Remember when I theorized that the writer of Darkwing Duck was establishing the beginnings of a Disney Comic Universe? Well, holy crap, all signs point to me being totally right! Darkwing Duck #4 gave me such a raging Disney fanboner that I had to fanmasturbate into about ten fansocks just to make it go away. Ew.
Spoiler warnings, bla bla bla.
So in the very last panel of issue #3, we finally learned who the secretive mastermind behind the Quackwerks Corporation has been. After tons of red herring clues leading us to believe it was Darkwing’s arch nemesis Negaduck (who had been conspicuously absent from the story so far), it turned out to actually be Taurus Bulba. Casual viewers of Darkwing Duck might remember him as the big bull guy who was in the very first episode of the TV show. What they might not remember is that by the end of that episode, he was some kind of cyborg. Well, shit has gotten even wackier, and now he just exists in a state of pure consciousness which is able to travel through and possess any and all electronics. How do we, the reader, learn this little bit of backstory? Well, obviously it’s via a flashback that HEAVILY FEATURES GYRO GEARLOOSE:
I won’t lie; when I turned the page and saw Gyro, I nearly shit myself with glee. The very next thing I did was check to see if his little lightbulb buddy was in da house, and sure enough: there he is! It’s as if Carl Barks came back from the grave and tenderly tongue kissed me! I also love that Gyro sort of fills the Reed Richards role in this universe. But anyway, wait until you see what happens next! Taurus gloats to Gyro that he now has control over all electronic devices… except one…
THE GIZMO DUCK SUIT!! It turns out that even if he says the codeword, Taurus is unable to use the Gizmo suit, because it doesn’t regard him as a person anymore. When he steals it anyway, Gyro threatens to remotely change the codeword. But Taurus has a plan. He will brainwash the entire city via his Quackwerks corporation, and force his citizens to recite every combination of words imaginable until the codeword is discovered. The entire new status quo of St. Canard was just a front for Taurus to gain control of the suit! Just so he could waggle his big bull dick in Gyro Gearloose’s face! Fucking brilliant.
So there’s our backstory. Back in the present, Darkwing and Launchpad team up with the Fearsome Four (who are equally as pissed as the good guys about Quackwerks’ effect on the criminal/crimefighter dynamic) to kick Taurus’ ass. After a pretty awesome battle, things seem bleak for our heroes until… Gossalyn coincidentally utters the new codeword (“Keen Geer” for those of you who give a shit), and becomes…
More battling follows. I have to say that the action content in this comic book is surprisingly satisfying. It is full of pretty lengthy battle scenes, spread across multiple pages and splash panels, and it reads more like traditional superhero asskickery than cartoonish silliness. And during the course of this particular battle, there is even a surprisingly touching moment where Darkwing is afraid Gossalyn has been killed:
Of course, she recovers one panel later, and together, the family of heroes kicks the bad guy’s ass. I absolutely love this new incarnation of Taurus Bulba – it’s just so fucking comic booky. Can’t wait to see more of him.
So picture me sitting there, having just read this story arc’s climactic battle scene, still reeling from all this awesome Gizmo Duck shit. I turn the page, and what do I see?
It turns out the government deemed the Quackwerks project “too big to fail” and have appointed Scrooge McDuck to oversee its restructuring. It also appears as if Huey, Dewey and Louie have become more involved in McDuck Industries, now filling some sort of executive roles in their adorable little suits! Look at them!
Anyway, Scrooge basically sets the status quo back to normal, with law enforcement back in the hands of the police force, and incentives for competing businesses to ensure that Quackwerks doesn’t monopolize the city’s employment. In a really sweet moment that will make any DuckTales fan go “awww,” Scrooge appoints Launchpad the new head of the Quackwerks Corporation, citing him as a person he’d trust with his own safety. Gossalyn is allowed to hang onto the Gizmo suit, so it seems as if she is going to be the new Gizmo Duck for the time being. That makes me wonder where Fenton Crackshell fits into all of this, but I’m confident we’ll see him soon enough.
In fact, I’m really psyched to see all the exciting places this overlapped Darkwing/DuckTales narrative can take us in the future. It was a brilliant move to bring these worlds, which were always tenuously connected, much closer together, and it should make for some exciting storytelling down the line. And it seems like we won’t have to wait long for more: the last page of issue #4 (which serves as a teaser for the next story arc) hints at a very exciting supervillain crossover team-up that I won’t spoil for you. If anything I’ve described here gets you totally stoked, you should definitely start buying this book!
Hats off to you, Ian Brill! Keep up the good work in both this book and in your upcoming Rescue Rangers title! I look forward to being surprised every month by how engaging these stupid kiddie books for babies can be!