King Sombra’s grand return takes full center! How does the second part in this epic story go? Let’s take a look.
Here’s the official description from IDW:
‘Siege of the Crystal Empire,’ Part 2! The mystery antagonist reveals the next stage in a diabolical scheme! Will our ponies be able to uncover what role Sombra is meant to play before it’s too late?
It’s hard to get better than “Siege of the Crystal Empire.” The first issue was an amazing starter. It grabbed a bunch of the Mane 6’s old enemies plus it featured a mysterious cloaked antagonist. The writing was great, and the art really captured everything that makes My Little Pony so incredible. With the unexpected cliffhanger unveiling Radiant Hope, and the return of King Sombra, we were ready for an epic second part. Part Two delivers some excellent backstory, which the comics have always been fantastic in doing. Combine that with epic action makes the issue a must-read.
Jeremy Whitley devotes a good chunk of the issue to exploring the backstory with Radiant Hope and King Sombra. Interestingly, some of this was explored back in the Fiendship is Magic event. It should be noted that it manages to not feel like a rehash and instead contains even more deepening of Sombra as a character. My only complaint is that Radiant seems to switch over to Sombra’s side rather abruptly. Her character arc is very confusing. I understand that Whitley is aiming for a very conflicted person, but some of it comes off as odd. For example, on the final page she is literally shocked at what Sombra does, even though she pretty much orchestrated all of this. The remainder of the issue has the ponies fight against their adversaries once again. It’s a lot of fun, and the various dialogue pieces are great. Even Pinkie Pie letting the Flim Flam Brothers use her party canon against her, which sounds ludicrous on paper, is actually a really funny and well-done scene.
Andy Price’s art is stellar throughout. There isn’t much to say that wasn’t said in #34’s review. A notable scene is the different expressions on the ponies when Sombra’s giant head appears in the dark clouds. Of course, one must give credit to Heather Breckel’s fantastic, vibrant coloring on everything. The main cover by the always artistic Sara Richard depicts a very powerful scene with Radiant and Sombra. The RI by by Price is a detailed, great piece depicting some of the main characters and Sombra’s monstrous head looming down on them. It’s an excellent cover, though I’m not sure why it’s uncolored.
Overall, “Siege of the Crystal Empire” continues with such grandeur. It’s the most epic Pony event since Reflections, and everything is coming together nicely. The story does incredible world-building, and it’s just a blast to read.