Monday, November 14, 2011

Comics Review: DUCKTALES #6 (October 2011, kaboom!)

Why, oh why was this snazzy James Silvani cover relegated to the "B" leagues? The "A" cover, also by Silvani, shows a mixed bag of DuckTales and Darkwing Duck villains (including Glomgold -- and where's HE been?) treating Scrooge's Money Bin as a swimming pool. At least the "B" has an image that's at least tangentially related to the main storyline of "Dangerous Currency," though I'm beginning to wonder whether Magica even needs the Old #1 Dime, given what is revealed herein about her suddenly burgeoning powers.

DT #6 is pretty much S.O.P. for this concluding arc -- spasms of wild, magic-flecked action interwoven with "meaningful," often heavy-handed dialogue between the principal stars. Oh, and we mustn't forget the obligatory "groan-inducing continuity gaffe." Sadly absent is the funny, character-driven repartee that made the first half of DARKWING DUCK #17 so fun to read until the bottom fell out of the barrel in the latter stages. Some absent friends (well, one foe-turned-friend and one foe, to be specific) finally reveal themselves at issue's end, but so much of DT #6 is so over-the-top that the reappearances actually have less impact than I would have hoped. Toss in a heapin' helpin' of "What th' --?" moments, and that overall "Marginal" grade is definitely teetering on the brink as we head to DW #18 and the "we-sure-hope-it's-grand" finale.



OK, Negaduck ultimately being responsible for the slime, I can believe. But dragging a seemingly drugged Morgana back into the "Regularverse" behind him? Is Morgue in his power now?

In the first several pages of DT #6, Darkwing acts like, pardon the language, an utter jackass. Bitching about the "common" appearance of Gyro's lab? Has regular interaction with unusual sources of technical miracles (read: Honker) taught him nothing? And then, when Scrooge shows his guile by displaying a container of captured slime (how Scrooge got it, I have no clue, but he's nothing if not resourceful), DW explodes, "You old fool! You've doomed us all!!" Um, no, he hasn't, DW; you did make it safely back to Duckburg with the slime in tow, after all, so doom does not necessarily follow. This would have been a great moment for Launchpad to have "dialed back" to an earlier part of the story and seriously questioned his loyalty to DW, as opposed to Scrooge, more fervently than ever before. But LP does nothing of the kind. Nor do we see another hint of the clever byplay between Gosalyn, Webby, HD&L and Honker (the latter four happily restored to themselves, that's one comfort) that so brightened DW #17. At least the kids fared better than Mrs. Crackshell, who, after returning to Duckburg with the gang, abruptly disappears -- but not before revealing the slime's one weakness. It loses its potency if you yell near it. Yes, really. So what happens if a villain has it, or is near it, and proclaims victory in a loud and strident voice, as we have already seen on several occasions? And if you think THAT'S contrived...

The "cleaning R2D2, only to reveal a secret message" scene in Star Wars will never look "forced" to me again after reading the clumsy-beyond-belief revelation of Magica's "master plan" (what, and she didn't clue in Xanatos while she was at it?). Why would Magica need Fenton to "authenticate" the Old #1 Dime -- the same Fenton who once used the dime for an "emergency phone call," let us not forget -- much less drag him with her into the boundless corridors of time? How did the slime "bond" with the Gizmosuit in the first place, and why would said "bondage" allow the suit to broadcast what appears to be a computer projection of The Plan? And, judging by the Ducks' reactions, HD&L apparently knew that Fenton was Gizmoduck all along. Sigh. I hate those "What the hell, I'm only writing about cartoon ducks!" moments.

The rest of the ish is a mishmash of an awkward conversation between DW and Scrooge (about the propriety of bringing the kids along on adventures, this time) and a monster mash-up on the streets of Duckburg, culminating in the villains' "sliming" of Scrooge's Money Bin (with all this power at their fingertips, why bother stealing mere money anymore, guys?) and Negs' and Morgue's descent from a sky-portal that Matt Plotecher is probably regretting not copyrighting at this point. There is a level of budding apocalypticism here that worries me, and we haven't even begun the final chapter yet. Please don't tell me that there's going to be some mega-event in DW #18 that will throw both series' continuities into hotchpot and leave us poor fans high and dry just as the kaboom! era expires? At this point, I'm simply hoping for a "safe landing." Unfortunately, Launchpad's at the controls.


Comicbookrehab said...

As I understood it, the A cover is leftover from the original idea for this crossover - a light parody of Marvel's Secret Invasion storyline.

I didn't find Darkwing's dialogue out-of-character at all - it's consistant with episodes from the show, just not a very popular side of the character, like his poor public image and being easily led by his family ("Let's Get Respectable"). I DID like Launchpad's response to DW's rants - that these characters are HIS friends too - that's also
very in-character, although a side we don't see often.
I take it you haven't read the conclusion yet, so I'll wait until then to say more.

Chris Barat said...


I have now read DW #18... I'll get to reviewing that this weekend, most likely.

Well, at least LP did say SOMETHING to DW regarding the cracks re: Gyro's lab. But I feel that more could have been done beyond that one brief sentence.