Disney’s Darkwing Duck: The Duck Knight Returns
Darkwing Duck was one of my favorite cartoons growing up. The show had just the right blend of action and humor and cheesy villains to capture (and hold) my attention…come to think of it probably still does. So when I was walking around Heroescon and saw a comic series based upon the show it had my attention. The artist that was there and I talked to him for a few minutes and then proceeded to buy a copy of the book (autographed of course) and heck even my dad bought a copy of it because he remembered just how awesome Darkwing Duck was. And I put aside my normal fears of comics being based upon childhood memories and dived into the work. And was glad that I did.
It’s been over a year since Crackerjack, Megavolt, Darkwing Duck or any of the other caped folks have been seen. Oh they’re still out there…just in their normal everyday roles as citizens of St. Canard. It’s also been a year since Quackwerks has taken over everything, including the police force. No need for theatrics anymore. Nope everything is boring and quiet. Until the robots of Quackwerks being going to far and arresting anyone and everyone. Until the villains being rebelling. And Darkwing Duck will rise once more and reveal Quackwerks for what it really is.
While walking around the con floor what really caught my attention about this comic (other than it was Darkwing Duck) was the artwork. It looked just like what I remembered from the TV show. In fact I thought James had worked on the TV show, he hadn’t, but still…his depiction of Darkwing was just that spot on perfect. His steely gaze, the tilt of his bill, and just his general movements throughout the comic made me feel like I was 12 and watching the cartoon again. Some of my favorite scenes are not the fight sequences, but when Drake (aka Darkwing) is being an office drone. James just captures the essence of the character perfectly and how he has such a hard time making it up 140+ flights of stairs. In fact when I think back to the cartoon it’s that type of sequence that really defined Darkwing for me. The color choices are a bit darker, a bit grittier than what I remember from the show, but it still fits well with the overall theme of the work and my memories of the show.
But what really makes this show is the writing. It has just the right blend of humor and action as the cartoon did. And I know that I keep coming back to what the cartoon was like, but that’s because Darkwing to me will always be that cartoon so yes the writers and artists have a lot to live up to. Thankfully though they are definitely up to the task. I love how Ian sets things up as to why Darkwing has retired and why all of the super criminals are gone as well. Ian does a great job of just capturing the feel of the characters, especially Gosalyn and just how she creates trouble without trying too. I just love her conversation with Drake as she tries to convince him that the school is part of an evil plot to take over the world. The one character that I wish they showed more of though was Honker. He appears very briefly in the comic and I always liked his character. He was the yin to Gosalyn’s yang. Overall though the only part of the story that I thought needed a bit of tweaking was when we see the biggest bad being introduced. It’s like we suddenly jumped a few pages there and it threw me for a minute or so. Other than I absolutely loved this collection.
It’s clear that Boom! studios and the folks that worked on this comic enjoyed Darkwing Duck and didn’t want its story to end. I really enjoyed this collection and I look forwrd to reading the other adventuers of Darkwing. If you were a fan of the cartoon or if you’re just looking for something with some off beat humor and action then this is the collection for you.