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Covers: Amy Mebberson (regular), Sara Richard (subscription, incentive), Jamie Tyndall & Stacy Raven (exclusive)
The third spin-off of IDW's My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comics, Fiendship is a weekly series that focuses on the origins of some of the series' biggest villains. The first issue focuses on a character whose alternate version recently popped up in the main title: King Sombra.
The Crystal Empire.
Sombra first appeared in the season 3 premiere of the show, "The Crystal Empire," as the evil pony who conquered the titular Crystal Empire. When Princess Celestia banished him to the world of shadows, he cursed the Empire to vanish and when it returned so would he to conquer it anew. The Mane 6 and Spike journeyed to the Empire to put a stop to him once and for all.
King Sombra at full power.
This issue is set long before the events of the episode. Princesses Twilight Sparkle and Cadence find Sombra's diary in his hidden den and learn about his origins; how the former ruler, Princess Amore, saw good in Sombra and attempted to guide him in that direction in futility.
Young amnesiac Sombra taken in by the Crystal Ponies.
Within the confines of a single issue, Jeremy Whitley managed to craft a heartbreaking tale that adds a bit of humanity and tragedy to Sombra; otherwise depicted as a simply evil entity with very little dialogue. The story serves as a good lead-up to the episode, ending right at the time when Celestia banished him. The art by Brenda Hickey perfectly captures the tonality of the story and matches the feel of the show, and the colors by Heather Breckel manage to simulate the shimmering skin of the Crystal Ponies remarkably well considering the static limitation of the medium.
GRADE: A. A nice addition to the pony lore. It will be fun to see if any elements of the IDW comics get worked into the animated series at some point, but if not the comics have been serving as a companion series nicely.
This issue came with four covers, which you can see below. Let us know which one is your favorite.