Full disclosure: I am among the names listed in the “thank you” credits on the first page of the Definitively Dangerous Edition. This is due to my participation with signal-boosting the comics, and occasionally offering feedback to the writer. That said, I had no involvement in the writing, dialogue, or specific changes that were made to the newly re-written omnibus.
The new and improved Definitively Dangerous Edition is finally here! Tailored for old and new fans alike, this 400-page trade paperback has been revised and updated with a number of changes. For those of you still sitting on the fence about whether or not to purchase this new edition of Darkwing’s adventures, I’ve decided to highlight a few of the changes you can expect to see (without spoiling too much for you!)
First, however, a quick summary of what you’ll find in the Definitively Dangerous Edition:
- Forward written by Disney’s ‘Gargoyles’ creator Greg Weisman
- The Duck Knight Returns (Issues 1-4)
- Crisis On Infinite Darkwings (Issues 5-8)
- Toy With Me (from the Annual)
- The Untimely Terror of the Time Turtle (from the Annual)
- F.O.W.L Disposition (Issues 9-12)
- Campaign Carnage (Issues 13-16)
- A new 3-page epilogue
- Cover Gallery, featuring all of the original cover art during the BOOM! Studios run
- A bonus note from writer/editor Aaron Sparrow, accompanied with a special 3-page comic, originally featured in the German Darkwing omnibus published by Egmont
Not included is the DuckTales/Darkwing Duck crossover entitled “Dangerous Currency”, which originally spanned Issues 17/18 of Darkwing Duck, and Issues 5/6 of DuckTales. Current writer/editor Aaron Sparrow has indicated that a new crossover is planned for the future.
While the initial plot for each story remains the same, Definitely Dangerous contains extensive revisions to the dialogue, as well as a few artwork updates and brand new pages.
There’s a lot to talk about, but I’ll try to narrow it down to some of the biggest changes I noticed.
1. The Swearing Has Been Removed
To be more specific, the single swear word originally appearing in Issue 3 of the “Duck Knight Returns” arc, in which Megavolt uses the word “crappy”. While this is a seemingly innocuous change, it in fact shifts the entire dynamic of the comic from “adult fans” to “all ages”. Disney is, after all, known for their family friendly reputation.
2. An Abundance of Additional Alliteration
A litany of alliteration! In the cartoon, Darkwing was well-known for his copious usage of alliteration, particularly during his long-winded heroic speeches.
This omnibus is chock-full of new lines, to the point where the characters even crack a few meta comments about it. I have to wonder if Aaron Sparrow was eating and sleeping with a thesaurus glued to his hand at all times. There were a few words in there even I had to look up.
3. Revised artwork
In a recent interview, James Silvani explained he had little reference material to work with for the earlier issues. Definitively Dangerous was his opportunity to fix up the art and make the characters more ‘on model’ with the cartoon.
4. New jokes
Definitively Dangerous is jam-packed with brand new jokes, and in some cases completely alters the tone of the comics from “serious” to “making fun of seriousness”.
This shift is most evident in the “F.O.W.L Disposition“ arc, which has probably received the most revisions compared to the other arcs. Just about every piece of dialogue has been altered in some shape or form. Steelbeak’s signature accent becomes more overt as he playfully banters with Darkwing throughout all four issues.
The original comic contained a number of scenes comprised of foreshadowing and subtle characterization. The “Crisis on Infinite Darkwings” arc was well known for a few ominous pieces of dialogue that have now been altered to reflect future events. That said, the overarching plot for the series remains largely intact, and select pieces of foreshadowing were left untouched — perhaps in preparation for the new series.
Whether the Definitively Dangerous Edition is an overall improvement to the original series is an opinion that will vary from reader-to-reader. Some fans may prefer the original version, while others may enjoy the changes brought to us by a new creative team.
Value-wise, if you’re indifferent to the alterations and would like all of the comics (sans crossover) collected in one volume, this omnibus is an excellent deal considering the price tag does not stray above $30 (before shipping). You can find a list of online retailers here that are currently selling Definitively Dangerous in the U.S and world-wide.
And of course, don’t forget that a new ongoing comic series is currently in production! Stay tuned for future updates as we hear more about what’s next for our daring duck of mystery later in the year.