Daring duck of mystery
Champion of right
Swoops out of the shadows
Darkwing owns the night
Somewhere some villain schemes
But his number’s up
Darkwing Duck (When there’s trouble you call DW)
Darkwing Duck (Let’s get dangerous!)
Darkwing Duck (Darkwing, Darkwing, duck!)
We want Darkwing! We want Darkwing! We want Darkwing! I need to prologue this review by telling you that Darkwing Duck is my all time favorite Disney character. I was definitely a Disney Duck kid growing up. Classic DuckTales was my jam. A few years later, I would be introduced to a super hero duck who fought crime and epic villains with another favorite character, Launchpad McQuack, by his side. I was obsessed then as a kid, and I am even more obsessed now as an adult and a dad.
The terror that flaps in the night is back in a new series of comics after a six year absence. The previous DW comic epic was an eight issue series by the creative team of Aaron Sparrow and James Silvani published by Joe Books in 2016-2017. Before that, Aaron and James worked on the Darkwing Duck Boom series. They would later put all of those stories together in the Darkwing Duck Definitively Dangerous Edition of those Boom stories. That book is the definitive text book on Darkwing Duck. It is currently out of print, but it is an absolute must read book if you can get your hands on it. This is the book that I would swear on if I ever held a position that required me to do so.
The new team of Amanda Deibert and Carlo Cid Lauro are bringing us new Darkwing Duck adventures. From interacting with the two of them on social media, I can definitely tell that they are great people and the passion is there to get dangerous. Amanda’s list of credits with major fan loved IPs is like looking up Jim Cummings voice credits. The list is very impressive. Carlo’s Artstation portfolio, especially his DuckTales (2017) art, is also most impressive. I would love a DuckTales (2017) comic revival, just saying…
After months of impatiently waiting since Dynamite Comics’ SDCC announcement, Darkwing and Launchpad have crashed back in comics shops with the release of Darkwing Duck #1.
Today, we will take a look at Darkwing Duck #1 published by Dynamite comics.
Release Date: January 25th, 2023
Writer: Amanda Deibert
Artist: Carlo Cid Lauro
Letterer: Jeff Eckleberry
Editor: Nate Cosby
Main Covers by: David Nakayama, Mirka Andolfo, Leirix, Jacob Edgar, Trish Forstner, Carlo Cid Lauro, George Kambadais, Ken Haeser, and Cat Staggs
Official Synopsis: He is the terror that flaps in the night…He is the ferocious fowl who plucks the evil eye from the face of foul play…He is Darkwing Duck! Alongside his trusty sidekick Lauchpad McQuack, Darkwing hyper-vigilantly defends St. Canard from the dastardly, devilish demons who would wage wanton war! By night, our caped defender lurks in the shadows, striking fear (and maybe confusion?) in the heart of the criminal underworld…but by day, no one suspects that Darkwing is also mild-mannered Drake Mallard, a well-meaning father to his adorable adopted daughter, Gosalyn! Can Darkwing successfully navigate his two separate lives, all while looking incredibly cool and impossibly handsome? (Hint: Probably not, but…) You’ll have to read to find out!
*STOP READING HERE IF YOU WANT TO AVOID ALL SPOILERS*
Gargoyles was my first experience with Dynamite Comics and the overwhelming amount of variant covers. Darkwing Duck #1 has a similar amount of covers. This gives readers more variety in their selection of which cover to buy, but it is a nightmare for collectors. I had to greatly tone down the amount of Gargoyles #1 covers that I had on preorder knowing that I would never be able to keep up. I ultimately made the decision to go with the main Gargoyles cover by David Nakayama since he is signed on to be the cover A artist for the entire series. With Darkwing Duck being my favorite character, I would not be able to have that same self control; however, I feel a lot of the cover artist missed the mark with the assignment on this first Darkwing issue. The great majority of the covers went with a dark and gritty Batman feel. There are many similarities with Batman and DW, but Darkwing Duck is much more than that. Inserting more heart of the character and humor would have made this more of a successful cover campaign. maybe humor is harder to draw. With that said, I did buy a ludicrous amount of issues of Darkwing Duck #1 because maybe I do like to get a little too dangerous. Seriously, it really was an insane amount. I will eventually show off that haul of covers in a video once they have all arrived.
*STOP READING HERE IF YOU WANT TO AVOID ALL SPOILERS*
The story that kicks off the Dynamite Comics Darkwing Duck series is titled The Dark Flight Returns. Darkwing is ready to receive his closeup at his new statue unveiling. The event is hosted by Mayor Zan Owlson. DuckTales (2017) fans know Zan Owlson as the former CEO of Glomgold Industries in Duckburg. She would later be elected mayor of St. Canard. I fully recommend watching the “Let’s Get Dangerous” DuckTales (2017) two part episode on Disney+ for more of Zan Owlson as mayor. I really like that this new series can include characters from that universe. This fact also makes this series feel like maybe it is in it’s own universe.
Megavolt crashes the Darkwing party, and he turns everybody who is at the ceremony that has a cellphone in hand into a zombie under his control with the orders to capture Darkwing. This is relatable because sometimes I feel like a zombie with a phone in my hand. Launchpad is able to save Darkwing since his phone did not have any battery juice left during the attack…also relatable. Gosalyn and Honker are also able to assist in the fight as they are not allowed to have phones yet. With the main moral of the story being that Gosalyn is never ever going to be allowed to own a phone which totally worked out for everyone in this situation.
I think that Megavolt was a strong choice for a villain in this first issue, but you really can’t go wrong with any of the eccentric villains from the Darkwing Duck rogue gallery.
I liked how this story starts off fast with not having to go into multiple pages introducing each character. This whole first issue in this new series could have easily just been about reintroducing each character, but we get a lot more than that. This premiere issue felt like it could have been a 22 minute episode of a new Darkwing Duck series. I look forward to seeing where Amanda Deibert takes this new series and what other familiar characters show up.
I read some criticisms online where people were judging this series by some of the book covers. Which I am surprised that no one has ever told them not to do that. I really enjoyed Carlo Cid Lauro’s interior art inside the issue. Carlo did a great job of bringing Amanda’s script to life. There were some character images that looked like they could be from stock art or referenced from other Darkwing Duck material, but I am confident that Carlo’s artwork on the DW characters will continue to evolve as he gets more familiarity and experience with drawing the characters for this series.
Also, I am really loving this handsome pirate duck St. Canard resident and would love to see more of him in future issues : ) In fact give him his own comic book series because I need to know more about him.
This Dynamite Comics Darkwing Duck series is currently limited to six issues. If you want more Darkwing Duck content in the form of more issues, then the best way to show your support will be with your wallet by subscribing to the series at your local comic book store.
It feels great to have new Darkwing Duck content! I can’t wait for the next issue release which is tentatively scheduled for February 22nd , 2023.
Let us know what you thought of Darkwing Duck #1 in the comments below. What cover(s) did you get?