Nightmare Night is upon us once again and every year we celebrate a different MLP villain by looking at the episodes they appear and any comic material. This year is a bit different however as we are looking at King Sombra and while we will be looking at both his TV and comic appearances, the two are two completely different characters. It’s a bit tricky to touch upon when looking at how this character is shaped but for the sake of this particular Villains Profile, I’ll be focusing on the four episodes that he appeared in before moving onto his comic appearances next week. with that outta the way, let’s begin.
In his original appearance, Sombra doesn’t speak at all and at best just snarls and growls. And was voiced by the show’s storyboard artist/co-director Jim Miller. According to the MLP Wiki, Miller drew inspiration from the song, Crystal Skull. Not really my thing but I can get it and kind of interesting to learn.
In the show’s final season, Sombra was finally given some actual lines and thus a new voice actor was brought in, Alvin Sanders. The character is quite a bit more talkative compared to how he’s presented in season three. Sanders’ portrayal of Sombra is a character that seems to revel in being evil and wants to take this chance to get his revenge on the Mane Six. Oh and I just get this outta my system, I was shocked to find out that Sombra, as voiced in season nine, was played by Pop Tate from Riverdale.
That was a bit of a mind-blown moment. Honestly, though Sanders does a great job actually giving Sombra some much-needed character to a villain that was sorely missing a character or personality in his original appearance.
Sombra first appears in the show in the season three premiere when Celestia describes him to Twilight detailing his banishment and his return.
This also shows how evil how he was willing to enslave the crystal ponies and this image is a bit creepy and does seem to show how evil Sombra could be. Which is nice but these two episodes don’t do a lot to sell the evilness. It just tells us while the threat of Sombra looms over The Crystal Empire.
This is a good start but season three doesn’t do a lot with him.
Yeah, in season three, he doesn’t have a personality other than just being evil and serving as an obstacle that Twilight has to overcome. Like I said Sombra is a different character in the comics because he was actually given a personality and part of me has to wonder if that played a part in how he was presented.
When brought back for season nine, Sombra actually has a personality and it’s a mix of a regal type who also is a gloater as he doesn’t believe that anypony can knock him down. This is an area where it’s clear the comics served Sombra before this episode as they made him a tragic figure whereas, in the show, he is ruthless and will do whatever it takes to succeed in obtaining control of the Crystal Empire.
In season three, his goal is to both recover the Crystal Heart and reclaim the Crystal Empie so that can rule once again. He barely even comes close to succeeding there whereas, in season nine, he hopes to destroy the Tree of Harmony and conquer Equestria as a whole. This however does go against the wishes of Grogar, the supposedly greatest evil this world has seen. (It’s actually Discord).
Joanna and Kristen Songco, the writers of the season nine premiere took a villain that the fandom had considered a joke and the weakest two-parter villain and made him something of an actual threat.
Most Evil Deed
I gotta go with season nine and how close he came to conquering Equestria. If Twilight and co weren’t there to stop him, there is a good chance that Sombra could’ve succeeded. The way he brainwashed the citizens of Ponyville and Canterlot to do his bidding.
This is truly more heartbreaking than anything he ever did in season three.
In season three, his defeat came at the end of Spike and more so Cadence with one of the more memed moments of the series.
While this moment is presented as in-universe, it is a little silly but it makes sense within the show. The defeat in season nine is a bit better and is directly at the hands of the Mane Six, this time.
The defeat holds more weight for the show’s final season as it shows how much the girls have overcome but still have more obstacles in their way before the series ends.
Is King Sombra a Good Villian?
King Sombra originally in the show was a weak villain that wasn’t interesting at all. As we will see throughout the rest of the month, his comic counterpart eclipses him. That is also true of Sombra in his final appearance as he has been elevated to a villain while he isn’t on the same level as Tierk or Queen Chrysalis, in one two-parter, he became a villain that could be taken seriously. When presented as just a shadowy figure that moans and groans, there was nothing to him. Seven years later, the audience was finally allowed to see how Sombra thinks and works as a villain. Join me next time as we start to dive into the comics version of Sombra as we look at…
FIENDship is Magic # 1