Nightmare Moon has just been banished to the moon and is taking it in stride. Really in stride. Like it’s a minor inconvenience. It may actually work to her advantage as Celestia apparently plunked her down right next to the castle of the nyx.
Yes, nyx. I don’t know if this is a wink to the Brony fandom, but I’ll take it!
The nyx are a magical race that craft Equestria’s dreams. They’re innocent and unsuspecting. None moreso than the bird-nyx, Doran. At first, she’s presented as an eccentric character who doesn’t have the proper caution to resist Nightmare Moon’s manipulation. But as Nightmare Moon begins to craft nightmares to torment the ponies, Doran’s innocence becomes stupidity.
It’s one of the hardest distinctions in writing. Innocence is child-like trust, but the character still reacts when something bad happens with either shock or anger. Doran’s inability to see the situation in front of her goes beyond naïve. She’s not seeing anything.
And perhaps that is the biggest hurdle for this comic. Characters seem to take in everything without reacting. Nigthmare Moon is banished, so she needs something to do. Celestia sees her subjects tormented, so she just blinks them back to normal. Doran watches all this unfold and only talks about braiding manes.
The best part is when Celestia and Nightmare Moon duke it out in dreamspace. Each one embodies emotions either positive or negative. Though visually it looks like Celestia is attacking with Lucky Charms.
Nightmare Moon hits her where it hurts, showing Luna despairing in a mental prison. Given that this is meant to happen immediately after Luna’s fall, it’s good to see Celestia shaken by the sight. She’d been so composed throughout the story that I was beginning to wonder if it even registered.
Celestia triumphs thanks to Doran’s subversion. And though the nyx are now corrupted by Nightmare Moon, they work to resist and undermine her for the next 1,000 years. Until they start corrupting ponies on their own, I guess.
This comic is more involving than the Sirens, yet it struggles with a sense of detachment. I feel like a lot of the characters are going through the motions rather than being invested in the situation. Nightmare Moon is pure evil and all about hurting Celestia, which makes her more of a primal evil but even she seems kind of “meh” about her recent banishment.
We’ve but one more villain to go in this month-long marathon. Can Chyrsallis, the villain that gave the MLP comics such a strong start, make a comeback?