No. No there isn’t.
In fact, the contrast between her and Sombra is a great bracket for the spectrum.
Despite his Umbrum origins, Sombra is still a pony and we’re curious to know how he fell into villainy. His story was a tragedy because he could have chosen a different life if not for his own flaws and those of others.
Chrysalis is what I like to call “primal evil.” I don’t question why she is a villain. I can see it from her behavior to her design. If she wasn’t evil, she wouldn’t exist. This comic even supports that!
So it’s fitting that her comic really isn’t an origin story but rather a chronicle of her exploits. As Twilight and company come to check on her imprisonment, they witness a starving and isolated Queen surrounded by her hibernating changelings. Curiosity and a sense of security draws the ponies into asking Chrysalis about her history.
We witness several events, parodying both Greek and Roman mythology and even a Lord of the Rings satire. Each event, comical or tragic in its own way, drives home that Chrysalis excels at manipulation. She knows just how to slip through cracks in security and exploit her victims’ weaknesses. The strongest warriors can be deceived, the most foolish leaders manipulated. Even when staring down a dragon, she’ll find a way to twist the situation to her advantage through words and magical manipulation.
It’s no different for Twilight, who allows herself to be lulled into a trap. I’m sure many will cry foul that she mistakenly released the villain she’d originally imprisoned, but that’s the point of this tale. Chrysalis is a survivor through trickery rather than strength. You can punch holes in her, overpower her, even imprison her, but she will find a way out using yourself or others as tools. This doesn’t feel like Twilight is being made stupid just for the sake of the story. It’s more that we see why Chrysalis is a threat.
That’s not to say there aren’t criticisms. The ponies tend to throw in jokey dialog which can draw scenes out. There’s a single-page tangent about Rarity going on a date which could have been cut with no loss to the story. It may be funny, but this is Chrysalis’ comic.
One highlight is Andy Price’s art. He excels at drawing the changelings and both comedic and terrifying. The “birth” of Chrysalis in this comic is one of the most gloriously creepy images you’ll see in MLP. And Katie Cook knows how to write Chrysalis as both menacing and funny all in the same story. This is a nice return to form for them both.
So Fiendship is Magic ends on what I consider to be a high note. Here’s my ranking from favorites to easily skippable:
But the strange thing is how we started with characters who chose to lives of violence and worked our way to characters who almost have no choice. It’s an interesting spectrum though not a smooth ride.
That’s my choice. What’s yours?