Pathetically enough, if I were forced to choose just one costumed avenger to read about in current comic books, it would probably be this guy:
As a lifelong Disney freak, I love what Boom is doing with their line of Disney books right now. Well, I love it on a conceptual level anyway. I think it’s great that they brought back DuckTales in the pages of Uncle Scrooge (even if the one issue I read was a little bit meh), I love that they’re using age-old titles (like Walt Disney Comics and Stories, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck) to try out wacky genre ideas (even if I haven’t read any of them), and I love love love Darkwing Duck. But that one isn’t just a case of me loving it conceptually. I actually love the shit out of the first three issues of the book.
I have no idea who writer Ian Brill is, and neither does anybody else in the world, but I hope that changes, because his work on Darkwing Duck is awesome. He mixes up great laugh-out-loud humor, tons of Disney charm, and a fun story, while at the same time genuinely attempting to make this feel like an actual superhero comic book. It’s an ambitious task and so far, it’s really working out.
Much like the also-great current Batman Beyond title, Darkwing Duck smartly establishes a status quo that sets it well after the events of the TV show. This allows it to transcend its roots as an adaptation of something else, and really form its own identity, telling the kind of stories the TV show never could.
It has been a year since the costumed vigilante Darkwing Duck was last seen in St. Canard. Since then, the city has been more or less under the control of the huge, mysterious Quackwerks Corporation, whose patrolling Crimebots have rendered both supervillainy and superheroics obsolete. Drake Mallard, his alter ego now irrelevant and his spirit all but dead, is a lowly shitworker at Quackwerks (where he shares a cubicle with Megavolt)! He is struggling to keep up with payments to his daughter Gossalyn’s private school, he laments the lack of excitement in his life, and his relationship with former crimefighting partner, Launchpad McQuack, has become estranged after an oft-referred to “incident” that ended their careers.
That’s the situation we dive into, and as you can probably guess, the book’s first arc deals with Drake reestablishing the presence of the Terror That Flaps in the Night in St. Canard. He finds that he not only has to find out what the hell is up with the Quackwerks Corporation, but also deal with a newly-reformed (and totally hilarious) Fearsome Five.
Shit is really good and I’m psyched for the fourth issue (which wraps up the initial arc) and everything after it. If you’re a Darkwing fan, do not miss this book!
One final note. I could be reading way too much into this, but I sort of get the feeling that with Darkwing, Boom is attempting to set up a shared Disney Comics Universe. There are several subtle references to other Disney properties. These could just be jokes, but I am hoping it turns out to be something more than that, and that maybe soon we’ll see the likes of Mickey Mouse and Uncle Scrooge and others in St. Canard. Well, judge for yourself:
So what do you think? Am I reading too much into what are just throwaway gags, or is Boom setting up some kind of Disney comics universe? Time will tell, I suppose.
In the meantime, speaking of Disney crossovers, here is a gift! From the pages of the early 90’s Disney Adventures magazine, here is a five-part comic story that crosses over into the worlds of Tale Spin, Chip n Dale’s Rescue Rangers, Goof Troop, DuckTales and Darkwing Duck! I give you: The Legend of the Chaos God.
See you real soon! Why? Because I love you!