Eric’s BOOM! Studios Comic Review: DARKWING DUCK/DUCKTALES: DANGEROUS CURRENCY TPB

While initially bogged down by a convoluted beginning, Ian Brill and Warren Spector pull out a fun and exciting tale featuring two of the most famous ducks to ever grace an early 90s TV screen. Fans young and old should find something to like here.

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Darkwing Duck is arguably one of the best ongoing all-ages and parody titles on the comic market today. Combine that with the more mixed quality, but always adventurous, Ducktales and early 90s fanboys have a reason to be excited. For the most part, Disney comic regular Ian Brill and Epic Mickey creator Warren Spector deliver on the promise afforded to the team-up, but it's not without its few quibbles. With nary a warning, the writers throw the reader head-first into the interesting, yet convoluted story. There's no real time to settle into the narrative, which might come off as a bit sloppy. The beginning's not helped by lettering from Deron Bennett that doesn't always follow the rule of left-right, top-bottom. It makes some conversations a bit difficult to read and messes with the pacing. It's not the worst thing ever, but it keeps one away from the inherent goodness of the property.

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That is until the comic does everything in its power to progress positively and better itself with each passing chapter. The set-up is secondary to the adventure at hand. It's interesting to see the operating styles of these marauding mallards as they collide and, eventually, coexist. The characters are well realized by a writing team completely in tune with their subject matter. Instead of “respecting” the classic matterial, Brill and Spector have fun with it. Once it is realized that the plot is a set of tests designed to exploit that amusement, it becomes all the more infectious. Beyond some necessary exposition, the dialog is tight and quite funny. Then there are the myriad of villains predominantly from Darkwing's rogues gallery. While the appearances of most are little more than cameos (being that there are so many), each appears as unique and interesting especially in their juiced up forms after being expposed to a mysterious evil substance. There's a lot going on and it's amazing that the story is as coherent as it is. As messy as the beginning feels, the end is wrapped up in a nice little bow that comes with a moral lesson and all. It's good for the the kids as well as the adults.

This is the triumph of the art from a huge team consisting of James Silvani, Jose Massaroli, Braden Lamb, and Lisa Moore. There are legitimate elements of horror, comedy, and violence that are effective while appropriate for the younger set. While it is many time characterized by its pretty princesses and fairies, Disney's animation has a wealth of dark visual themes (Maleficent anyone?) that are intriguing and casually nightmare inducing. It was good to see the creative muscle behind this retain much of that, while keeping the overall tone of fun. This not only translates well into the character and monster designs, but also works its way into some fantastic set pieces. Add in some well contrasting lights against darks and you have a nice looking book within its own definition.

Fans of both properties will find something to like here and there's the possibility of finding some new fans as well. For parents looking to get their kids into the medium, there are much worse places to start.

Story: Ian Brill & Warren Spector
Art: James Silvani, Jose Massaroli, Braden Lamb, and Lisa Moore
Cover: James Silvani
112 Pages/FC
$14.99
On Sale November 23, 2011!

4 Stars