• INTERVIEW: Writer Jeremy Whitley on My Little Pony: Nightmare Knights!

    I'm not gonna lie, as soon as I heard the title of this comic mini-series I knew, I just knew it was going to be the MLP Comic series I have been waiting for. I also sent Jeremy Whitley—the writer of the series—an e-mail asking if he would be available for an interview about it.

    Since we are here the answer was obviously a resounding "YES!"

    Jeremy Whitley Unpacks a ton of information about this upcoming MLP series from IDW Publishing. All of which boils down to one thing: I hope you're all ready to have a blast!

    You can check it out after the break!

    The Illustrious Q: As always Jeremy, thank you so much for sitting down to spend some time answering comic questions for Equestria Daily. I know how incredibly busy you are since you are now writing 5 comic book series at once, so any time I get to spend with you is an absolute honor.

    Jeremy Whitley: I'm always happy to make some time for EQD, you guys are great!

    TIQ: Speaking of writing 5 monthly titles, let's start with one of those books before delving into Nightmare Knights. Namely a book which is near and dear to my heart, and proved to be quite unstoppable. Jeremy for the readers of Equestria Daily, could you please tell us who is The Unstoppable Wasp, and why the readers of MLP Comics will absolutely love this book?

    JW: The Unstoppable Wasp is Nadia Van Dyne, the daughter of Hank Pym and his first wife. Nadia was born and raised in the Red Room, where she was trained to be an assassin. When she, like her father, showed incredible ability in science and engineering, she became part of a Red Room program called The Science Class, where she was trained to create weapons for the Red Room. After learning about her father's work, she replicated his research on Pym particles and broke herself out. Now she's decided to use her talents to put together a lab of young scientists who can help her save the world.

    I think MLP readers will love it because it's a superhero book with the same sense of optimism and adventure that they've grown to love in MLP. And like MLP, it also focuses on a group of diverse girls with a love of adventure.

    TIQ: Is there anything particular scene or moment in this series you found to be a wonderful follow up to her previous outing? Like perhaps the logical conclusion to Mr. M.O.D.O.K.?

    JW: Well, with Nadia being one of the Champions now, I got a fun chance in one of the first few issues to play with a couple of her wonderful teammates. Also, we're getting to introduce some new villains who I'm really looking forward to introducing.

    TIQ: Could we perhaps Nadia cross paths with her scientist idols? Like I know she crossed paths with Doctor Victor Von Doom a.k.a. Doctor Doom in a previous adventure of the Avengers... is it possible we could see them cross paths again?

    JW: We're definitely going to get to see some more scientists from the Marvel U coming up. Now, as I understand it, an old friend of Doctor Doom's is making his return to the Marvel Universe, so I'm sure Doom will be busy for awhile, but I would love the chance to reunite him with Nadia at some point.

    TIQ: Oh my. That is one very large crowd wielding pitchforks and torches. That's my cue to move on to the actual focus of this blog: My Little Pony. You have a new MLP Mini-Series coming out from IDW Publishing which we know next to nothing about. Let's start this off this proper interview with three easy back to back questions: What is Nightmare Knights? How many issues are in this mini-series... the initial solicit was very vague on that point? How did you come up with that delightful pun of Nightmare Nights?

    JW: Nightmare Knights is, as I get the joy of telling people, the My Little Pony equivalent of the Suicide Squad (minus the bombs in the skull thing). In the first issue, Luna and Stygian get themselves into a pickle travelling between worlds, that results in most of Luna's power being stolen. The problem is, the world where they need to go to get it back is swarming with powerful villains and only other villains can get in. So Luna and Stygian have to put together a team of former villains to help them get Luna's powers back.

    It's scheduled for five issues, starting in October. Though, I love writing these characters, so if they ever want me to do more, I'm game.

    As for how I came up with the title, Bobby and I went back and forth on what to call it. I wanted something that centered Luna as part of the title, since this is her team. We went back and forth with a few different ideas until one night I woke up in the middle of the night with this idea. As soon as I did, it seemed like the obvious winner. Bobby agreed. So, I guess it came to me in my sleep, which perhaps means Luna helped me pick it.

    TIQ: How did this series come about?

    JW: Well, I had just pitched the two part Friendship is Magic story with Tempest in it and I wanted to do more with the characters I liked from the movie. I was playing with the idea of gathering up some of the characters who had been introduced in the movie and giving them a chance to wrap up some of the loose ends. That pitch didn't end up going through, but we all thought there was still something in the idea of putting together a group of secondary heroes to go on a mission and we wanted a character who people loved from the show to anchor it. We had already talked about Luna being involved in the other story, so that seemed like the obvious choice. I had also just come off of writing Legends of Magic, so I wanted to do more with Stygian after his redemption in the show. We paired the two of them with my two favorite rogues from the movie (Tempest and Capper), but we were still missing something...something great and powerful...

    TIQ: Considering this story is going to involve Tempest Shadow, how much of this story is going to be a follow up to Tempest's Tale in Friendship is Magic issues 67 & 68?

    JW: It happens after Tempest's story in 67-68 and we'll check in with where she is after that story, but that won't be the driving force here. Tempest's role in this story is basically to be the muscle in a crew that's prepping for a heist.

    TIQ: You have an entire mini-series dedicated to Princess Luna and are launching the series during the month of her holiday. Was this intentional planning by series editor Bobby Curnow or was it just a brilliant coincidence?

    JW: I'm honestly not sure! If it's a coincidence, it's a very lucky one. Though when we started planning the book, it wasn't called Nightmare Knights, so I'm thinking it's probably good luck.

    TIQ: Princess Luna has always been a fan favorite character, and I know she is one of your favorite characters to write. What are some things you can tease about everyone's favorite princess of the night and her role in this mini-series?

    JW: I absolutely love Luna! She's one of my favorite MLP characters period. I know everyone is wary about stories in which Luna or Celestia lose their powers and need to be saved, so we wanted to do something a little different. This is a story where Luna loses her power, but decides to be the hero anyway. She needs a team to help her do it, but there is no Luna sitting on the sidelines and waiting for somebody else to save the day. This is her team and she's leading them into a situation as tough as anything the Mane 6 have dealt with.

    TIQ: One of if not the greatest inventions of Andy Price and Katie Cook was the creation of Luna's pet opossum Tibbles. Could we possibly she the best pet of the franchise make an appearance in this series?

    JW: I'm afraid not in this story. Tibbles is too overpowered. We wouldn't even need the rest of the team if Tibbles could get involved.

    TIQ: Despite what the credits for the My Little Pony: The Movie Prequel trade paperback might suggest, this series is going to be the first time you are writing for Capper. What were some of the main elements of his character which drew you to including him in the series?

    JW: I love the Capper feels like the kind of animated character you don's see too much anymore. He feels like he jumped out of Don Bluth movie and into My Little Pony. He's roguish and sly and even when he's on your side, you can't be completely sure you can trust him. He's a really good fit for the setting of this story.

    TIQ: Is there anything in particular you are looking forward to exploring with his character that you can tease us with?

    JW: Well, the world that the story takes place in is Capper's kind of place. It's not just about good and evil, but about chance and luck. Some of our heroes don't know how to deal with the morally gray, but Capper is right at home. He's sure to come out ahead, but it might be at the cost of some of his compatriots.

    TIQ: Over the course of Legends of Magic, you did a ton of character development for Stygian. All 13 issues of the series in retrospect were designed to build up and explore his character. The first 6 issues were indirect by showing us the personalities of his friends the Pillars of Equestria. The final 7 were direct by telling us the story of his rise and fall from grace. What is it about this story that has you intrigued about exploring how he forges new relationships with this roguish cast of characters as opposed to mending his friendships which were broken over 1,000 years ago?

    JW: The neat thing about doing Legends of Magic was I got to explore Stygian and his team and build up some things in the character that we only get glimpses of in the show. The downside was, his redemption happens long after everything I wrote (except the postlude to issue 12 with him and Sunburst) so I never really got to write the redeemed Stygian. In Nightmare Knights we get to see the new and improved Stygian. He's been though everything we saw in the comics and the show and we get to see how he comes out the other end. It's fun to see those tinges of darkness in him still.

    TIQ: Could we potentially see any more tie-ins with Legends of Magic? The pillars of Equestria have very distinct personalities which are just screaming to be explored in further detail. Especially a certain pegasus pony from Egypt... maybe? Please? (Seth, please stop poking me. I just asked him about her! Yes, I am getting to her next! Don't rush me!)

    JW: I'm not too certain what the show has planned, but I would love to do more with the pillars in the modern world. I love the pony you're talking about, but I also have a lasting attachment to a certain bearded viking pony and his friend the potion slinging swamp pony.

    TIQ: Viewers of the MLP: FiM cartoon have noticed that a certain blue unicorn has been absent from the first half of season 8. Before I get into asking about your thoughts on The Great and Powerful blowhard Trixie, can you give us a little bit of the time frame of the series? Like does it take place congruently with the first half of the season, or does it happen at some other point?

    JW: Well, I think part of the benefit to this series is that these are mostly characters who aren't appearing anywhere else, so it's pretty easy to read it without being completely caught up. I think the only things that it absolutely has to happen after are the season 7 finale and the two part Tempest story in FiM. I think assuming it's happening during the first half of season 8 is a pretty safe bet.

    TIQ: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure this is your first time writing Trixie. What have been some of the challenges you've run into with writing this... very well realized character? Assuming there were any at all since she is The Great and Powerful Trixie!

    JW: Well, the only problem in writing Trixie in a team book is that she begs for the spotlight. I'm pretty sure I could write an entire mini all about Trixie if they let me. Previously I think I've only written her in a Friends Forever story with Rarity. Those two are easy to balance because they both take ALL OF THE SPOTLIGHT.

    [Editor's Note: Jeremy Whitley wrote Trixie in Friends Forever Issue #37]

    TIQ: Which issue does Trixie become the mane character? Is it issue 1? I bet it—

    JW: I'm asking Trixie, hold on...

    She says that she is always the main character, even when she's not in the story. If you can't see that then you're clearly reading the story wrong.

    TIQ: Anyways, what were some of the character elements that attracted you to writing for Trixie in this series?

    JW: Mostly her greatness but also her powerfullness.

    TIQ: What moment in the series you are very happy with that involves her which you can tease us with?

    JW: She gets to have the showdown she always dreamed of with Twilight...

    TIQ: Is there anything else you want to talk to the readers of Equestria Daily about?

    JW: There are so many choices! Tony's amazing art and covers. Sarah's amazing covers! Andy's special retailer incentive cover for #1 which is AWESOME! Also, there are two villains in this series. One of them is brand new and the other is...well...you'll have to see. Also, that's a lie, thank to Tony there are literally dozens of bad guys in this story.

    Also, it's a heist.

    My Little Pony: Nightmare Knights #1—SPOTLIGHT
    Jeremy Whitley (w) • Tony Fleecs (a & CVR A) • Brenda Hickey (CVR B) • Andy Price • (1:10 RI CVR) • Heather Breckel (c)

    Powerless and threatened by a great evil, Princess Luna discovers she can’t count on her sister or any of the usual heroes of Equestria. Running out of time and with nowhere to turn, Luna assembles a team specially suited to save the day… a team of former villains!

    FC • 32 pages • $3.99

    Bullet points:
    • A brand new mini-series featuring former villains turned heroes!
    • A crazy caper story the likes of which My Little Pony has never seen!

    Tentative Release Date: October 17th, 2018