IDW concludes their Fiendship is Magic series with a bang. As Twilight Sparkle and her friends finish their check up on Equestria’s greatest criminals, she comes across the notorious Queen Chrysalis. Chrysalis is one of the stand out foes in the IDW My Little Pony line up. She served as the primary antagonist to kick off the series’ first arc and has been missing in action ever since, now two years later, creative team Katie Cook and Andy Price return to one of the franchise’s best beloved villains.
It’s hard to find someone who holds such a strong independent voice in what is a creative property clasped firmly in the hands of the Hasbro corporation as much as Katie Cook. She has a true return to form in this issue as the main six ponies come to Queen Chrysalis’ castle, now outfitted into a maximum security prison to find her desolate and broken. What unfolds is an anthology of the fallen queen’s infamous exploits. Though lacking in structure, the enterprise is saved by Cook’s on point use of characterization that makes for a good read all the while playing off classic mythology and fantasy. All of this builds up to the revelation of Chrysalis’ evil nature that is greatly gratifying and delivered with but a single line of dialogue.
There’s a reason Queen Chrysalis is such a perfect match for this creative team and major reason why is because of Andy Price. Price’s greatest strength is being able to cross the line from cute to horrifying and Chrysalis plays right into his gift. While his regular amazing use of facial expression and body language are as masterful as ever, he goes to town when it comes to the issue’s focus player. Chrysalis practically chews the scenery apart whether leveling entire cities with glee or lying broken in a jail cell. Not to mention she gets an amazing make over with a set of insectoid armor right out of a high fantasy novel. That’s excluding his other money shots showing off massive dragons and other beast. Heather Breckel is as always the go to colorist for My Little Pony but here is where she cuts lose. Every page is alive, atmospheric, and fantastic. She elevates this book to a new level with some jaw draping shades and tones.
While Fiendship is Magic has been primarily hit or miss for the most part, issue five is where all the pieces fall into place. This is Breckel, Cook, and Price at their absolute best and serves as a testament to how well they work with Queen Chrysalis. This installment ends with promise of more from the notorious changeling queen and it’s going to be sad for whoever misses out. This one is a winner.