Fluttershy is taking the Cutie Mark Crusaders out for a wildlife field trip…in her own back yard, more or less. However, it’s interrupted when Discord shows up, saying it’s their time of the month to hang out together. But on learning he accidentally went back in time and is a week early, he elects to hang out with the CMCs and Fluttershy on their trip. He gets bored quickly, however, and ends up convincing the girls to come with him on a time-travel field trip to see more creatures that have gone extinct. Unfortunately, Discord’s tendency to leave chaos in his wake everywhere he goes and his own chaotic nature makes him unwelcome in most time periods, and many of the places end up being more dangerous than fascinating. At last, he takes Fluttershy to the prehistoric era, and ends up irresponsibly letting the CMCs get abducted by a Roc. At this, Fluttershy loses her temper, accusing Discord of only ever using his power to have fun at other people’s expense and to lack any consideration for others, and that maybe he’s the sort of person who shouldn’t have friends. She tries to fly after the girls but, not being strong enough, exhausts herself and collapses. When she comes to, she sees Discord rescued her with the help of Hubert, a “butterdragon” (a butterfly the size of a dragon) he met years ago. He apologizes for not being considerate to his “new friends” and agrees to take them home. Fluttershy seems to make up with him and, on seeing the butterdragon, the only creature she wanted to see, she declares it the “best field trip ever”.
After a few issues, and the way the series was going, it figured that it was only a matter of time before Discord appeared in the comic. And although his alternate version appeared way back in the “Reflections” arc, this is the first appearance of him in his natural form.
For the most part, it’s good. A nice little story that has some fun and some endearing points, just like you would expect from any episode. Again, there isn’t anything terribly earth-shaking in it. To be honest, it could have been a bit more monumental and “big” if the comic series wasn’t already a bit “Discord-ed”, in the sense that they’re constantly bringing in allusions from other works and media. When Discord comes in and starts doing his traditional “Q” bit, it’s essentially more of the same, and actually a bit surprising that they don’t use more “Star Trek: The Next Generation” bits considering how much Discord embodies Q. Instead, they opted for a great deal of “Doctor Who” jokes. A bit odd…but mostly things the series has already done, which is kind of a let-down.
Still, having the CMCs feature for the first time in a while as well as focusing on the Fluttershy and Discord relationship was a nice little touch. I get these comics only after they’re released in sets, so I’m assuming this was before the Season Four finale, but it still is nice. The only thing I kind of frown at is the suggestion that Discord is romantically attracted to Fluttershy. I don’t really get that from the show. He sees her as his first and, until the end of Season Four, his true “only” friend, not as a girlfriend. That’s kind of a flub to me or something that’s “pure headcanon”. And I wish they could have gotten a bit wackier and done more with the time machine bit. Again, a lot of unexploited potential.
But that aside, it was still enjoyable. A nice little way to put Discord into the comic series.
At long last, Discord’s first “real” appearance in the comic.
Chronologically, this story could plausibly take place after the Season Four finale, but it likely takes place sometime during Season Four.
Among the games Discord suggests playing, he includes “Oubliettes and Ogres”, a nod back to the fourth story arc. However, apparently not enough readers got “Hocuspocus: The Get-Together”, and the writers instead call it “Friendship: The Gathering”. The Mouse Trap game from a few arcs ago is also properly called “Parasprite Trap”, it seems. In addition, he mentions the games “Hazard”(“Risk”) and “Hint”(“Clue”).
When Discord says he has to get changed, he undergoes a transformation identical to the one Usagi goes through in “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon”, and has big eyes with watermarks when finished. Soon after, he says “Cutie Mark Crusaders, roll out!”, a knockoff of Optimus Prime in “Transformers”.
When Discord summons his time machine, he dresses himself up in a fez and a bowtie, similar to the Eleventh Doctor of “Doctor Who”. Another allusion happens soon after when he reveals his own time machine is massive, but “it’s smaller on the inside”…a parody of the joke of Doctor Who’s TARDIS looking like a small phone booth but “it’s bigger on the inside”. However, when Doctor Whooves steps out from inside, he kicks him out of the story (literally), saying there’s too many reference in the comic already…and showing that Discord also has “Comic Awareness”.
When Fluttershy asks if they have a plan to get away from the jackals, he answers: “What sort of lord of chaos would I be if I had a plan?” This is something of an allusion to the Joker in “The Dark Knight”.
The hieroglyphics in the pyramid include the Cutie Marks of the Mane Six as well as the character from “Doodle Jump”.
The joke seemed rather vague and kind of a stretch…but Baast and the coloration of the cats with her indicate that she’s a variation on Twilight Sparkle and the Mane Six.
Baast hints that Discord is romantically attracted to Fluttershy. I personally think that’s a bit of a stretch, especially after the Season Four finale, but I know some shippers “see it”.
In yet another Doctor Who reference, when Discord accidentally goes into the future, there’s “Cybermen ponies” running around.
The creatures in the underwater kelpie city of Coltlantis don’t resemble the merponies from the fifth arc or the kelpie from the previous arc.
When the group sees the dinosaurs, one of the dinosaurs with functional arms is taunting the tyrannosaurus rex.
3 Stars out of 5