Twilight Sparkle emerges from her castle one morning to find the bulk of the ponies in town fleeing in terror. The reason is Iron Will is stomping into town demanding to see Fluttershy. She and the rest of the Mane Six barricade the front of Fluttershy’s house so he can’t harass her, but it turns out when he gets there that he needs help. His “mizzuz” has tossed him out of the house (read: “maze”) until he finds his “inner pony”, and he’s going to Fluttershy for help in learning how to be kind and patient. Various activities, such as feeding animals, working at Sugarcube Corner, and being outdoors with nature, have mixed-to-negative results, but Iron Will finally loses his cool all together when during a spa treatment, Rainbow Dash comes in and laughs at how “un-manly” he looks. He storms out into the Everfree Forest and Fluttershy goes after him, eventually finding out from him the real reason he got kicked out of the house was because his son was starting to grow more aggressive and causing trouble at school, likely from imitating him, and he was proud of it. Fluttershy points out that he’d never tolerate his son acting that way around him or his wife, and that “there’s a time and place to be assertive”. Taking that lesson to heart, Iron Will finally begins to act more patient and kind. He ends up cooking a meal for the Mane Six to say thank you, but while five of them point out flaws with it, Fluttershy covers for them and says it looks wonderful to keep him calm.
I kind of like this one better than a lot of them.
I apologize if most of my reviews of the “Friends Forever” series have been rather blah, but a great deal of the stories in these ones are. None of them are bad, but none are terribly good. But like I said, I like this one a bit better. It works out well to feature Iron Will in an issue. Recently I had a chance to speak to one of the artists for the “Friends Forever” series at a convention. She explained to me that every story idea they come up with for the comics has to be something Hasbro doesn’t plan on doing. So a shoe-in for something that won’t be done is a character unlikely to appear, such as Iron Will. While I wouldn’t say he really ranks as a “minor villain” too much, the fact that he’ll probably never show again allows arcs like this to expand on him a bit more.
The overall story is nothing new. Fluttershy’s boundless kindness has been called on numerous times in the past to deal with the most hostile of individuals, including Discord. However, I think it’s handled rather well. The comic seems a little on the short side as the panels are so long, but it’s got a fairly good amount of humor. The best part to me is that it’s an after-school special one that’s more adult appropriate. The fact of the matter is we set an example for our kids no matter what we do, directly or indirectly, so we have to be sure we watch what we’re encouraging them to do and how. And in giving the message, it was simple, to the point, and effective. So…while it might not have been anything “earth-shattering”, and was a rehash in a couple ways, I liked it.
Hopefully not too many people were ticked off by “Putting Your Hoof Down” to enjoy it.
Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash immediately recognize Iron Will, in spite of the fact only Fluttershy, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie appeared in Season Two’s “Putting Your Hoof Down”. (I had a similar gripe with how Chekhov recognizes Khan in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”.)
As a throwback to the original “Putting Your Hoof Down”, Angel Bunny is both horrendous as well as extremely picky about food.
Iron Will gets so mad the tops of his horns burst and shoot out steam. 😛
3 Stars out of 5