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Darkwing Duck (2016) #1 [Review]

darkwingduck(2016)001Orange is the New Purple part 1

Storytellers: Aaron Sparrow and James Silvani
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters: Andworld Design
Assistant Editor: R. Janice Orlando
Editor: Jesse Post
Published by: Joe Books Ltd
Cover Date: April 2016
Cover Price: $2.99

It’s been a few years, but here I am covering a first issue of Darkwing Duck once again. And as with that time, this time finds an issue whose story title is a play off another. Here we have Orange is the New Purple, where back then it was The Duck Knight Returns. As best I can follow, this continues the bulk of the story from that previous series, itself picking up and continuing from the classic (now 25-years-old) animated series of the same name. I don’t truly “get” comic book politics, and was disappointed at the time when Disney‘s purchase of Marvel seemed to spell the end of Boom‘s license and its run on the Disney books. Now, we have another publisher running with the title, but it is not Marvel.

That aside, this works quite well as a first issue.

We open on a parade that is quickly crashed by DW rogue Megavolt, whose attack is quickly dampened by Darkwing. We move on to see DW in his civilian guise, interacting with family and neighbors; while there’s an attack on the transport carrying Megavolt to prison. Later, Darkwing interacts with SHUSH, though things don’t go overly well there with a new assignment. Back at home, DW is flabbergasted at learning that he has not been invited to cut the ribbon at the opening of the new super-max prison that is primarily populated by individuals HE put there. And still later, crashing that particular party, the villain of the piece is (unsurprisingly) revealed and sets the situation to a cliffhanger worthy of any episode of the classic tv series.

As first issues go, this is definitely a solid one. The most noticeable thing for me is the art, which gives us characters that look like they stepped right off the tv screen (albeit with improved, more robust coloring than the cartoon could maintain). This is not some reinterpretations of the characters’ looks; it’s no “new take” or some artist looking to put their stamp on the appearance: it’s just clear, solid work that carries the absolute look and feel of Darkwing Duck and leaves no doubt of what this book is.

The story itself does a great job of things, serving the main points I’d expect FROM a first issue. We’re introduced to the title character; we meet supporting cast members, and associated characters; we see the hero in action, and we get a good taste of where we’re going from this issue. Though this issue is not a singular, complete, contained story, it gets things set up while providing enough in and of itself to satisfy on the single issue level…at least for me. Given how short and formulaic some of the tv episodes could seem, I welcome the longer story that this sets up while still getting the various elements we’d have in a single episode.

This issue feels like a mix of things…it’s a new series, a new first issue, and suitable for younger readers though it hits home for me as an adult reader and long-time fan of the property. It feels like a continuation of the cartoon, and a continuation of the previous comic series that ended several years ago. Of course, part of the latter is that we have some of the same creatives carried over, itself a sort of continuity that I hope is nothing but good.

I enjoyed this issue, and expect I’ll be adding it to my pull list at least for awhile…and might even try to track down the super-sized collected edition ostensibly collecting the previous series if only for a convenient availability of a re-read of that.

If you’re a fan of Darkwing Duck, this is very definitely a comic for you. Maybe best of all…despite never ever having heard of this publisher prior to learning of the collected volume and now this series, they do what it seems most publishers are utterly incapable of: offering a full-sized, full-length comic for “only” $2.99. Like with DC‘s promise of the upcoming price drop back to all-$2.99s, this is as good a price point as one is really going to find in this day and age, and will certainly hold me a lot longer than $3.99 would!

Highly recommended!

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Uncle Scrooge #394 [Review]

Full review posted to cxPulp.com.

Story: 2.5/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 3/5

Darkwing Duck #2 [Review]

Full review posted to cxPulp.com.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Darkwing Duck #1 [Review]

Full review posted to cxPulp.com.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Uncle Scrooge #392 [Review]

Full review posted to cxPulp.com.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Donald Duck and Friends #347 [Review]

Doubleduck

Written by: Fausto Vitaliano
Art by: Andrea Freccero
Editor: Aaron Sparrow
Assistant Editor: Christopher Burns
Translator: Saida Temofonte
Letterer: Jose Macasocol Jr.
Cover A&B: Andrea Freccero
Designer: Erika Terriquez

I do believe that this is the first-ever “new” issue of a Donald Duck comic I’ve bought. I wasn’t really sure what to expect of this purchase, but after years of having to pass on Gemstone’s Duck comics for pricing, I wanted to pick this up to at least give it a look-see. As usua. I’m not thrilled at the use of variant covers, but at least both ‘regular’ covers were in stock on the lunch hour I used to visit the comic store, so I was afforded a choice between the two (hint: I went with the one you see with this review).

Glancing inside the issue, the interior art is vastly different from the cover art–the cover actually gives Donald an “edgy” sort of look, kinda like what you might expect of a comic called “Donald Duck Extreme.” The interior visuals seem rather soft and simplistic by comparison. However, while the art was really pretty “standard” I liked it. The characters seem to be depicted in what I imagine could be compared to the “house style” for the Archie characters; the “generic” style works well in keeping everyone recognizeable and I could almost visualize character “templates.” One character put me in mind of Herb from Darkwing Duck–I could hear that voice as I read the character’s word balloons.

The story itself is fairly ridiculous: Donald falls asleep at a James Pond movie, so Daisy gets upset and goes off with someone else for the rest of the night. Donald is recognized as “Double Duck,” and eventually comes to find himself with an unlikely situation–and a choice to make.

Though the potential for a lot more violence is there, things are really pretty toned down. This reminds me very much of what I’ve always enjoyed with a lot of the Disney characters, especially the classic “Disney Afternoon” shows: that simple, classic characters can be retooled into other roles that are interesting and yet maintain the essential “character” that draws you to ’em.

That “347” on the cover makes this feel like what it is: a leap into the depths of the lake to see how the water is there. It’s a first issue without all the trappings of a traditional debut issue; it’s simply a story per likely standard fare; the reader is assumed to be able to pick it up and enjoy it without it having to be some fresh start.

The story itself and the visual style with numerous panels on every page made for a much more satisfying read, with more story than many other comics these days hold.

This is the first of at least 2 parts, which is a little unfortunate–picking this issue up, one will need to invest in at least one more to complete the story. At the same time, this issue is enjoyable enough that I fully intend to snag the next issue to see where things go.

Recommended.

Story: 8/10
Art: 6/10
Whole: 7/10

Monsters, Inc. #1 [Review]

Laugh Factory

Writer: Paul Benjamin
Art & Color: Amy Bebberson
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Cover A & B: Amy Mebberson
Cover C: Jake Myler
Editors: Paul Morrisey & Aaron Sparrow
Publisher: Boom!Kids

It’s honestly been years since I’ve seen the movie this is based on. The characters look familiar, but other than Mike and SUlley, I couldn’t remember any of the names of any of the other characters. Still, I wanted to give it a shot, given it’s a first issue, I recalled enjoying the movie, and of course, I wanted to support a new comic from a smaller publisher with a $2.99 price tag.

The issue’s story is not all that deep–it basically reintroduces readers to the status quo left at the end of the film–that this company that used to generate power for the monster city with the sound of Earth-childrens’ fear has converted to gathering laughter as a power source instead–having discovered laughter to be far more efficient than fear. We witness the trappings of the film–the monsters in this plant using portals to reach Earth kids from their closets, and inspiring laughter which is sent back to the plant and harnessed for power.

The issue’s conflict comes from some monsters finding their props coming up missing, and then they’re found in Mike’s locker, though he claims he didn’t take them. Sulley–who has risen to the foreman position in charge of things is put in an awkward spot as others leap to conclusions, putting words into his mouth, etc. And of course, even Randall is back to cause trouble.

The story’s not terribly complex or deep, but it moves along at a quick pace. We do get a full story here, with the ending fitting things well, and no “to be continued” to be found (instead, we’re given a small text box reading “The End.” signifying this specific story’s concluded).

The art’s not bad, and definitely captures the primary visuals of the characters. As this is a 2-D comic and the movie was CGI…there’s plenty of differences stylistically. I’m quite satisfied, though, with the way the characters appear–they’re quite recognizeable, and there’s plenty in the way of facial expressions that really add depth to the characters that simple words wouldn’t.

I think kids who enjoyed the movie will enjoy this–even adults ought to be mildly entertained by it. Having enjoyed the film when it was out and hving fond memories attached regarding who I saw it with, this was a nice bit of nostalgia. I see no reason not to pick up the next issue, but at the same time there’s not an ongoing story prompting me to follow into the next issue for the story’s continuation.

Story: 7.5/10
Art: 7.5/10
Whole: 7.5/10

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