• Editorial: Feeling Cautious of Spike's Remaining Arc in the Comics

    Sup brahs? This is FlareGun45 here, your #1 source to everything Spike! Guess what kinda editorial I have today! ;)

    Anyhoo, I’ve been thinking about Spike for a very long time, and this was too large to just make a soapbox outta. We see the series finale of the show and we notice his future is GREAT! His problems are mostly solved by that time; however, the question remains on HOW he became the big powerful but kind and smart and secure diplomatic chad he is now. The journey is just as important as the destination, and that journey's gotta be complex and intense!

    More details after the break!

    Why Spike? Why not worry about the rest of the main cast?

    Yeah, Flare, care to explain yourself, bro?

    I do kinda worry about the rest of the mane cast as well. I liked Newbie Dash, cause even though it made Rainbow Dash look like a fool in there, it’s learning how tough being part of a military organization is like, and my military friends did say, it’s alot like that, and this episode did what many other episodes didn’t do: talk about the Mane 6’s heroic roles in saving Equestria. Plus, Canterlot Boutique, it was a big change in Rarity’s life, and have her learn more about quality over quantity, cause the ponies in Canterlot are more demanding than her customers in Ponyville.

    I know it’s hard to understand, but the main reason why I worry about Spike more, is that in MANY situations, his role is pretty much a second thought from the writers. "Oh right, Spike's in here, we need to get him to do something. I know! Since we're going to the Dragon Lands, he can claim Flash Magnus' shield for Rainbow Dash! That should content the Spike fans." With all due respect of course, I still loved the season 7 finale regardless, but c'mon, I ain't wrong about this.

    It's stuff like that that makes him not get pushed to his full potential. I mean really, each of the Mane 6, Starlight, the CMCs, even Trixie and Sunburst have an actual role in the School of Friendship - Spike’s role in the school wasn’t actually explained - was he “Vice Headmare”? I dunno, it wasn’t mentioned. At times like this, he tends to get forgotten about - and really, it was a miracle that he got exactly what he deserved in the finale, and his positions he obtained! 

    Roll call: Mane 6, each Pillar, Starlight, Sunburst.... we missing anyone?

    They coulda kept him as an assistant all the way till the end, but at the very last second, boom, assistant role gone! A well-deserved promotion that was long overdue! That was a Top 10 moment for me, and I was proud of him! That said though, I’m not sure what the writers took outta that.

    At least if the rest of the main cast got a story that made themselves look bad, that wouldn't be very fair to them either, but at least they're thought about all the time, so there'd always be another story that makes up for the bad one. Quality always beats quantity, but when a main character has ALOT of episodes already, odds are three outta the four episodes would tend to be good.

    Spike normally has a shorter amount of episodes than the rest, even compared to Starlight and the CMCs, and they're not even main characters; so if he had one bad episode, sometimes he doesn't get another chance! Remember season 5? That was his worse season! At least season 6 greatly made up for that, but we have NO idea how many of these comics IDW are gonna make!

    Comics are no exception, there was a large gap of Spike stories between Wings Over Yakyakistan (issue 56) and issue 83! Discord had a shorter gap than that. That's why I'm super worried for him - odds are we just get one story from him in season 10, and it would be like, I dunno, 2 issues, and then that's it. Lower quantity increases the risk, and a history of being a second thought from the writers, that's an even BIGGER risk!

    “Royal Advisor” what does that mean?

    They don't give these out to just ANYBODY!

    It means he’s technically the co-ruler of Equestria - second-in-command, helps the leader make decisions, which means half the time they're his decisions - he'd be in charge completely if Twilight was out on business or calls in sick. He’s taken Princess Luna’s place pretty much, so he’s basically “Princess Spike”! :P Yeah, we all saw how THAT episode went down, so this takes me to my first worry.

    What the writers take outta his new title is more impactful. What I’m seeing so far in the comics, it’s starting to become “Assistant Role 2.0”, something I was afraid of. Basically, same role, different name. Yunno why I started to have a problem with him just being an assistant as we got into the second half of the series? Cause half the things Spike did, Twilight could easily do with her magic. Holding a book: magic, pressing a button on a projector: magic, and Twilight can take notes simultaneously while doing anything else. Now that they live in a castle, Twilight has a WHOLE staff that does the cleaning and the note-taking - so being an assistant woulda been a useless role after they moved into the castle - so that advisor role suits him, just as long as the writers don’t mistake it as him still being an errand boy. 

    It looks like more work for him to hold that book, than Twilight could with her magic. And ya wonder why I have a problem with this assistant role.

    That time of his life is over, he’s proven to have alot more potential than being shadowed by Twilight. He’d be an awesome advisor, just as long as Twilight listens to him. Summer Sun Setback did prove she could control her Twilighting alot better, and Spike’s #1 role when he used to be an assistant is keeping her calm, since he had more of a level-head than her, a role that has become alot more rarer it would seem, if that episode hasn’t been forgotten about.

    Lastly, Princess Spike showed that he wasn’t ready to be a leader, but that was a long time ago, and when I think about it, that episode could been preparing for his leadership role now. Part of being an advisor is taking on the responsibilities the leader herself wouldn’t be able to do. 

    This dragon helped save your land a ton of times, and you're confusing him for a waiter?

    Not only would Spike need to prepare himself to be a better leader, but he’s also surrounded by ponies that don’t take him seriously. Remember the episode in season 9 Twilight was late returning a book, and ponies confused him as a waiter? Even if ponies tend to remember the Mane 6 being heroes, how many non-Crystal ponies realize that Spike has saved Equestria many times too? Spike would need to deal with being more assertive himself. Fluttershy had plenty of practice, but Spike, not really. That’ll need to be covered in a story too.

    All this is a comic arc by itself, and I didn’t get to the good part yet!

    How he becomes Ambassador

    And this is only HALF of the creatures he talks to on a daily bases now! Maybe less than half!

    He was already ambassador to the dragons by the time of Triple Threat, but at the time of the finale, he became ambassador to ALL creatures! This here by itself is a waaaaaaaay better job than assistant! This is a big deal! It’s the biggest and the dealiest! The safety of all creatures that live in Equestria rests on his shoulders, and keeping the peace between them!

    So basically, it matters BIG TIME how he became one, if the season 10 comics are gonna cover everything that leads up to The Last Problem. He would seem very well respected amongst the neighboring nations if he were to be in charge of keeping the peace. He had a pretty big start of starting the alliance between ponies and dragons in Gauntlet of Fire, and then paved away for the alliance between ponies and changelings by befriending Thorax - and not only that, but he started his first alliance all the way from Over the Barrel, when he befriended the buffaloes! 

    Spike's first taste of ambassador duty! (Heh, I said 'duty'! XP)

    Then we had Triple Threat, which shows that he has alot to learn about getting a couple of non-pony creatures to get along with eachother. So seeing how he got alot better since then would be a pretty big deal to his character development! This isn’t just getting a dragon lord and a changeling king who are also his friends to get along, this would be ALL the nations, even ones he never met, to try to get along, and that’s a BIG step up! Who knows what the conflict would be? Spike being scared, or Twilight not having alota confidence in him enough to handle it? Probably the latter, more on that I’ll get into in the next one.

    The season 10 comics already contain the zebra kingdom, the cats, the diamond dogs and such, so we’re already getting to know them, but since Spike is becoming ambassador, how is he gonna play in this arc?

    Spike’s insecurity problem

    10 seasons later, he's still struggling to find serenity - and still feels like a seventh wheel - but at least the book understands! ^^

    What’s always been Spike’s biggest demon he must face is his own insecurity - such as feeling left out, feeling unimportant and useless, not standing up for himself, and afraid of hurting his friends. What stinks even more is that it’s mostly played as a running gag in the series rather than a serious problem. The first season 10 comic started off with Twilight mentioning her friends, and then she was like, “Oh and Spike too”, and Spike was reading a book on How to feel useful. I would hope that’s a foreshadow to a future story, but this show has a history of mocking Spike’s problem like it’s no big deal; like feeling insecure is something to laugh at.

    I don’t find his issues to be funny, especially if he dedicates his time to helping his own friends out with their problems more than his own. It’s what holds him back - his insecurity is what kept him from pushing himself to his true potential. It’s what kept him being the comic-relief punching bag for the first half of the series. It’s what keeps him from getting his questions answered. It’s what keeps him being the seventh wheel of the Mane 6. It’s also what keeps him safe from danger whenever his friends are around - but they’re not gonna be around forever.

    Jeez, Flare, how many times you gonna post THIS image?

    Most importantly, his insecurity is what keeps him from being more independent from Twilight. Back when Spike was younger, his biggest fear was Twilight sending him away and not feeling wanted. Is it still right now? Who knows? Spike IS growing up, and when one grows up, they start to change a little bit, get more mature. He's gonna be a teenager soon, and that's when kids start asking important questions about themselves.

    Then his fear of Twilight leaving him could start to become Twilight’s fear of Spike leaving HER! Could that be why Twilight doesn’t even try to help him face his fear of losing her, or would she rather just have him face it by himself? It’s gonna happen regardless. It would be quite unhealthy for him if he didn’t.

    Y’might think this kinda story won’t need to happen, but remember; Spike’s the ambassador now, he’s travelling alot - how long does he get to see Twilight? When he visits her at the beginning of The Last Problem, he greeted her as if he didn’t see her in a long time. This is great! Spike helping Twilight without being by her side all day, ‘er day, that would really help him to stop standing in Twilight’s shadow all the time, having his own life, his own job, but at the same time, they're still working together! But working together more as partners being in charge of their own fields, rather than Spike being an errand-boy like he used to.

    Look at that chad! You think THAT'S an errand boy?

    I’m not sure if this is gonna be talked about or not, but it would indeed be nice, showing how much Spike has grown since Owl’s Well That Ends Well! However, it would all depend on if Spike was willing to do this, or did he have a bit of a problem and not wanna leave Twilight’s side? Or could it be the opposite? Would TWILIGHT be able to handle it? She was always used to him being there - so who knows if SHE could handle him not being by her side all the time anymore? 

    This would indeed be a deep story to tell, and a big step into their relationship - still being there for eachother, without actually physically being there all the time, cause they both have their own big jobs to do. Get over their fears of losing eachother. It would be alot better having a story about it, rather than it just getting brushed aside and happening automatically off-comic.

    That could be why I felt his story felt incompleted when the show ended: he has yet to defeat his inner demons.

    Other stories the comic could cover

    Yep, see that? He was included this time! Wouldn't ya love to see that explored more? Yes, or most definitely? :D

    Those three up above were the most important things, but there are other parts of Spike’s arc that could be covered that I’m not expecting completely, but would still be nice to have!

    * Twilight isn’t the only one that left her friends in Ponyville. Spike could be way too busy to see his OWN friends often anymore. Big Mac has a family now, Smolder is still a student at the school, Gabby’s job in Ponyville involves checking on Gallus so she might not even have time to go to Canterlot, Starlight is busy RUNNING the school, and Discord… well, he’ll see him often, but I’m sure he’d prefer seeing the others. Unlike the Mane 6, he doesn’t have a “once a month meeting” with his non-Mane 6 friends. Did he know what he was signing up for?

    * His relationship with the Sparkles. It took until episode 200 for the show to finally tell us his role in the Sparkle family, his family, so any more stories talking about this would be appreciated.

    Who needs an origin story when you have an awesome family like this? :D

    * Remember in Ending of the End - Part 2, in the final climax? Had the Pillars, had the Student 6, had the Mane 6, and had Spike too - all using their Elements of Friendship to defeat the villain trio! I dunno if this means Spike is connected to the Tree of Harmony, or has his own friendship magic inside him that he doesn't know about. Either way, it seems too good to pass up a story like this. If friendship is magic, then judging by how awesome of a friend he is, he must be pretty powerful!

    * You knew this was coming. The odds of Spike having an origin story are pretty low, and even though Spike doesn't feel like he needs to know, he might end up getting it anyway completely by accident during a friendship mission. But this would be quite risky to write as well - cause it's still a child friendly story, and the writers would probably not wanna make it too sad.


    Ever wonder what's going on deep into that brain of his?

    Woulda been better to have them animated, but a comic story to cover these stories is better than no story at all, but no story at all is better than doing the story very poorly, or rushing through it, or just mentioning what happened in the background without having to explain it.

    Like I said, Spike is VERY RISKY to write for - cause there’s people like me that feel for him, and worry that he’s gonna get the short end of the stick again. Very few of the writers understand him, and only see him as just a loyal sidekick, and it holds him back from him having bigger and better stories. It wasn't until the 2nd half of the series that he started getting them, and not until season 9 that they pushed his boundaries to the limit - and so much coulda happened between the time jump.

    But I still have alot of faith in the writers too - cause so far, season 10 has been a pretty strong season! Even the small Scootaloo comic! Not the strongest, but give ‘em time, IDW just started taking the mantle. I’m sure they’ll get to the swing of things! They just gotta be verrrrrrry careful.

    Yunno what they say: It’s the Journey that makes it fun, not the Destination, and as much as I’m happy to see how successful Spike became, I wanna see HOW he became that successful. I wanna see HOW he became more independent from Twilight and was able to do more important stuff on his own. HOW did he become the big successful respected ambassador that doesn’t stand in Twilight’s shadow anymore?

    Spike becoming the awesome chad he is now would mean nothing without an awesome and complicated story to back it up!

    I know I might overthink these things a bit, but Spike means alot to me, and I think he deserves the best, cause he’s the greatest friend Equestria has ever had! Am I wrong about that? He deserves the best stories that aren’t rushed and put enough effort into them, with deep thinking. He’s got the reward, but how he got it matters to me as well. The more interesting the story, the more interesting the character, the more chance more people will like him better. If I’m wrong about these beliefs, then the only ones that can prove me wrong is the series itself, or Cathy Weseluck since she IS Spike. Her word exceeds all else when it comes to Spike.

    Anyhoo, stay safe, brahs! Hugs all around!