Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Let's get dangerous with Darkwing Duck Annual #1

Darkwing Duck Annual #1
Written by Ian Brill and Tad Stones
Art by Sabrina Alberghetti, James Silvani, Lisa Moore, and Andrew Dalhouse
Lettering by Deron Bennet
Published by BOOM! Studios
Review by Lan Pitts

Not every villain starts off as a villain. There comes a time when a man, or duck, must make his own path and either walk down the road of virtue and heroism or the more sinister and villainous path. In the first Darkwing Duck Annual, we dive into the origins and psyche of Darkwing's comical criminal, Quackerjack.

As most kids who grew up in the early 80's to early-to-mid 90's, I watched some of the best cartoons. Disney was putting out some of their best work in a while ranging fromTalespin, Ducktales, the more "grown up" Gargoyles, and of course, Darkwing Duck. Being the only direct Ducktales spin-off, it was different from the other shows as it was a completely different character. Other shows at time had characters that had been around for a while, but Darkwing was new, cool, and just fun. The Darkwing Duck comic that BOOM! has been putting out is exactly everything a DW fan would ever want and then some.

There are two stories inside this annual. Unconnected, of course, but nonetheless fun, smart, and almost a bit heavy for the characters. The ending of the first story, "Toy With Me," which deals with Quackerjack's origin, is kind of sad, and I found very unexpected, but still very smart for what is considered a "kids' book." Again, the same with the second story, "The Untimely Terror of the Time Turtle," — it is smart, inventive, and just plain fun. The fact that Drake Mallard (DW's alter ego) is just as befuddled with the physics of time travel as the next guy, shows that it still doesn't take itself too seriously. Also, the fact that Tad Stones, the creator of Darkwing Duck penned the second story is just a real treat all by itself.

While both Sabrina Alberghetti and James Silvani deliver classic Darkwing imagery, I found that Andrew Dalhouse's colors popped just a bit more on the page, in comparison to Lisa Moore's. Nothing too drastic, but just something with an added oomph, as it were. Both put down creative panel layouts that were never boring and were actually quite dramatic in some instances. Great use of angles, especially on Alberghetti's half.

Darkwing Duck Annual #1 reminds me what it was like being that kid again who rushed home to make sure he didn't miss an episode of the TV show. It's good to see that the adventure lives on.

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