinkie's Tutti-Frutti Sherbet Sugar Punch. (It contains seven parts of sugar for every part of fruit!)
  • Duck!: Rainbow Dash tells Fluttershy to duck and she thinks ducks are around.
  • Emotion Eater: While it's been known that Changelings feed on love, issue #3 shows how they actually do so: they just suck the green, gaseous life miasma right out of the victim's body.
  • Evil Gloating: Chrysalis does this a lot, and express annoyance when anything interferes with it.
  • Exact Words: Chrysalis promises Twilight that she would not hurt or drain her friends if Twilight promises to become Chrysalis's apprentice. However, Chrysalis never said Twilight couldn't be made to hurt them.
    • The riddle door asked the Mane 6 if they could answer its riddle. Pinkie got entrance by saying she couldn't.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: During the battle with the Changelings, Rarity styles Pinkie's hair to look like hers in order to tell her apart from the Changelings who have taken Pinkie's form.
    • In the second issue, Pinkie's hair deflates after a Changeling takes the shape of one of her friends and convinces her they all consider her annoying.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Worn by Spike; see "In the Interim" short below.
  • For Inconvenience, Press "1": Twilight's attempt to reach Celestia only to get a letter back, which reads like an automated message, explaining she's away.
    Twilight: I've been...form lettered!
  • Foreshadowing: During issue #4, Chrysalis comments that while she can drain emotions or take new forms, Twilight posses an ability and knowledge she doesn't have. Love? No, it's the power of devastation.
    • A possible one can be seen on the first issue, when the mysterious stallion that always appears to watch important events can be seen watching Time Turner, who's holding a fob watch and looking at it with an alarmed expression. Knowing that this is a Pony Observer (based on the TV show Fringe), where the Observers are sentient of the future, this further hints that something bad may be afoot. 8 issues later, a Meaningful Background Event shows Time Turner holding the same watch and freaking up about how "the watch is him!" on a Doctor Who nod.
  • Funny Background Event: Yep, even the tie-in comic has these.
    • Issue #1:
      • In the first splash page, a poor background pony falls victim to an Anvil on Head (see above).
      • Same issue, look closely during the Changelings battle when Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy are talking and you'll notice Spike running away from a Changeling he just set on fire.
      • While Spike is horking up Queen Chrysalis' message after the changeling battle, Pinkie Pie can be seen re-inflating her mane to its normal wild curliness (much to the chagrin of Rarity, who had styled it during the battle).
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: On the map page of Issue #2, there's a location known as Gelding Grotto.
  • Giant Spider: Giant spiders inhabit the cave in issue #2, ranging from pony-sized to as big as elephants.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Chrysalis grabs one of the luvcats and taunts the CMC for their "innocence". What she does with the luvcat in the following panel is never shown, but the splattered black amongst the blank white panel, the "THUMP" and the CMC's screams makes it clear that it is for the best.
    • In the same issue, right after Fluttershy points out a natural species rivalry in the monsters that were chasing the ponies, the ponies (except her) look epically horrified while said monsters presumably disembowel each other just off-panel.
    Fluttershy: Nature is so fascinating...
  • Hammerspace: Rainbow Dash is incredulous of where Pinkie stowed the giant costumes for the two of them (and a Changeling costume).
    • Later, Pinkie pulls out her costume and a perfectly fine (and fresh) cake out from nowhere. This time, Rainbow Dash begs her friends to ask no questions, which leads to a Gilligan Cut in the next panel, where Rainbow, suddenly now in the costume, tells her friends "you had to ask...".
  • Harmful to Minors: There's a strong implication Queen Chrysalis killed one of the luvcats in front of the CMC. If the splatter on the panel is any indication, it was not pretty. It doesn't help that a preview page for issue #4 suggests that the CMC have outlived their usefulness to Chrysalis.
  • Hero of Another Story: While the mane six were dealing with the Changelings, Spike and Princess Celestia were fighting off a horde of giant, magic cockatrices in Canterlot. Also, Princess Luna makes a small cameo at the end holding a map of Manehatten, implying she may have been the one to deal with the giant magical marshmallow pony that Celestia mentioned.
  • Hidden Depths: Fluttershy's knowledge of giant spiders, though its not too surprising being who she is.
  • I Have Your Wife: Queen Chrysalis kidnaps the Cutie Mark Crusaders to force the cooperation of the Mane 6.
  • I Need You Stronger: The trials Chrysalis puts the Mane Six through are meant to strengthen their friendship so their emotions will peak and Twilight will be at her strongest when she drains her magic. This winds up backfiring as Twilight's magic turns out to be much stronger then she realizes. Added with the magic comet amplifying her power and Twilight manages to defeat Chrysalis in a one on one duel.
  • Just Between You and Me: Conversed. As Chrysalis begins to describe what will happen should the Mane 6 miss the deadline, a fillynapped Scootaloo blurts out that she's about to reveal her evil plan to the heroines. Annoyed at the interruption, Chrysalis cuts off communication.
  • Kick the Dog: Or, in this case, Splat the Cat. Invoked by Chrysalis to horrify the CMC into taking her threats seriously.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the second issue, a cave troll treats Fluttershy like she were a doll (including one shot that deliberately puts her in the same pose as the MLP "fashion" pony toys) and combs her hair, has rocks that look like Optimus Prime in his "toy" collection, and Rarity makes him some custom pony dolls. Sweetie Belle (watching from Queen Chrysalis's lair) comments that she'd make a cute toy. The whole scene is rather meta, considering the source material.
  • Least Rhymable Word: Pinkie Pie leaves the Changeling minions to come up with a rhyme for "orange".
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: After everypony else (sans Pinkie) has been caught by the spiders' web, Twilight declares she'll burst out her magic and fires at the biggest spider, though it only serves to singe it's forehead a little.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Twilight claims that even if Chrysalis drained her of her magic, the Queen still wouldn't be capable of the same kind of magic Twilight could do because Twilight gained her power through focused study. Chrysalis would have power without knowing how to use it. In fact, this appears to be why she loses, despite gaining as much raw power as Twilight does from the comet; she doesn't know how to use it.
  • Mana Drain: Queen Chrysalis intends to drain Twilight of her magic.
  • Mama Bear: They're sisters, really, but Rarity and Applejack are both understandably highly motivated to rescue the Crusaders from the Changelings.
    • When the Mane 6 finally get to rescuing the CMC in issue #4, Rainbow Dash is shown to be protecting Scootaloo as frequently as the above sister pairings. Consider that continuity-wise, this arc pre-dates "Sleepless in Ponyville" where the relationship was made more explicit.
  • Meaningful Background Event: It has this, too. Particularly, in the splash page in the first issue, there's a sneaky changeling right next to Time Turner.
    • Also, in both issues there appears to be a mysterious brown stallion observing the Mane Six, even appearing where he couldn't possibly have gotten to normally. In the crowd of freed ponies in issue 1, when the Mane 6 leave the caves in issue 2, when Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy are about to fall in the oubliette in issue 3, and when Celestia and Spike join the Mane 6 after Chrysalis is defeated in issue 4.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: In the first issue a bunch of ponies (including the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Silver Spoon, and some background ponies from the show) and various animals have these. Unlike in the show's season 2 finale, these eyes are noticed instantly.
  • Mischief-Making Monkey: One of the locations on the map at the end of issue #2 is "Here there be Monkeys", with a subtitle warning visitors to guard their valuables.
  • Mood Whiplash: Has a habit of going from a intense moment to a joke and back again at the drop of a hat. For example during the climax with Chrysalis she gives a speech to Twilight how she's more powerful then ever and that love won't save the group. Then has to stop and yell at her minions that the racket from their fighting with the others is making it hard to monologue, eventually cocooning Pinkie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Fluttershy single-handily so she can continue.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Twilight can't wait to get back to add to her research on cave trolls.
    Rainbow Dash: Did you just use the words "excitement" and "research" in the same sentence?
    • Similarly with Fluttershy:
    Fluttershy: The vampiric jackalope and the chupacabra are natural enemies. They'll fight for dominance over the rights to eat us. (shot of the other five looking disgusted while Fluttershy is smiling in awe) Nature is so fascinating...
  • Mythology Gag: Not only do we get a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of the "G1" pony Firefly, on the same page there's a building that says "Est. 1982", the same year the first My Little Pony toys came out.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: The Secretariat comet is named after a Triple Crown winner.
  • Nature Is Not Nice: the forest the ponies travel through is full of things trying to eat them, leading eventually to Fluttershy's Nightmare Fetishist moment below.
  • Never Say "Die": The death threat on Twilight's friends and the CMC is heavily implied, but they never use the "kill" word.
    • Played straight with Applebloom with a Bowdlerised version of the "I'm Too Young to Die" stock phrase
    Apple Bloom: Ah can't "go" before I get mah cutie mark.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Fluttershy has a moment of this in issue three when a chupacabra and a pack of vampiric jackalopes battle (presumably to the death) for the right to eat the Mane Six, and Fluttershy watches with captive awe at the "fascinating" creatures.
  • Noodle Incident: Averted, as the reason for Celestia's absence is revealed to be a giant magical cockatrice attack is documented in the 2 page short "In the Interim" of Issue #4.
  • No One Should Survive That: Queen Chrysalis. The end of A Canterlot Wedding suggests a Disney Villain Death, basically falling off a mountain unable to use her wings. This scene is revisited in Issue #3 and shows her hitting the ground face first, yet she and her changelings survive as if it was merely one of Rainbow's crashes, although either the fall or the force of the attack definitely weakened them.
    • Later, she takes multiple magic beams from Twilight, right in the face. At least one of these magic beams is shown to vaporize solid stone. Chrysalis registers the pain and Twilight even talks about it to her friends, but there's no lasting damage until the fifth or sixth consecutive beam. Implying that Chrysalis is just really tough.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When the Cutie Mark Crusaders aren't interested in cutie marks, you know something bad has happened.
    • Scootaloo turning down an offer to hang out with Rainbow Dash is so upsetting that RD has to tell her friends about it. (Whether she's worried for Scoot, is just nursing her bruised ego, or both is uncertain.)
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Celestia (aided by Spike) had an epic fight defending Canterlot against a horde of giant Coacktrices. The bonus story shows it was a really, really hard battle, and Spike's aid was invaluable against the giant foes.
    • Celestia also mentions a giant marshmallow pony wrecking Manehattan and the rest of the conversation implies she had to take care of many other threats as well.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: It's a three-day journey from Ponyville to the Changeling kingdom, but the Changelings can cross the same distance overnight and show up to hamper the Mane Six as is necessary.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In issue #3, Pinkie's plan for avoiding themselves getting mixed up with disguised Changelings is to wear costumes of themselves so that they can recognize each other.
  • Parental Bonus: Scoots says she isn't sure she wants a picture of Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle on her flank for the rest of her life. Any parents or older readers with really unfortunate tattoos can probably empathize.
  • Pity the Kidnapper: Chrysalis has given the Mane 6 three days to find and rescue the CMC, partly because that's when the Comet of Doom will be in position, but mostly because she's already starting to get annoyed by their constant chatter and cutie mark obsession.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Invoked. The Changelings trick the Mane Six into splitting up by disguising themselves as them and creating dissension between them, knowing full well they will inevitably reconcile. Once they do get back together, the love between them peaks and becomes a greater energy source for the Changelings than ever before.
  • Pretend We're Dead: Pinkie Pie tells her friends to act as changelings to avoid notice, by "clearing their mind" and "acting like a zombie".
  • Race Against the Clock: The Mane 6 have to find and rescue the CMC in three days, and it will apparently take three days just to reach the Changeling Kingdom. Secretariat Comet will also be flying over Equestria in three days, which Twilight believes is connected to Queen Chrysalis's plot.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: In the second issue, the mane six comes across a cave troll with a pink heart tattoo who loves ponies.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The mane cast gives one to Queen Chrysalis about how she knows nothing about friendship, love or fashion.
  • Revenge: Queen Chrysalis is out for some against Twilight, as she was the one who proved instrumental in derailing the Changelings' plan to conquer Canterlot.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Issue #1, last panel. Parodied since the riders are their own mounts.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Scootaloo and Spike
  • Schmuck Bait: Spotted by Rainbow Dash, assured that the Queen's plan is just a trap for the Mane Six.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: A somewhat ambiguous example where Chrysalis and her Changelings are imprisoned in their own castle at the end with the animated Pinkie Pie suit to entertain them (well, entertain the soldiers, annoy Chrysalis). Twilight indicates it will take them " a while" to break out.
  • Sequel Episode: To "The Canterlot Wedding" with Oueen Chrysalis targeting Twilight for ruining her plans.
  • Serious Business: The "Sorry Cake" in #3.
    Pinkie Pie: Luckily, I always travel with an "I'm sorry" cake! I also have "I am sorry" goodie bags!
    Twilight Sparkle: Uh, Pinkie, I don't think we have time for cake... we are only an hour away from the Changeling kingdom...
    Pinkie Pie: EAT... THE... CAKE.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: As the comet is empowering Twilight, she and her friends give Chrysalis a verbal beatdown as Twilight gives Chrysalis a magical beatdown.
    Twilight Sparkle: Your motivations are selfish, we fight because we know about things worth fighting for! Love! Friendship! We have things that you can't hope to have! You envy us!
    Queen Chrysalis: Stop... this... nonsense. You can't... defeat me.
    Twilight Sparkle: Ponies who can't do things themselves tell others they can't do it... I can stand up to you. And I can win!!
  • Skewed Priorities: Apple Bloom is more upset about not getting her cutie mark before she is (presumably) to be killed by Queen Chrysalis. Mocked by Scootaloo.
    • Everypony is awed, impressed, and somewhat scared when a magically-uber Twilight takes out the side of the castle wall. Rarity is furious that she ruined the curtains made of the finest silk.
  • Slasher Smile: Pinkie Pie does a face like this in page 9 of Issue 1 complete with a "cut/slit throat" gesture.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Chrysallis has her own Drama Couch in #2.
  • Smart Ball: Pinkie gets it in issue #4, answering the door riddle to the Queen's central chamber.
  • Something Only They Would Say: The Mane Six are affirmed of the CMC's identity because of their talk of getting their cutie marks from being fillynapped. Cue deadpan "It's them" from Applejack.
  • Speak Friend and Enter: A trap door in #4 offers the mane 6 a riddle: "How is a pegasus like a writing desk? Can you answer this riddle?" The others are hung up on how a pegasus and a writing desk could be similar, but Pinkie realizes the real answer lay in the fact they couldn't answer the riddle. Doubly hilarious when you realize it's based off "How is a raven like a writing desk", which in fact has no answer...and the closest to canon for answers is a pun using 'nevar', which can't be done with pegasus.
  • Suddenly Voiced: As it turns out Changelings do talk outside of transformations. Issue #2 has one speaking in Snake Talk mid-transformation, and the following issue has one having a full-on conversation with Chrysalis.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: We get a chilling vision of what could have happened to Equestria in the form of what the Changelings do to a peaceful land of cute kitty people they just so happened to land in after "A Canterlot Wedding".
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Pinkie Pie takes care of the giant spiders in issue #2 by bringing in Jim the troll.
  • Super Mode: Remember Twilight's glowing eyes from the series' pilot? The magic of the comet infuses Twilight with even more power, causing her eyes to glow, a powerful aura to form around her, and to float off the ground, ending with a magical burst that defeats Chrysalis.
  • Symbol Swearing: Unfinished versions of page 3 of Issue #1 had the pony partly under a 100 weight use this instead of saying "OUCH!"
    • In issue #2, once the Mane 6 have been set against each other, one panel shows them all shouting at each other, punctuated with a single fancy exclamation point with a dagger set in, Which may or may not be this, depending on your interpretation.
  • Synchronous Episodes: The short in issue #4, "In the Interim" takes place while the events of issues #2 through #4 occur.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: One of the locations on the map at the end of issue #2 is "Ye Olde Oubliette". Twilight and Fluttershy actually fall into it in the next issue.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Just barely averted. The Cutie Mark Crusaders drive Chrysalis absolutely crackers, then when she implicitly threatens to eat them, they keep it up until she gets physically ill! None of that, though, staves off the final confrontation between Twilight and Chrysalis.
  • Tempting Fate: Used in issue #2 when the ponies are going through an old mine.
    Twilight: Well, hopefully that means no one is here and we can just walk on through with no issues!
    Rainbow Dash: Pfft... saying things like that just means you're begging for something to happen.
  • Title Drop: Scootaloo's assertion on how the Mane Six will recover from being split into pairs, in issue #3.
  • Took a Level in Badass: With a dose of Conservation of Ninjutsu; the rank-and-file changelings are a lot more competent this time around than they were in the show, especially in issue #2.
    • Issue #2 is the first time that the audience gets to see the changelings use something besides direct combat. They are much more dangerous outside of a melee, using indirect attacks to divide their enemies and turn them against each other, without them even realizing that the changelings are attacking them.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: It's obvious that the deadline is part of some greater plot, but the Mane 6 decide they have to meet it anyway.
  • Überwald: The Changeling Kingdom, from what we've seen so far.
  • The Unsmile: Pinkie Pie suggests that they pretend to be like zombies to "blend in" with the Changelings. These suggestions include "clearing your mind", "shambling around" and whatever this horrifying grin is
  • Unsound Effect: KICK! BETTER KICK!
  • Wasn't That Fun?: Exclaimed by Pinkie in issue #3 after falling down a gorge.
  • We Can Rule Together: Chrysalis tries to convince Twilight to join her upon seeing the magic power she possesses. Naturally, Twilight refuses.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out the ultimate fate of the luvcats. Issue #3 implies there's still a few left, but they're not even mentioned in the final issue.
    • For that matter, we don't know what became of the Changelings captured in Ponyville. Before the Mane Six set out Twilight mentions to Spike that Celestia will "deal with them", but beyond that the Changeling prisoners get no mention in the story.
  • Wingding Eyes: Several times, notably:
    • Rariry gets a watch-shaped eye, accompanied by a few gears popping out, at the sudden appearance of the spiders in issue #2.
    • When Twilight and AJ are fighting over leadership in #2, AJ gets a dagger in hers, and Twilight a grenade.
    • At the very end, Spike has heart eyes when meeting up with Rarity, as usual.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Queen Chrysalis has made it quite clear that she doesn't intend on letting the Cutie Mark Crusaders leave. Not to mention a luvcat kitten was seen before Chrysalis and her soldiers took over the village.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Queen Chrysalis' plan as revealed in issue #3 has elements of this. Stealing Twilight's magic would of course be her best scenario, but putting the bearers of the Elements against each other, or allowing her minions to have taken over Ponyville would have their benefits too. Further, in issues #4, she forces Twilight to either choose to go free and let the Changelings at her friends and the CMC trapped in their pods, or to have Twilight join her as her servant while letting her friends free. The catch on the latter is that Chrysalis still holds back the friends after Twilight takes this option, anticipating that once she's drained Twilight's love for them, Twilight herself would be the one to destroy them. Chrysalis' plan is only fails when the magic from the comet gives a bigger boost to Twilight than it does to Chrysalis (this is because Twilight's magic studies allow her to focus the comet's boost to it's fullest, while Chrysalis is only obtaining raw, unrefined power), allowing Twilight to defeat her.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Mentioned above in the Xanatos Gambit with a dash of Exact Words: Chrysalis said she wouldn't hurt them if Twilight takes her offer, she never said anything about Twilight doing it once she drained her of her personality.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Once the Mane Six reach her castle in issue #4, Queen Chrysalis decides she doesn't need to keep the CMC around anymore, mainly just to spare herself any more grief from their chattering. And no, she doesn't intend to just let them go either...
  • Your Answer to Everything: Rainbow Dash to Twilight, upon Twilight suggesting going to the library (in this case to shelter themselves from the infected horde).


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