Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Comics Review: DARKWING DUCK #16 (September 2011, kaboom!)

Don't let that "A" cover fool you -- One-Shot and Cat-Tankerous do not appear in this concluding issue of "The Election Arc." Well, they make no tangible appearance, anyway; they do guest-star as psychic projections. That seems fitting, somehow, as I felt that I needed a mind-meld, or something similar, to dope out where Ian Brill was going with this last chapter. My reasoned guesses as to what was coming down turned out to be completely wrong, and the manner in which parts of the denouement were pulled from thin air irritated me, though not to the extent of, say, DUCKTALES #3. We do get a good lead-in to the grand Darkwing/DuckTales crossover, but one VERY big plot thread is just left there, dangling mournfully in the breeze...



No resolution of Magica's disappearance?! Instead, Suff-Rage turns out to be desperate politico Constance A. Dention, who was using The Phantom Blot's "evil ink" to power her VR suit (anyone getting Bane flashbacks here?), employing hypnotism and mind control to fool the populace of St. Canard, and creating illusions of herself so as to appear jointly with... herself. When The Blot made his appearance in civvies (which he quickly changed to the familiar hood) at the end, I for once was hoping that he'd give us the usual spiel about how and why he created and manipulated all of this high tech. No such luck, as The Blot instead went all Xanatos on us and talked about this merely being Phase One of (all together now!) a "master plan." One with Magica De Spell, I might add, which might explain the magical qualities of the ink that The Blot calls "slime" for some unknown reason. That would certainly seem to be a worthy teamup for a climactic crossover, especially if the duo are able to forge alliances, even ones of convenience, with St. Canardian villains. I would have appreciated some explanation, however, as to why Constance was able to "control" the ink, which neither One-Shot nor Cat-Tankerous could manage. What exactly was so special about her? The only really amazing thing about Constance was how her head could possibly have gotten into/out of the very tiny opening at the base of Suff-Rage's Dr. N-R-G-like face mask.

We get a bunch of flashbacks to "The Duck Knight Returns," "Crisis on Infinite Darkwings," and "F.O.W.L. Disposition" during a lengthy sequence in which DW, having invaded Suff-Rage's turf in the OTHER tower on Audubon Bay Bridge, is mind-invaded by the villainess. Seeing as how this is the last "normal" issue of DARKWING (as if anything related to DW's "universe" could EVER be normal!), I appreciated the "wrapup" aspect of this. As to HOW Suff-Rage managed all of this, your guess is as good as mine.

Don't think I didn't appreciate seeing Doofus, Gosalyn, and Honker together... but shouldn't they have been formally introduced to one another? We also get appearances by Sunni Gummi, Jiminy Cricket, Pablo the Penguin, Max Hare and Toby Tortoise, and several others, as James Silvani once again indulges his mania for cameos. I do hope that Silvani dials back a bit on the character-dropping for the crossover; there are more than enough DuckTales and Darkwing spear-carriers to fill the panels without digging into the feature-film and Silly Symphonies vaults, believe me.

The best thing in the issue, by far, is the "Five Minutes Later..." ST. CANARD GUARDIAN headline showing the dire near-immediate consequences of Launchpad's winning of the election. This perfectly encapsulates the difference between Duckburg (described here as "so close [to], yet so different [from]" St.C.) and DW's home turf, where such outrageous occurrences are the normal order of the day. Even for St. Canard, however, the "Five-Minute Flake-Out" is going some. It also provides a nice excuse for Scrooge to get involved, and for a completely believable reason. Bring on the crossover... but please, fellas, do right by poor Morgana before all is said and done, OK?

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