• Let's Review: Legends of Magic #10

    The quest against the Sirens continues as the Pillars add new members to their ranks.

    We may know the destination, but what happens along the journey? Find out how the troupe fares after the break.

    Take care, though. This might be part of Equestrian history, but there can still be spoilers!

    When last we left our Pillars, they were staring at an impending war. Against dragons. Lots of dragons. That's not a very optimistic start.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say the pegasi are at a disadvantage.

    A nice touch to this conflict is that the skies remain clouded and dark until its resolution. It heightens the mood but is also a visual expression of how the Pillars bring light to darkened lands.

    Never fails. You're about to start a war when someone comes knocking.

    The dragons are a mixed presentation. The varied colors help add diversity and liven up the darkened skies but I've always been a stickler about what is called a dragon. The one with which Flash Magnus argues is definitely a dragon, yet other beings seem to be winged serpents. Without any legs or claws, it's harder to view them as pure dragons. A minor gripe from a fantasy fan.

    I nominate he give Fluttershy more assertiveness lessons.
    Show Iron Will what for!

    So let's talk about something I thoroughly enjoy: Rockhoof. After Stygian strikes out on trying to reason with both parties, Rockhoof shows the same boisterous approach he used with Grimhoof. Son of a gun, it doesn't just work, it gets the dragons and Royal Legion to actually bond. There is the argument that two sides can always remain at conflict until a third party appears.

    Look at that dust cloud!
    Mage is booking it!

    I said this in the comments section of the three-page preview, but it bears repeating. Rockhoof is my favorite of the Pillars. Not only does he manage to shout two warring parties into a temporary cease-fire, he then encourages Mage Meadowbrook to seek a solution. All this because he took the lesson from LoM #2 to heart and is seeing a solution outside violence. Unlike Meadowbrook, Rockhoof can't connect the dots that reveal causality. He's taking this on an assumption, but he understands his comrades enough to know who to trust.

    They're friends. Shipping intensifies!
    That's how it works, right? RIGHT?

    The downside to this resolution is that Flash Magnus doesn't take part. It's interesting to note that Magnus is not renowned for his speed, though he is the best flier in the Legion. Even he admits that speed isn't his forte. He's known for the courage to act while others hold back. So he did show his best by being willing to enter a conflict against dragons, but that can be overlooked if one focuses only on results. Magnus' courage is best matched with focus and instruction, as Stygian demonstrates.

    They have elements that can bring harmony.

    Magnus' approach might very well doom the party if not for Stygian's careful planning. Yet again Stygian insists he is no hero. Poor guy still doesn't see how he's contributed to the group's success.

    Heroes are just ponies too. 
    Fallible, dynamic, and ultimately mortal.

    It's at the halfway point that this issue blows my previous prediction to pieces. Looking at the trend of previous parts, I expected Somnambula to make an appearance at the end with a cliffhanger to flesh out her character next issue. Instead, we get another conflict as Somnambula's home is beset by very confused mummies. They're mixing their sub-genres.

    Still better than that Tom Cruise version.

    Both Magnus and Rockhoof get to show off their physical prowess, but as if to reinforce Stygian's caution we see that even three legendary heroes together can't instantly solve every challenge. Though I do smile that Mage Meadowbrook, renowned healer and sorceress, enjoys a good fight .

    I wonder if the ponies have a version of the Hippocratic Oath?

    Somnambula's presentation in this issue reinforces her more quirky personality in LoM#5. Some folks here on Equestria Daily's comments sections noted that since Pinkie Pie was reading that issue, Somnambula might have taken on some of her mannerisms. A very good thought, yet this issue continues the presentation and that seems to conflict with the Somnambula we witnessed in Shadow Play. Then again, Somnambula had perhaps two lines in that episode and no speaking role in Daring Done. So while I sense a disconnect between the show and the comics, it's more a nebulous personality versus a bubbly one.

    Rockhoof is my favorite, and he was introduced in shadow.
    Somnambula is my second fav, and was introduced in light.
    Getting a Luna/Celestia kinda vibe.

    What we do get to see is how Somnambula gets the group to share ideas. In my eyes, a group larger than three needs some kind of mediator because more people means less organization. 

    Ready, BREAK!

    Mage Meadowbrook did well solving a problem but didn't have to encourage others to share their thoughts. Rockhoof and Flash Magnus are at their physical best when a target is clear. Somnambula's optimism has a way of drawing out ideas from each member and bridging these gaps. Even if she closes down an idea, she compliments the others to make sure they don't stop contributing. Again, it's Stygian who provides the critical component that allows each team member to bring out their best.

    The number of references they fit into Somnambula's dialog is impressive.

    There is a note of tragedy to this issue that has carried forward from previous. Somnambula teams up with the others easily enough and leaves a very confused Prince Hisan behind. This might be the very last time he sees her. Just as Flash Magnus left the Royal Legion for the last time (possibly going AWOL). Rockhoof might never see the Mighty Helm again. We don't see the reclusive Mage Meadowbrook's relatives, but we know from other issues in the main line that she left loved ones behind. 

    DOH! Ya jinxed it!

    I'm curious if either the comics or show will address the Pillars' displacement. Some Pillars would accept and adjust to the loss. Others might try to find a way to go back to the past, putting them in conflict with others. Still others might commit to remembering the past and advocating their friends' memories. There's a lot of potential.

    Sorry, Equestria Girls did it first!

    This issue brings two Pillars into the fold and helps avoid the rhythm I had predicted. We get to see the group evolve and strengthen with each new member while seeing hints of looming tragedy. There are elements that are left behind too quickly. Most notably is how quickly Flash Magnus can leave the Legion without even addressing his comrades. 

    I wonder if any of the Wonderbolts are their descendants?

    I don't know how swiftly the story will move at this point. Two Pillars to go but more ground to cover beyond that. Though it's a little harder to get invested because things move as a swift clip, I do enjoy these stories and the chance to see each Pillar fleshed out more.

    I also wonder to whom Mist Mane had to say goodbye? Maybe we'll learn next month.

    Though I have one lingering question. One of Prince Hisan's enemies set up this mummy invasion, but we never learn who? Given my rather limited knowledge of Equestrian history, I can only think of one culprit!

    Cleopatrot vs Somnambula!
    Who rocks the Egyptian pegasus look harder?

    I'm Silver Quill. Thanks for reading!

    Silver Quill on Twitter