|The Return of Queen Chrysalis|
|Published:||November 28, 2012 (#1)|
January 2, 2013 (#2)
February 6, 2013 (#3)
March 6, 2013 (#4)
Katie Cook (#1 pp. 24-25, #4 pp. 24-25)
|Letterer:||Robbie Robbins (#1-2)|
Neil Uyetake (#3-4)
|Credits • Gallery • Allusions|
The Return of Queen Chrysalis is the first story arc of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic series by IDW Publishing, spanning issues 1-4. Set between seasons two and three, the arc features the return of season two antagonist Queen Chrysalis.
The next day, Applejack, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash notice the Crusaders acting strangely; they and the rest of the Mane Six notice the other ponies in Ponyville exhibiting similar behavior. They retreat to the Golden Oak Library, and Twilight Sparkle realizes that the ponies have been replaced by the changelings, who have returned and are now after Ponyville. She has Spike send a letter to Princess Celestia, but she receives a response letter saying Celestia is unavailable due to a royal emergency.
Taking the matter into their own hooves, Twilight, Rainbow, Rarity, Fluttershy, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie head out to rescue the ponies of Ponyville. They find Derpy imprisoned in a cocoon while a changeling assumes her form. Sneaking past the changelings by pretending to be changelings themselves, the ponies find the rest of Ponyville imprisoned in cocoons at town hall. There, they defeat the changelings and rescue the other ponies, but the Cutie Mark Crusaders remain missing.
Through Spike, Queen Chrysalis sends the Mane Six a crystal ball through which she can communicate with them and reveals that the Crusaders are imprisoned in her kingdom. She tells them to come to the Crusaders' rescue in three days or else "something bad might happen" to them. The communication cuts out, and the crystal ball turns into a map to the changeling kingdom.
Twilight says that in three days the Secretariat Comet will pass over Equestria, a trimillennial event whose effects every magical creature will feel. Twilight suspects that Princess Celestia is occupied with protecting Canterlot in preparation for the comet's arrival. Though they suspect a trap, the Mane Six set out for the changeling kingdom, leaving Spike to look after the captured changelings and to keep trying to get a hold of Celestia.
How Much Is That Pony In the Window?
In a bonus two-page story, Rarity uses Pinkie Pie as a model while making a new dress. When Rarity steps out of the room for a moment, Pinkie hears the jingle of an ice cream cart. She races outside to get ice cream, ruining the dress in the process. In an effort to fix her mess, Pinkie uses Rarity's curtains to replace the torn fabric—which Rarity realizes as soon as she returns.
The Mane Six's journey to the changeling kingdom leads them through the Macintosh Hills. Twilight says that the fastest route to the kingdom is through the Appaloosan Mountain Range, but Rainbow Dash argues that it'd be faster to fly over the mountain. Since not all of them are able to fly, Applejack insists that they stay together as a group.
As they trek through a mountain cave, the six run into a large cave troll. The troll picks up Fluttershy and brushes her mane with a comb-like tree branch, eventually setting her down on a shelf. After he grabs Rainbow Dash and dolls her up, Rarity and Pinkie Pie come up with the idea of distracting the troll with rock and wood replicas of the Mane Six. The troll is enticed by the makeshift dolls, and the ponies are able to press forward.
Meanwhile, Queen Chrysalis observes the ponies' progress through a crystal ball. Briefly groaning about the Cutie Mark Crusaders' cutie mark-related rambling, she sends her changeling minions out to the cave to enact a plan. Once inside the cave, the changelings cause a cave-in, separating the ponies into three groups: Applejack and Rarity, Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash, and Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy. Twilight calls out to the others, telling them to move toward an exit where the three tunnels intersect, and the lurking changelings assume the ponies' forms.
In one tunnel, Pinkie and Rainbow Dash hear "Applejack" and "Rarity" insult them, saying Rainbow is full of herself and Pinkie is annoying. This angers Rainbow and saddens Pinkie. In another tunnel, Twilight overhears "Rainbow Dash" call her a know-it-all egghead, and Fluttershy hears "Pinkie Pie" say she was useless to bring along on their journey, upsetting them as well. In the third tunnel, "Twilight" mocks Applejack for thinking she's in charge, and "Fluttershy" insinuates that Rarity cares more about keeping her hooves clean than Sweetie Belle. Angered, Applejack and Rarity decide to rescue their sisters without their friends' help.
When the ponies finally reunite at the tunnels' end, they begin to lash out at each other. They only stop arguing when a gang of giant spiders looms over them. The spiders attack the ponies and capture them in web one-by-one. Pinkie comes up with an idea and runs off, leaving Twilight to fend off the spiders alone. Just then, Pinkie returns with the cave troll from earlier. She convinces him that the leader of the giant spiders is a teddy bear. The troll drags the spider off, naming him Fluffy, and the ponies free themselves.
Once the Mane Six are out of the cave, they continue bickering, much to Queen Chrysalis' amusement. Eventually, the ponies split up into groups of two again and go their separate ways. Rainbow Dash worries that they're lost without the map, and Pinkie Pie offers her little assurance.
The issue begins with a flashback to the end of A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2; after Queen Chrysalis and the changelings are defeated and sent flying out of Canterlot, they land in the middle of a town inhabited by cat-like creatures with lots of love to give. Severely weakened by their defeat, Chrysalis and the changelings feed on the citizens' love and transform their home into the changeling kingdom. Chrysalis vows revenge on Twilight Sparkle and plans to absorb her magic when the Secretariat Comet arrives.
Back in present day, as the Cutie Mark Crusaders continue to annoy her with their banter, Chrysalis checks in on Twilight. Twilight is still upset after her and her friends' argument, but Fluttershy convinces her to make up with them. Elsewhere, Applejack and Rarity lightly bicker during a meal, and Chrysalis laughs at their clashing personalities. In yet another location, Pinkie Pie tells Rainbow Dash her nonsensical plan to fool the changelings by using large costumes modeled after their likenesses. As Rainbow ponders, she suspects that the changelings were behind her and her friends' splitting up.
The observing Crusaders laud Rainbow for her reasoning and gloat at Chrysalis' failing scheme. Chrysalis retorts that she doesn't care if the Mane Six are friends or not—her only plan is to destroy Twilight, have her subjects feast on Twilight's friends, and return to Canterlot to watch Equestria crumble. As a demonstration of her wickedness, Chrysalis "THUMP"s[note 1] one of the cat-like creatures off-panel, to the Crusaders' horror.
Back in the forest, Twilight and Fluttershy stumble into a hole in the ground. Upon teleporting out, they encounter a goat-eating chupacabra. Mistaking the two for goats because of the goat horn-like twigs in their manes, the chupacabra gives chase. Meanwhile, Applejack and Rarity have a run-in with living, pony-eating flowers that chase them into a river. As they go over a waterfall, Applejack and Rarity use the flowers as parachutes. Elsewhere, Pinkie and Rainbow happen upon a group of cute jackalopes. However, these creatures are also monstrous and chase after the ponies. Before long, the three groups of fleeing ponies run into each other and tumble down a cliff. The chupacabra and vampiric jackalopes, natural enemies according to Fluttershy, fight for dominance and break off their respective pursuits.
The ponies exchange apologies for harsh words said, and they share a cake that Pinkie brought to celebrate their reconciling. Spike narrates at the end of the issue and sets up the story arc's conclusion.
As the Mane Six reach the changeling kingdom, they discuss a plan to defeat Chrysalis and rescue the Cutie Mark Crusaders before the Secretariat Comet arrives. Twilight's friends have the utmost confidence in her magic, but Twilight doesn't share their confidence. Inside the castle, the Crusaders are certain that Chrysalis will be defeated, and Chrysalis considers disposing of them now that she doesn't need them anymore.
The Mane Six enter Chrysalis' castle and find it to be a labyrinth of stairs and doors. Chrysalis' voice tells them she's behind one of the doors, but a wide variety of surprises await behind the other doors. The ponies encounter numerous bizarre and frightening creatures in the labyrinth until Twilight finds the right door. It poses a riddle to the ponies, and when Pinkie Pie solves it, the door opens.
The ponies confront Chrysalis in her chambers. As Twilight's friends fend off the changelings, Twilight battles Chrysalis alone. However, the rest of the Mane Six are soon imprisoned in cocoons. As Twilight demonstrates even stronger magic than expected, Chrysalis decides that instead of draining Twilight's magic, she will take her on as an apprentice. Twilight initially refuses, but when Chrysalis threatens harm to her friends if she doesn't comply, Twilight agrees. However, the deceitful Chrysalis double-crosses Twilight; she intends to drain Twilight's love and have her drain her friends instead.
At that moment, the Secretariat Comet flies overhead, increasing Twilight and Chrysalis' power. With words of encouragement from her friends, Twilight soon overpowers Chrysalis, defeating her and her changelings with an overwhelming surge of energy.
A short time later, Princess Celestia arrives with Spike, the two having fought a number of monsters together as the comet passed over Equestria. As the ponies share stories of their adventures around a campfire, Celestia asks about Chrysalis, and Twilight says that she's "somewhere she won't be able to break out of for a while." The final panel of the issue shows Chrysalis and her changelings in their castle, imprisoned there by a living Pinkie Pie costume that annoys them with riddles and never-ending songs.
In the Interim...
A bonus two-page story depicts Spike's adventures during the story arc. Having failed to get in touch with Princess Celestia for two days, he goes to Canterlot to see her in person. There, he finds the city besieged by giant, mutant cockatrices.
As Spike gets Celestia up to speed about the events in Ponyville, the two wage an incredible battle against the invading monsters. In the end, Spike is recognized for his bravery and awarded a medal.
- Apple Bloom: This was a great idea, we can get our cutie marks as zoologists!
- Scootaloo: Zoo-what? No, we're getting them in being jungle adventurers!
- Sweetie Belle: I don't think Fluttershy's backyard can be considered "the jungle."
- Twilight Sparkle: Everypony is acting so bizarre! More and more ponies by the hour! What in Equestria is going on?
- Rarity: Give me back my sister, you ruffians!
- Fluttershy: How dare you hit my friends! You... you... meanie! You and your friends should go home right now! If that's okay with you...
- Rainbow Dash: I feel like Daring Do! A pony of adventure! We're on a quest!
- Pinkie Pie: Woo! Raise your hooves if you're ready for three exciting days of peril!
- Twilight Sparkle: A cave troll! How exciting! They're much bigger than the "Cave Dweller's Reference Guide" says they are!
- Rainbow Dash: Exciting? What is wrong with you?
- Queen Chrysalis: Trolls really are the most idiotic creatures...
- Apple Bloom: Have we ever tried to get our cutie marks in toy making?
- Sweetie Belle: I bet I'd make a cute toy.
- Scootaloo: That's what you're getting from that?! We could get our cutie marks in troll hunting!
- Queen Chrysalis: ...Or maybe the second most idiotic creatures.
- Queen Chrysalis: This is more entertaining than anything I've seen in years. What would be more fun than watching six friends become six enemies?
- Queen Chrysalis: I'm not going to drain her love... I'm going to drain her magic.
- Rainbow Dash: How are you supposed to even hold on to the sticks to make the fire when you don't have... um... those things... that some animals have that help them hold things?
- Pinkie Pie: Thumbs?
- Rainbow Dash: No... That doesn't sound right.
- Fluttershy: Nature is so fascinating...
- Queen Chrysalis: Almost here, little Twilight. I just can't wait to show you my humble abode...
- Apple Bloom: What's an "abode"?
- Sweetie Belle: It's a noun. It means "the place where one abides."
- Scootaloo: How do you know that?
- Queen Chrysalis: Pfft! Love. Love is fickle. Love can change. Love can be consumed and the leftovers of a heart spit out like seed.
- Queen Chrysalis: I have a proposition for you, little pony. Your destructive abilities are wasted on the goody-two-shoes lifestyle of Celestia. You could be great. You could be... terrifying.
- Twilight Sparkle: What are you talking about?
- Queen Chrysalis: You. You will become my pupil. My peer. The things we could learn from each other as we rule this land and the next. Kingdoms will fall at our hooves...
- Twilight Sparkle: No! I'd rather become a drained husk of myself... I'll never join you! I'll never teach you anything!
- Twilight Sparkle: Ponies who can't do things themselves tell others that they can't do it... I can stand up to you. And I can win!
- Princess Celestia: It sounds like quite the adventure... I can't wait to hear all about it from you. But, please tell me, where is the changeling queen now?
- Twilight Sparkle: Oh... She's somewhere she won't be able to break out of for a while...
- Regarding the nature of this "THUMP", artist Andy Price stated "I didn't see anything, did you? What we don't see can be far worse than what we do..."