OK, how's this for a puzzler: "F.O.W.L. Disposition," the new story arc that commences in this issue, features the return of Steelbeak... yet, the suavely snickering F.O.W.L. agent rates only the B cover? The A cover, meanwhile, plays off of an opening sequence about DW's hiring of an ad agency to improve his image (anyone else think "Let's Get Respectable!" here? Even DW's winged helmet looks the same). It's not yet clear that this opening bit will have anything to do with the main plot, in which DW and Steelbeak are working together (*gasp!*) to foil a F.O.W.L. scheme that even Steelbeak found to be too "out there" for his exquisitely refined taste. Perhaps Steelbeak got a "B" simply because DW was nowhere to be seen on his cover. That -- given DW's ego -- I can believe.
Well, you have to give F.O.W.L. High Command credit for persistence. The great "Steerminator" experiment blew up in their faces, so they turn right around and plumb the nefarious arts to bring Duckthulhu to life. I don't blame Steelbeak for (heh) "roostering out." The invasion of F.O.W.L. HQ went about as well as could be expected, but Steelbeak's injury may complicate matters considerably, unless DW channels Launchpad operating The Thunderquack right quick. Despite the cliffhanger, this was a relatively low-key opening chapter. Indeed, this has much more of the feel of an actual TV episode than anything else this title has cooked up, at least thus far.
Contrary to my previously expressed concerns, Ian Brill wrote Steelbeak reasonably well. The "dems, deses, and doses" are conspicuous by their absence, but "Dahkwing" gets a few extra points from me. Where Brill really needs to brush up is on his alliterative phraseology. "Foiling F.O.W.L.'s flagrant forces"? "Destroyed our dastardly designs to dust"? Alliteration in the Darkwing "universe" doesn't have to be catching, and not even DW uses the gimmick at every drop of a broad-brimmed hat. These things must be handled delicately. Artist James Silvani, perhaps taking a bit of a breather from drawing those infinite Darkwings, doesn't go all "cluttery" on us until the last several pages, when Steelbeak and DW are pursued by several sacs' worth of Eggmen.
Even if we hadn't seen the Gizmosuit blown to flinders during the "Infinite Darkwings" arc, the planned cover to DARKWING #11 has already given away that this storyline will feature Gosalyn as the "one, true" Quiverwing Quack. Seeing as how Morgana is now pissed at DW's blowing off their date, DW may need the additional help regardless of whether or not Steelbeak pulls off what I suspect may be some sort of upcoming "triple-cross."