"Crisis on Infinite Darkwings" -- the follow-up to the monstrously successful "The Duck Knight Returns," Boom!'s first inarguable Disney comics smash -- kicks off the DW "regular series" in fine style. The book packs the same potent combination of welcome character revivals, stylish James Silvani artwork, and spot-on (albeit occasionally puzzling) Ian Brill scripting. The much-anticipated alliance of Negaduck and Magica De Spell actually takes something of a backseat here to the return of DW's lady love, Morgana McCawber, in a most unexpected (and not a bit unsettling) condition. Evidently, the "Quackwerks Era" Drake Mallard's breaking of ties with his crime-fighting past was even more comprehensive than we had thought. More anon following the...
Negaduck and Magica, as you might imagine, make a cute couple, though they actually perform little to no "hands-on villainy" here. Instead, they appear to be going the "Flash the Wonder Dog" route, seeking to queer the resurrected, newly-popular DW (who now appears to be operating in broad daylight as well as at nighttime -- talk about a shift in the basic paradigm!) with his St. Canard public by plucking Darkwing "equivalents" from various dimensions and more or less letting them run riot in DW's "Regularverse" city. I'd think that Negs would prefer hands-on destruction to this indirect approach, but perhaps his time in the Quackwerks prison has forced him to do a re-think of sorts. Brill appears to be drawing his characterization of Magica from DuckTales rather than Barks, with the sorceress speaking in the Natasha-style broken English she employed on the TV series and even using the fedora-wearing Mr. Poe (not Ratface) as her inter-dimensional DW-fetcher. This characterization of Magica makes it a lot easier to imagine this storyline in animated form.
The unfortunate Morgana's fate seems a bit unsettled at the moment. According to Launchpad -- who, you may recall, was put in charge of Quackwerks by Scrooge (and has, to my amazement, NOT caused a new "financial meltdown" as of yet) -- Morgue was brainwashed by Taurus Bulba and then locked up. Or perhaps she was locked up and then brainwashed; I'm not quite clear on the sequence of events here. In any case, the zonked Morgue is something of a loose cannon, causing magical mayhem simply by sneezing. Fetching his girlfriend from the slammer, DW tries multiple means to snap her out of her trance. He finally does so through the fantasy-tinged means of weeping and having one of his tears land on her beak. What caused the crying jag was not Morgana's present condition, but DW's sad memory of leaving Morgue as part of his unpacking of his "former life." Sorry, DW, I know that you were depressed about losing your raison d'etre and all, but this was just plain cold. Eek, Squeek, and Archie were right to be pissed off at you. Look for the upcoming alliance between DW and Morgana to rekindle some of those old feelings... but can Morgue ever really forget this snub, I wonder? She'll have to do so for the moment, at least, because DW seems very reluctant to let "Gosmoduck" in on the action. Unless Fenton hurries back from that accountant's convention REAL fast, Morgana would appear to be DW's main ally in a fight against the Negaduck-Magica duo. Can't you just visualize the inevitable Magica vs. Morgue "sorceresses' showcase showdown" now?
Thanks to the issue's ending scene of St. Canard's police commissioner (who bears a strange resemblance to a dog-nosed Commissioner Gordon) declaring the "menace" DW a "public enemy," it appears that DW will be forced to "flap only in the night" for the foreseeable future. "My kind of odds!" DW might well crow. But there does seem to be one wild -- and wet -- card in the mix. A throwaway gag of a taciturn fisherman being pulled into Audubon Bay wouldn't seem to have much to do with the main action were it not for the fact that The Liquidator is suspiciously absent from a brief jail scene in which Quackerjack, Bushroot, and Megavolt are present. I know enough about Brill's plotting style already to guess that this probably was NOT a coincidence. What role will Licky play? Can't wait to find out... and this is one continuing story that I don't mind Boom! unspooling.