Thursday, April 28, 2011

Comics Review: DARKWING DUCK #11 (April 2011, kaboom!)

At the conclusion of part three of the entertaining "F.O.W.L. Disposition," the "other tentacle" finally drops and Duckthulhu, with Darkwing's unwilling cooperation, finally rises. But will the unlikely partnership between DW and Steelbeak "go into overtime" in an attempt to manacle the monstrosity? I'll explain what I mean by that after some

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Well, I always kind of suspected that Steelbeak was handing Darkwing a line, but it's to the credit of Ian Brill's writing that the half-anticipated double-cross still comes as something of a surprise -- more due to its timing than anything else. But now that Steelbeak has helped manipulate the "Purple Pawn" into place as the final piece of the elaborate puzzle of raising Duckthulhu, he appears to be having second thoughts. Did the "philosophizing" of a few pages earlier, in which Steelbeak admitted to Darkwing that the partnership had been "a lot of fun," actually leave an impression on the "Beakster"? Or is he just worried about getting his comb mussed during the overblown supernatural fallout? We shall see.

Femme Appeal does get a little of the wild 'n crazy "DW universe" treatment thanks to a freeze ray, but that's hardly as humiliating as being pancaked or "accordionized." Likewise, when Ammonia Pine whacks her with a mop, Femme simply goes down for the count without any histrionics or cartoon stars. There appears to be more to Femme than meets the eye (which is enjoyable enough!); she "blows her cover" to help Quiverwing Quack and Arrow Kid escape from Pine, an odd choice of words unless Femme actually happens to be a SHUSH agent working deep undercover. I hope she figures significantly in the climax, because, like the much-mourned Ms. Vixen of MICKEY MOUSE ADVENTURES fame, this is one fox who may only get "redd" once. More details below...

Quiverwing and Arrow Kid finally get some major action in the title, battling Pine and the two "slacker" mentalists from "Heavy Mental," interacting with Femme, and facing down a cluster of Egg Men (well, actually Gosalyn handles the down-facing). Even so, I feature their cover primarily because it's an appealing image; as of yet, they haven't had much to do with the main plot. Given that Morgana is now near the scene, I smell a major team-up coming, perhaps with Femme and even Steelbeak added to the party to help bail out the currently helpless DW. Hey, it worked in the previous story arc, why wouldn't it work here?

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It's now very much of an open question as to how much longer the kaboom! DARKWING -- indeed, the entire kaboom! Disney line -- will continue. This month's PREVIEWS (for comics scheduled to be released in July) features a sharply reduced kaboom! output in which the three TV-based titles are still on hand, but the "classic" Duck and Mouse titles have been jettisoned, with only a couple of reprint tomes left on board. The suddenness with which the elaborately propagandized "Boom 2.0" relaunch appears to be have been dry-docked strongly suggests that the hulking "300-pound mutant" in the room, namely Disney's new "family member" Marvel, is at long last making its presence felt. There are, however, conflicting reports as to how long, exactly, Boom! holds title to the Disney properties it still has. I know no more about the true situation than anyone else, but my present opinion is that Boom!, now that it has gotten its act together and created a very enjoyable line that blends aspects of Disney Comics and Gemstone Comics, should be permitted to finish out its "term of duty" at the very least.

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