Friday, March 25, 2011

Comics Review: DARKWING DUCK #10 (March 2011, Boom! Studios)

Despite what James Silvani's "A cover" might suggest, part two of "F.O.W.L. Disposition" runs its relatively sedate course without any tangible evidence that Steelbeak is planning to "play foul" (heh) with his unlikely ally Darkwing. (Of course, Steelbeak does spend a good portion of the issue half-conscious, so make of that what you will.) F.O.W.L.'s plot to unleash Duckthulhu on an unsuspecting world does progress, up to a point: viz. a half-nightmarish, half-ridiculous vision of the monster's possession of the Muddlefoots. (I do hope that Ian Brill has something good planned for Drake Mallard's neighbors; they haven't received much love in this title thus far.) Most of the ish's other events are of the "maneuvering-the-pieces-on-the-chessboard" variety. Quiverwing Quack (the real one, not the extra-dimensional Darkwing who was featured a couple of months back) and her confrere The Arrow Kid deploy themselves to F.O.W.L.'s hideaway, where they promptly run into one F.O.W.L. agent whom I'm not surprised to see again, plus two others whose appearance did surprise me. Given that Quiv is prominently featured on the planned cover to DARKWING #11, I suspect that the upcoming battle will take up a good portion of next month's issue. The pace is so leisurely here that Launchpad and Morgana even get to "exchange notes" about their feelings of loyalty towards DW.

One interesting happening herein is the OUT OF NOWHERE introduction of a new F.O.W.L. agent, who shares Steelbeak's doubts about the wisdom of "Project Duckthulhu" and joins forces with Steelbeak and DW at F.O.W.L.'s lair. The really notable thing about the curvaceous, cat-suited vixen Femme Appeal (think The Avengers' Emma Peel) is that she appears to have taken a wrong turn backstage; she's so realistically drawn that she belongs on the Tale Spin set! I have to wonder how well Femme can adapt to the "wilder and crazier" world of Darkwing, where characters can be "pancaked" (or, in the case of DW here, "accordionized") and bounce right back to full health in the next scene. Even Steelbeak appears to notice the clash of styles, as he surprisingly doesn't seem to have any romantic interest in Femme at all. (Or perhaps he tried that a while back... which might explain the metal beak?) We also get a glimpse of F.O.W.L.'s "Main Room," which is so packed with spy gear and quasi-magical devices (such as the "medicine ray" that restores Steelbeak to full health) that DW is fully justified in wondering how he ever managed to hold his own against the organization. This ish fills in background details on F.O.W.L. and its ways quite superbly, but substantial forward plot motion awaits #11.

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