detail from a comic by Larsurus
|Other names||Wonder Bolts, Wonderbolts|
The Wonderbolts are a group of Pegasus ponies who appear occasionally in My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. They perform aerial acrobatics, participate in sporting events, and in Secret of My Excess prove to have some military duties as well. Rainbow Dash has the aspirational goal of joining them. Their evil counterparts are the Shadowbolts, who only appear briefly in Friendship is Magic, part 2 of the show, but occasionally resurface as antagonists in fan labor.
Joining the team as a plot element
Rainbow Dash becoming a member is a common topic of fanfics and fan art centering around her. So is her having an accident while trying out for the squad: In the novella Friendship is Tragic, for instance, Rainbow loses her wings after challenging Spitfire to a race; the Wonderbolts are disbanded afterwards. In the fanfic Tales, she dies while trying to impress them.
Becoming a member is also frequently a goal for an adult Scootaloo. In fan art, at least, not being a Pegasus is not an impediment to being depicted in a Wonderbolt - or Shadowbolt - uniform. All members of the main cast are occasionally seen dressed in these uniforms, both with wings and without.[A 1][A 2]
SpitfireThe Wonderbolts' most prominent member is Spitfire. She has had the most lines in the show, and has by far the most fan art produced of her. She is commonly shipped with Rainbow Dash and/or Soarin'.
Her cutie mark was not depicted in the show until Wonderbolts Academy. In the early days of the fandom, the Wonderbolts insignia on her uniform was quite commonly assumed to be her cutie mark. Several different artists came up with designs based around a lightning bolt blazing with fire,[B 1][B 2][B 3] and this idea has become prevalent. However, in the trading cards released in mid-July 2012, it was revealed that the lightning bolt insignia on her uniform is, in fact, her cutie mark. In the episode Wonderbolts Academy, her cutie mark in the show is revealed to be a profile of a stylized phoenix.In fan fiction, she is typically considered the Captain or Co-Captain of the Wonderbolts, and was so even before the episode Hurricane Fluttershy made it official. The story Spitfire's Day Off sees her as part of a family tradition; her grandfather had been Captain of the team as well.
Soarin's appearances in fan labor tend to be limited to being the male romantic interest for either Spitfire or Rainbow Dash; the latter pairing is commonly abbreviated "SoarinDash". He is associated with pie, stemming from his only substantial scene in the show in The Best Night Ever, which has also led him to sometimes be paired romantically with Applejack, similarly abbreviated as "SoarinJack".
Fleetfoot is a female Wonderbolt introduced in a background shot in The Best Night Ever. An Ask blog started up in November 2011, giving her the name "Echo". In this interpretation, which has dominated fan labor, Echo is blind but still capable of flying and keeping up with the other Wonderbolts thanks to her use of echolocation. When she was given the official name "Fleetfoot" in the episode Sweet and Elite, the blog's creator adapted and declared Fleetfoot to be Echo's last name.
Shadowbolts are frequently used in fan games, such as Canterlot Siege, as enemies. They are less commonly depicted in fan fiction, possibly since in the show they were a simple illusion created by Nightmare Moon. However, the story A Dark Sky portrays them as an actual group of aerial racers that rival the Wonderbolts, with each of the members having criminal, medical, or military history. The Shadowbolts of that story are OCs created by PoorYorick.
Fan art examples
Expanding The Wonderbolts roster
- ↑ MaximillianVeers (2011-07-13). The Mane Event.
- ↑ Shrek214 (2011-11-28). Pinkie Pie Joins the Shadowbolts.
Spitfire's cutie mark
- ↑ naroclie (2011-05-11). Circular design.
- ↑ spittfireart (2012-07-21). Lightning bolt design. Retrieved on 2012 August 16.
- ↑ MaximilianVeers (2011-05-31). Lightning bolt design.