|My Little Pony: Legends of Magic Annual 2018|
|Published:||April 18, 2018|
|Credits • Gallery • Allusions|
Legends of Magic #12
My Little Pony: Legends of Magic Annual 2018 is an annual edition comic and the final issue of IDW Publishing's My Little Pony: Legends of Magic comic series. In the annual, the Pillars of Old Equestria face a new danger that tests their skills as a team.
Some time after the Dazzlings are defeated and banished to another world, Star Swirl the Bearded continues his research into different worlds and creating stable portals leading to them with a large collection of mirrors. Princess Celestia is nervous about peering into these other worlds after her and her sister Luna's previous encounter with another dimension. As Star Swirl shows the mirrors to Celestia and Luna, dark creatures from another world take advantage of the portals being opened and invade to seize the princesses and destroy Star Swirl.
Star Swirl keeps the invading creatures at bay while protecting Celestia and Luna, but he is eventually overwhelmed by their sheer number. In his attempt to send them back where they came from, most of his mirrors get swept up in his magic whirlwind, and one of the portals sends him to another world before shattering into pieces. Without Star Swirl to protect them, Celestia and Luna soon get dragged through the portal as well, and all of Star Swirl's mirrors end up shattered except one.
Meanwhile, at Rockhoof's island home in Northern Equestria, Flash Magnus and Captain Steela Oresdotter lead a joint training exercise between the Mighty Helm and the Cloudsdale Royal Legion, which Captain Steela coerces Flash into participating in. The exercise involves the Pegasus Legionnaires flying through an obstacle course in the island's volcano. While flying through the volcano, Flash sees Star Swirl emerge from a magic portal in a severely weakened state, and he and Somnambula bring him back to the island.
As Mage Meadowbrook nurses Star Swirl back to health, he explains what happened to Celestia and Luna and the threat Equestria now faces. Star Swirl prepares to set out to save the princesses from the other world on his own, but Stygian refuses to let him do so, and he and the other legendary heroes offer to help him. Back in Canterlot, only one of Star Swirl's mirrors remains intact, but it is rendered useless because the portal on the other side was destroyed. After Stygian harshly criticizes Star Swirl for exposing the princesses to such unfathomable danger, Star Swirl uses his magic to open a temporary portal to the other world.
On the other side of the portal, the ponies find themselves in the same realm that Luna was taken to in the first issue. They split up into three teams to search for the princesses: Stygian and Rockhoof; Somnambula, Meadowbrook, and Mistmane; and Flash Magnus and Star Swirl. After casting a spell to track Celestia and Luna's magic auras, he tells the unicorns in each team to send a signal into the sky to alert the others if they locate the princesses. When Rockhoof questions Stygian about his earlier outburst, Stygian says he's tired of Star Swirl always acting like he has to save all of Equestria by himself.
While searching for the princesses, Stygian gets the strange sense that he's been to this world before, though he knows for certain he never has. In the middle of his pondering, he and Rockhoof suddenly come under attack by a swarm of energy-conducting lightning bugs. Meanwhile, Somnambula, Meadowbrook, and Mistmane are attacked a group of ferocious lumber bears. The sudden attack exhausts Meadowbrook's entire supply of potions, and Mistmane's inherent attunement to nature is useless in this twisted and corrupted environment.
Elsewhere in the forest, Flash and Star Swirl encounter this world's version of the Pony of Shadows, who recognizes Star Swirl as an "old friend". This Pony of Shadows states he destroyed the Star Swirl of his world and prepares to do the same to the Star Swirl of Equestria. Meanwhile, as the lightning bugs continue to electrocute Rockhoof, Stygian discovers he is somehow able to command the bugs to do his bidding, and he orders them to lead him and Rockhoof to the princesses. Once they locate the princesses' auras, Stygian sends a signal to the others, and the Pony of Shadows vanishes in apparent panic.
Rockhoof and Stygian follow the princesses' auras to where they're being held, but the Pony of Shadows appears to stop them. He explains that Celestia and Luna have the potential in them to become Daybreaker and Nightmare Moon just as the Celestia and Luna of his world did, and that he and his minions have been biding their time ever since Luna first opened the door to their world. He plans to infuse them with his shadow magic, bring them under his control, and use their power to take over every reality. Like Star Swirl, the Pony of Shadows recognizes Rockhoof, but he doesn't recognize Stygian.
The rest of the legendary ponies appear to fight alongside Rockhoof and Stygian, and the Pony of Shadows unleashes his army of golems and ogres upon them. Star Swirl prepares to liberate the princesses, but Rockhoof believes the task should be entrusted to Stygian after what happened with the lightning bugs, and Stygian accepts the responsibility. As the Pillars of Equestria keep the Pony of Shadows' army occupied, Stygian races to rescue Celestia and Luna. The Pony of Shadows stands before him, and their clash of magic unexpectedly results in a tremendous explosion.
In a weakened state, the Pony of Shadows commands one of his ogres to grab the princesses. Stygian commands the ogre to throw the princesses to Star Swirl, and the ogre complies, much to the Pony of Shadows' shock. With the princesses in their possession, the Pillars of Equestria withdraw toward the portal. The Pony of Shadows calls out and demands to know Stygian's name, and Stygian introduces himself before leaving with the others.
Once the ponies are safely back in Equestria, Stygian's friends praise him for his bravery and resourcefulness, and Rockhoof uses his shovel to destroy the last remaining mirror. Star Swirl, ashamed by his failure to protect Celestia and Luna, carries them to bed and decides to do more research before attempting his portal studies again. While Stygian still wonders how he was able to command the Pony of Shadows' creatures, Rockhoof tells him not to worry about it and just enjoy being a true hero for once, and they go out to celebrate.
Back in the other world, the Pony of Shadows ponders heavily on Stygian's name and understands why Stygian was able to command his creatures. He drops his shadowy form and reveals himself to be his world's version of Stygian.
- Princess Luna: What are those thing?
- Princess Celestia: They're mirrors, Luna. I know you don't look at one very often, but I at least thought you'd recognize them.
- Princess Luna: Mirrors? Are you sure?
- Star Swirl the Bearded: Strictly speaking, your sister is correct... but rude.
- Star Swirl the Bearded: I know not whence you came, but today I return you there, creature! And when you arrive there, let them know that this world is protected by Starswirl the Bearded. And that he shall repel your attacks, though you may send your monsters by the thousands! There is no victory here for you!
- Steela Oresdotter: What, you thought you were gonna volunteer your troops for this and not do it yourself? I knew you had feathers, Magnus, but I didn't realize you were a chicken!
- Flash Magnus: Somnambula?
- Somnambula: It is I! I am here to lead cheers and provide encouragement. Also, if needed, rescue.
- Stygian: Look around you! This is exactly the sort of crisis the Pillars were assembled to handle.
- Star Swirl the Bearded: I cannot ask the rest of you to—
- Stygian: You don't have to ask. That's the thing. The world is in danger. The princesses are in danger. All here who wish to help find the princesses, say "aye."
- Pillars except Star Swirl the Bearded: Aye!
- Stygian: Perhaps you're not the only clever one in the world, Starswirl. What? You were all thinking it! He says these two princesses wield unimaginable power and he exposes them to unthinkable danger! They deserved better!
- Somnambula: What is our policy on sub-teams? Strike forces? Can we refer to ourselves as the "Mare-Force"?
- Rockhoof: You had a bit of a blowup at Ol Starswirl back there.
- Stygian: You know, I'm just tired of him acting like he's on his own to save all of Equestria. Mark my words, after we're gone the princesses will make sure people remember Starswirl. But with him keeping us secret, I bet they'll forget us.
- Mistmane: I hate this place. Forests are beautiful and full of life and wonder. This forest is corrupted. The plants are twisted and sour. The animals lurk in the shadows, preparing to attack the weak.
- Mage Meadowbrook: But that's just how nature works, right?
- Mistmane: Not like this. Animals hunt out of hunger. These creatures here are... angry. They're twisted with an unnatural rage and... they are here to stop us.
- Flash Magnus: What about the others? Can you sense them?
- Star Swirl the Bearded: Yes.
- Flash Magnus: Everything okay with them?
- Star Swirl the Bearded: Not particularly. They are all engaged in combat.
- Flash Magnus: What? Shouldn't we help them?
- Star Swirl the Bearded: No.
- Flash Magnus: What?! Why?!
- Star Swirl the Bearded: Because we are about to be engaged in combat as well.
- Pony of Shadows: Hello Starswirl, old friend.
- Star Swirl the Bearded: Do I know you?
- Pony of Shadows: Perhaps not. But I know you.
- Star Swirl the Bearded: So, you knew the version of me from this world?
- Pony of Shadows: Yes. We were friend. Until he turned on me.
- Star Swirl the Bearded: What did you do to him?
- Pony of Shadows: The same thing I am about to do to you. I obliterated him!
- Rockhoof: What kind of big bad pony kidnaps little fillies, huh?
- Pony of Shadows: Looks can be deceiving, Rockhoof. These are not mere fillies. They have an infinite power for destruction. With a little bit of corruption, they'll become Daybreaker and Nightmare Moon.
- Rockhoof: It's good of y'all to make it.
- Mage Meadowbrook: Sorry, it was a bear getting here.
- Somnambula: Ha! A bear! I get it!
- Pony of Shadows: You know, it will be a shame to destroy you before I know anything about you. What makes your world so special?
- Stygian: I don't know, but I'm not used to being the special one, so I'm gonna enjoy it while I can.
- Pony of Shadows: You! Who are you?! I'll find you!
- Stygian: Well, when they ask who stopped your evil plan, you tell then it was a little unicorn named Stygian!
- Rockhoof: Well, look at you always going on about not being a hero. What do you say now?
- Stygian: It was just luck. Why do you think those creatures listened to me?
- Rockhoof: Stop fretting and enjoy your moment for once.
- Stygian: Okay, you're right. How do we celebrate?
- Rockhoof: You ever eat a whole boat of oats before?
- Pony of Shadows: Stygian. That explains how he was able to order you around. But how can this be? Has it been so long? Have I changed so much? I didn't even recognize myself.