Sunday, July 24, 2011

Busted! (plus, Comics Review: DARKWING DUCK #14 (July 2011, kaboom!))

It's official... the tattered remnants of the Boom!/kaboom! line of Disney comics are going kabye! as of October. "Dangerous Currency," the Darkwing Duck/DuckTales crossover that will commence in DUCKTALES #5 and continue in DARKWING DUCK #17, DUCKTALES #6, and DARKWING DUCK #18, will be the last of the wine. I've no doubt that the "ongoing" collections, such as DONALD DUCK TREASURY (Volume 2 of which was released just this week), will be collateral casualties. That will leave us with the Fantagraphics Barks and Gottfredson comic-strip collections, at least until Marvel and Disney can come to some sort of agreement on what, if anything, to do next.

For those counting (and those reading my blog probably are), this makes six Disney comics publishers -- "Gladstone I," Disney Comics, "Gladstone II," Marvel-Disney "maybe-I?", Gemstone, and Boom! -- that have folded during my fannish (post-1985) lifetime. How many more lives does this particular entity known as "American Disney comics" have? Even a cat would be getting nervous right about now. And speaking of cats...

... we get an old-fashioned punch-first-and-ask-questions-later antagonist in "Cat-Tastrophe," part two of the ongoing DARKWING... well, it would be inaccurate to term it an arc. It's more of a confluence of contingent events. Darkwing spends no time at all searching for his lost love Morgana, which one would think would be his #1 priority at the moment. Instead, he launches his campaign for Mayor of St. Canard and then is just as quickly pitched headlong into would-be deadly battle with Cat-Tankerous, a you-know-what in a humongous battle suit. If you can imagine The Brain arming his "mechanical human suit" with all manner of weaponry and using it for a more "conventional" evil purpose, then you've got the gist of what Cat-T looks and acts like. Plenty of rubble-rousing takes place before we learn about Cat-T's backstory, which is illogical even for a Darkwing villain. If Mortimer L. Marquand (is he related to a Hall of Fame pitcher?) really is a lovesick member of Gosalyn's class, then he must be, what, 10 to 12 years old? Well, he sure doesn't sound like it. If anything, he comes across like "Dougie" Benson, the smart-ass Khan employee who was the rather ineffectual villain in the TaleSpin episode "Louie's Last Stand." Ian Brill muddies the waters by having Mortimer worry aloud about what his parents will say and then having the St. Canard police take the pint-sized feline away in handcuffs in a squad car. Adult perp, or juvenile? Which is it, Ian?

There does seem to be a "throughline" of sorts developing here in that Cat-Tankerous, like #13's One-Shot, is a mildly disturbed individual who becomes a major headache once he gets a mysterious package from persons unknown. We get a brief hint as to who/what might be behind it all when we see brief glimpses of an apparently female villain who looks like the old-school version of the RICHIE RICH villain Dr. N-R-G, only with a flashier fashion sense (read: purple jumpsuit and red cape). The character refers to DW as "Dark," which certainly suggests that this might be Morgana, but since when did Morgue's head mutate into the business end of a Q-Tip, and what's with the cackling mad-on? Presumably, Brill will take time from the yukkity-yuk high-jinxery implied by Launchpad emerging as DW's main challenger for Mayor at the end of #14 and enlighten us. Otherwise, we're pretty much just marking time here until the concluding crossover begins.

1 comment:

Comicbookrehab said...

Sad News about the Disney line. We'll probably see them all reappear at Marvel, though. I think the Darkwing Duck comics have been focused on themes that are kind of a downer - his poor public image and being one step behind the villians. It actually makes me nostalgic for the simpler stories that appearred in Disney Adventures magazine and Marvel's Disney Afternoon comic. BTW, the villain in this issue make me think this was the return of Fluffy, a semi-recurring character from the Disney Adevntures DW comics. I was like, "He's back? Ha!" and the cover was an homage to an Infantino Batman cover with Blockbuster, too. I liked it better than #13.

Joseph Adorno