Fluttershy is just getting ready to enjoy a week off with no “adventures”, only to get a surprising uninvited guest: Daring Do. She’s trying to find the lost treasure of Queen Parabola, hidden in a castle that can supposedly only be found by reading the map off of the back of a Map Spider. She needs to catch one to find it but claims she is allergic to them, and therefore needs Fluttershy’s help in wrangling one. In spite of being highly nervous at the thought of going on a Daring Do adventure, Fluttershy agrees at the thought of meeting exotic animals. Daring Do ends up taking her through a series of scuffles and dangers including against Daring Do’s nemesis Dr. Cabelleron, all of which she finds terrifying and barely manages to get by, and the two eventually manage to acquire a Map Spider and end up in Queen Parabola’s castle. Unfortunately, they end up ambushed by Daring Do’s other nemesis Ahuizotl and are caught tied in a deathtrap by him. While faced with certain doom, Daring Do admits the real reason she brought Fluttershy along is because she’s an arachnophobic, and she says, of the two of them, Fluttershy is the one who is truly brave because she’s able to be confronted with her fears and press on anyway. Realizing the Map Spider they still have can undo the knot that’s tying them up, but only if it is allowed to crawl on Daring Do, Fluttershy convinces her to confront her own fears so they can get free. Daring is able to let the spider untie them, and the two manage to foil Cabelleron and Ahuizotl and secure the treasure. Both congratulate each other on facing their respective fears, but when Fluttershy suggests Daring made friends with a spider and she yelps and cringes in response, she suggests she takes “baby steps”.
This was another good little story in the Friends Forever series, and once again one with rather unlikely characters. In fact, if I had to give it one flaw, that would probably be it. While the story only really works out if it is Fluttershy and Daring Do together, and the moral wouldn’t if it wasn’t the two of them, two of the last characters one would ever expect to see being put together would be Fluttershy and Daring Do considering how different they are. The way the show is set up, pretty much it will always only be Rainbow Dash or (at a stretch) Twilight Sparkle. Heck, in Season Seven, in order to get a connection of Pinkie Pie to Somnambula, they had to use Rainbow Dash as a bit of a bridge in relationships to connect to Daring Do. Fluttershy is pretty much the opposite of everything she is and, in the series, they have had pretty much zero interaction.
But if you can overlook that and see them actually getting together, it’s a nice dynamic. A classic foil of Daring Do being bold, daring, forthright, and fearless, while Fluttershy is timid, shy, nervous, and hesitant. It’s played up for a good number of sight gags and jokes in this one. However, the big point is the lesson, which is one that hasn’t really been displayed on the show yet or, at least, not as clearly. Bravery is not never being afraid; it’s being afraid and pressing forward anyway. And when taken in that sense, Fluttershy might actually be one of the bravest characters on the show. Since everything scares her, the fact that she’s able to go out and do anything at all shows she’s constantly needing to be brave. Of course, for this to work for this lesson, Daring Do had to be given a phobia, but I think it worked out. And actually, I like it as a trait. Aside from being an adventurer that Rainbow Dash idolizes, we know very little about Daring Do as a character. Comics like this help give a bit more to her.
Normally I don’t care for Daring Do episodes because they seem so superficial and, thanks to the Y rating, toned down too much to be that exciting. However, this one was nice and with a nice moral I could get behind.
This entire story might have been inspired by Daring Do’s first appearance in Season Two’s “Read It and Weep”. In that one, part of Ahuizotl’s death trap is a bunch of spiders that don’t actually do anything, although the cobras also don’t really do anything in that scene either.
One of the items the IDW Comic ended up having to recant was an earlier arc in which they made Daring Do temporarily become a “real” character…only for the show to later make Daring Do a real pony as the alter-ego of her own author, A.K. Yearling. Although that episode was old by the time this issue came out, the storyline still seems to focus on Daring Do rather than A.K. Yearling, indicating it might have been written as early as when “Daring Don’t” aired.
Daring Do helps herself to some of Fluttershy’s tea, but she cleans up after herself. 😛
Queen Parabola is depicted as a zebra alicorn, of all things.
Daring Do has a whip, similar to Indiana Jones.
Jay Fosgitt’s style of Ahuizotl makes for some rather amusing panels. 🙂
Fluttershy and Daring Do, when forced to confront their fears, both keep their eyes closed and chant: “I’m not scared… I’m not scared…” Even the words that are bolded are the same in both panels.
3.5 Stars out of 5