About Heroes

Darkwing Duck Volume 1: The Duck Knight Returns

Artist: James Silvani
Cover: Magic Eye Studios

 One very magical thing about super heroes (animated, illustrated, or live action) is that they usually have a battle cry. Some sort of call to arms to make evil doers cringing with fear at the sight of our favorite costumed crusaders. Who doesn’t love to hear Captain America shout “Avengers Assemble?” Which kid from the 80′s didn’t get goosebumps every time Prince Adam pulled out his magical sword and said “By the Power of Grayskull, I Have the Power!” Believe me, I’m not the only fan who gets an adrenaline rush hearing Tommy shout “It’s Morphin Time!” Basically, a great rally cry from our heroes really sets up an epic story/cartoon/movie/show. But there is one battle cry I haven’t heard in a long time. You see my friends, Drake Mallard, aka Darkwing Duck has decided to hang up his costume and try living a normal life after his cartoon series ended. But evil doesn’t sleep, and Drake once must again don the tights and shout out one of the all time best  battle calls in any form of entertainment: LET’S GET DANGEROUS! With that said, let’s take a peek at the return of Darkwing Duck courtesy of Boom comics.

 Again, the story takes place about one year after the series ended. Drake Mallard is working a 9-5 desk job for a corporation call Quackwerks. Drake’s faithful sidekick/roomie Launchpad Mcquack has returned to Duckburg. His daughter Gosalyn is attending a private school which is the only reason he has this mediocre corporate job in the first place. Crime is no longer an issue in St. Canard due to Quackwerks army of robotic soldiers. Even former villains like Megavolt are forced to hang up their tights and work for Quackwerks. All in all, things are far different since the DW cartoon series ended.

 But again, crime never sleeps. The quackwerks robots begin to enforce a super strict form of totalitarianism over the city. Acts such as littering or downloading a song of the net begin to register with the Quackwerks robots as a criminal offense and they turn on the citizens of St Canard with a strict zero tolerance punishment system. When Gosalyn’s best friend Honker Muddlefoot downloads a song, he is captured by the robots and taken to the main Quackwerks offices for his punishment. Drake feels helpless in stopping the robots. Finally, Gosalyn rushes downstairs with the Darkwing Duck costume. Drake, feeling helpless says “I’m going to write a strongly worded memo at work tomorrow.” Gosalyn, one step ahead of him shows him the costume “You could do that, or you could let Darkwing Duck take care of this!”  Oh hell yeah, I could instantly hear the Darkwing Theme Song playing in my head while reading this scene. Epic comic book moment here my friends!

 Meanwhile, Megavolt is recruited by his former Fearsome Five teammates

(Bushroot,Liquidator,and Quackerjack) to put the band back together. Oddly, Negaduck, the leader of the group is absent. When Megavolt questions where Negaduck is, Quackerjack goes off and tells him never to mention that name again. The group informs Megavolt they are going to attack Quackwerks main offices. Megavolt throws out the suit and tie and dons his old costume, smirking at the thought of getting revenge on his current employers. Again, you can almost hear Hank Azaria’s voice while reading the Megavolt dialog. This is a great blending of story and art, makes you feel like this is a new Darkwing Duck animated series story. It’s that good!

 Ok, so on to our hero. He heads to Quackwerks and makes his long overdue comeback. “I am the terror that flaps in the Night! I am the classic rock act that never retires! I am Darkwing Duck!” Darkwing enters Quackwerks and begins to search for info on who is backing the entire Quackwerks corporation. He has no luck in searching for info on the computer databases and is soon discovered by the security robots. As things look really bad for our hero, Launchpad McQuack and Gosalyn arrive in the Thunderquack jet to save DW. While Darkwing was back in action, Gosalyn returned to Duckburg to get Launchpad in hopes of helping DW and the city. Finally, our heroes are all back together. Sadly, DW and Launchpad still aren’t getting along. Why? Well, it all goes back to Negaduck. Insert flashback scene—

 Before Quackwerks was founded and Drake quit the hero biz, Negaduck caught Launchpad picking up two outfits at a dry cleaners. One was the attire of Drake Mallard, the other was the classic Darkwing Costume. Following Launchpad home Negaduck returned to the Fearsome Five’s lair. He gave his partners a rather large sum of cash from their last caper and told them he was done. When Quackerjack questions why their leader is being so generous with sharing the loot, Negaduck reveals to Quackerjack that he found out DW’s secret identity. He has no need for money or the group. Quackerjack wants in on this realizing it is the opportunity of a lifetime. Negaduck laughs, stating “Going after Darkwing Duck’s secret identity,going after his life,is a job fit for only the best villain this two bit town has to offer! Face it clown, you’re just not mean enough for this!” So now you realize why Quackerjack has such a vendetta against hearing the name of his former boss.

 Negaduck broke him down to nothing but a joke and he hopes to change that.

 When Negaduck attacks Drake and his family things look bad. Around this time, the Quackwerks robots arrive and arrest Negaduck. Drake realizes his daughter was put in danger and decides that it’s in his best interest of hanging up the cape and hat. The quick interference of the Quackwerks robots makes him feel like his isn’t needed as a defender of the city anymore and his number one priority should be keeping Gosalyn safe.

 So the flashback helps establish why DW retired, why he and and Launchpad partered ways (Drake chewing Launchpad out for being so careless) and why Negaduck severed ties with his Fearsome Five allies. But things continue to get worse. The fearsome four chase our heroes in their own flying aircraft and everyone ends up at the Quackwerks main office tower. There they are all captured by the person behind Quackwerks in the first place: DW’S first opponent ever, Taurus Bulba.

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