Evan Burkey

Darkwing Duck Annual #1 – Review

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Darkwing Duck rides again in this new comic from BOOM! Studios, and just like in The Duck Knight Returns, Darkwing still has it.

I’ll admit that I’m one of those guys who doesn’t really read American comics (yeah yeah, go ahead and call me a weeaboo). But the chance to check out a new Darkwing Duck comic? You better believe I hopped on that. Darkwing Duck was one of my favorite cartoons when I was a kid, and I still throw in my DVDs every once in a while to revile in the Masked Mallard’s adventures.

Darkwing Duck Annual #1 actually contains two stories, the first longer than the second. First up is Toy With Me, written by Ian Brill, who works on the running Darkwing comic from BOOM! and their Rescue Rangers ongoing as well. The second story, The Untimely Terror of the Time Turtle, was penned by series creator Tad Stones. Though both stories were enjoyable, they were very different in tone, and I think both writers really showed what they were good at.

Toy With Me centers around Quackerjack, one of Darkwing’s most oft-fought villans. The story begins with Quackerjack stealing a machine that digitizes objects into video games (ala Tron). He reverses the machine so, in true Quackerjack style, it turns people into toys. He then goes to the offices of Whiffle Boy Entertainment, who are running the world’s most popular online video game, World of Whifflecraft. He then turns the developers into toys, and begins to setup the machine so it will turn all 12 million players into toys as well. Of course, Darkwing Duck is on the chase, and it leads him to Quackerjack’s ex-girlfriend’s house, and the story takes a sudden turn. Up until this point it had been pretty standard thoroughfare. Slapstick and goofiness abound, as well as some well written aside jokes… but as Darkwing Duck talks to Quackerjack’s ex, she begins to explain why Quackerjack is a villian, and you see that he has quite a tragic backstory. I did not see the sobering turn come so quick, and it surprised me. However, I’m not berating it; I think the change in pace works well and really sets this comic apart. Afterward, Darkwing Duck rushes off to save the day and stop Quackerjack, and of course does so, however the last page of the comic returns to another sad look at Quackerjack’s finale. I won’t spoil the ending, it’s too damn good for me to do so; just believe me when I say that this is a must read for any fan of Darkwing Duck.

I was really looking forward to the second story, The Untimely Terror of the Time Turtle, as it’s written by Tad Stones. This shorter story returns to the classic pulp-fictiony Darkwing Duck with form, and Stones did a great job in making the comic seem just like an episode of the series. It’s very monster-of-the-week, but then again so was the animated show, and it works fantastically. Gosalyn appears as the fourth-wall breaker in this comic with some hilarious asides to the viewer as Darkwing Duck faces off against Chronoduck, master of a time-warping turtle that allows him to bend time and space. Though the plot was formulaic, it was an interesting read and a great end to this annual volume.

All in all, I must say that this annual is a must-buy for anyone who is a fan of Darkwing. I really enjoyed the comic and for the 5 dollar price point, I think it’s something you should definitely check out.

STORY: 90%
ART: 80%
OVERALL: 85%

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