OK, free-form thoughts on the episode
(first free-form thought: I just typed "episode" instead of "issue". Something has gone horribly wrong
The very last panel of #4 showed us midnight-blue, star-maned Luna. (They're tiny little stars, but they're there.) This episode had purple, light-blue maned (season 1) Luna throughout. There's no explanation, but I know I read somewhere else that it's due to Luna's power waning during the new moon (which always seemed oddly-named to me, because it denotes the time when there is -no- moon visible).
Sailor Moon pony on Page 2, and the next panel- two ponies writing away- the artists OC's?
Amy Mebberson has a much more show-accurate take on pegasus wings than Andy did. I liked Andy's wings, they were very majestic- even on Fluttershy, who has a hard time looking majestic at all. But these are good, too. I have no complaints.
Rarity giving Dash a makeover and then getting steamed at Pinkie Pie for distracting Dash in the middle of it is just great. It's a background detail shown over two pages, but it's just simply believable and in-character and real
. It's a comic version of everything that's right about this show.
It looks like Twilight turned her terrible Gala dress into a sleeping bag. Good choice, there.
We've seen that particular Twilight nightmare before, haven't we? It seems that's her go-to worst fear.
Even Winona is mad at AJ in her nightmare. And look at poor hungry Applebloom! I'm mad at AJ now, too.
All the woodland creatures run from Fluttershy, but the funniest by a wide margin is the look of fear on that bear.
Dash- can't fly. Yep, that's a nightmare, all right.
Pinkie apparently is tonight's special guest on the Muppet Show (I swear that's what the stage looks like to me, please tell me I'm not the only one), and everyone hates her, not just Statler and Waldorf- but wait, is that Ms. Hooves breaking the fourth wall in the corner there? Why, yes it is.
Rarity's nightmare tops them all, though- that gratuitous Gravity Falls reference is just so perfectly placed!
And it moves directly into Rarity's real
greatest fear: "Please, let me help... don't forget about me." Wait- that's two greatest fears. First, that she can't help her friends, and second, that nobody will remember her. That's Rarity in a nutshell, isn't it? She wants to help her friends be as fabulous as she is, and she wants to be remembered
. When you take everything else away from her, that's who she is.
It is amazing
to me how well this team understands these characters.
Dash pulls off a Sonic Rainboom (as if that's even a thing anymore), but to no avail- and Dash's reaction is entirely predictable: "No fair!" After all, the Sonic Rainboom has been her "I Win" button all her life.
Annnnd the princesses show up. I'll say it, since nobody else will: That first panel of Celestia makes me think she might want to lay off the cake for a while.
That entire page done in "Storybook from Episode 1 Style" is just simply perfect. There are no other words that do it justice. The borders, and the style, and then how the style changes to show the Nightmare forces as we see them in the book now- just bloody perfect. Wow.
Rainbow Dash's reaction to adversity: 1. Become Batman. 2. Hit things. Stay you, Rainbow Dash.
Did Dash just volunteer to become Trojan Dash? Because that's hilarious.
Last page: Could have come directly from @StTabitha's twitter account. And I can think of no higher praise for it. "Good show, whooshie things." sounds in my head exactly
like Tabitha said it herself.
Conclusions: This was, in fact, an episode of the show, done in print form. Amy Mebberson's art was spot-on, Heather Nuhfer's been channeling the show's writers to an eerie degree, and our good friend Heather Beckel's colors are as good as ever (which is to say, I've run out of superlatives and hopefully she knows already how much I love her work).
All in all, this was really great, and it's only getting better the closer I look at it, which is a really good sign for the rest of this arc.