Fluttershy is out assisting Rainbow Dash in clocking her latest time trials when both of them suddenly get an invitation in the mail for a Flight Camp Reunion. Rainbow Dash is enthusiastic about the entire thing, relishing the idea to meet up with the old campmates and show off how much she’s improved, but as Fluttershy was bullied at it she’d rather skip the whole thing. Nevertheless, Rainbow Dash manages to get her to come under the assurance that she’ll remain by her, only to immediately break off as soon as they arrive to show off her skill and beat old campmates in races. As for Fluttershy, she runs into one of her old bullies, Cirrus Cloud, who is actually heading up the Reunion Committee and says she has a special surprise for her at the dinner that evening. When other former campmates seem to avoid talking to her, Fluttershy fears that she’s being set up to be pranked or taunted again due to being such a weak flier, but in spite of her best attempts to escape both she and Rainbow Dash end up at the dinner. While Rainbow has been enjoying herself all day, Fluttershy finally comes out and says that camp wasn’t a place of “happy memories” for her. On realizing how upset being at the reunion is making her, Rainbow apologizes for not being more attentive to her, but also says that she’s one of the most amazing pegasi she knows and she shouldn’t care what any of her former bullies think. With that in mind, Fluttershy steps onto stage when called, expecting to be pranked by Cirrus, only to discover she’s receiving a special reward and tribute for all of the service she’s rendered to Equestria. Rainbow Dash congratulates her by saying she’s the pony she’s most proud of, while Fluttershy says she’s “pretty awesome” too.
I’ve noticed there’s something of a trend that seems to come up with Fluttershy storylines. Namely, they all follow the same format of: “Fluttershy is nervous about something and learns to conquer her fear”. This contributes somewhat to the same problem I noted back in “Scare Master”, how Fluttershy never really seems to grow that much in episodes like these and, in the worst case situation, regresses. Nevertheless, this one really isn’t that bad.
Fluttershy does have a number of scared reactions in it, but she doesn’t have any of her “epic cowering” moments from the series such as fortifying her house or disguising herself as a tree. In addition, this is a legitimate fear. If you had to endure something that was nothing but one bad memory after another, the last thing you want to do is have to relive it through a reunion. As a result, this storyline has a bit of a moral that’s not exactly unique but is presented in a more unique fashion.
Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy are possibly the oldest friends out of the Mane Six, with the very events of the first Sonic Rainboom causing them to pair with each other. And over the years in the series, in spite of their wildly different personalities and talents, they’ve had lots of moments where they’ve both respected and encouraged each other in their respective fields. And this storyline shows off something that could come up as a result of their character traits. Rainbow Dash thinks she’s encouraging Fluttershy to do something outgoing and fun, but her problem is she has a bit of an egocentric viewpoint on what other ponies would think is fun–thinking something that is great for her would be great for someone else. While this was done with the best of intentions, she learns a lesson to not only realize that what’s good for one person isn’t necessarily good for another, and to be more receptive when someone tells you they don’t want to do something…that it might not just be due to shyness. As for Fluttershy, her own lesson is far milder, but also presented in a different way. Rather than learning to stand up for herself or try new things, she’s learned to not place value on the opinions of everyone but only on those who matter.
They’re both valid lessons and ones that haven’t been hit on exactly by the show, so that’s a good point. Yet that aside, the issue is mostly lackluster. The only “fun” part, other than the unique art style, is Fluttershy’s fantasy and, to a lesser extent, Cirrus Cloud’s appearance. I think this comic is good as far as the Friends Forever issues go, but that’s about all.
Another comic by Jay Fosgitt, who has the most unique and “non-pony” art style of the IDW writers. He makes Angel Bunny practically as large as Fluttershy in some panels.
In Season Two’s “Hurricane Fluttershy”, the taunt the other fillies made of filly Fluttershy was: “Fluttershy! Fluttershy! Fluttershy can’t hardly fly!” For the comic, the taunt was turned to “Fluttershy! Fluttershy! A pegasus who cannot fly!”
Fluttershy’s fear of what will happen at the reunion is similar to what happens at the prom in “Carrie”.
3 Stars out of 5