A Definitive Comparison of Definitively Dangerous

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.

Definitively DangerousThe 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

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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

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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.

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3. Revised artwork

newart1Minor changes have been made to the artwork, particularly with Morgana and Magica’s faces (just don’t ask them if they’ve had ‘work’ done on their bills – you’ll probably get zapped!)

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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.

dwd-addedOther panels have been completely replaced, such as Cat-Tankerous’ backstory, and additional panels included when Darkwing confronts the hypnotic villain Suff-rage.

4. New jokes

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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”.

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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.

fowl45. Small Plot Points Changed

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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.

Conclusion

dwdnewWhether 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.

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3 Comments

  1. Great work! I love seeing this kind of stuff. I’m sure the changes were all for the greater good.

  2. Got my copy! Well worth it in the thrill of nostalgia alone. It’s challenging me to go back and rewrite my own series!ive been seriously considering it for quite some time so I can finally write about Trixie and Cassidy. I only have two critiques to make on my first reading so far, and that is that even though I know it is no longer cannon, still wish I could have read the “Dangerous Currency” arc despite its continuity errors, because it now is far out of my price range running from $100 to $300 as far as I can tell and I would have loved seeing Gosalyn interact with The triplets! How dslight fully predictable that they’d all develope a crush on her! Does anyone know if the Ducktale comics, by the way, discount the Quack Pack cartoons as canon or not? That aside, the comic book is fantastic, well worth the wait for this omnibus, even though it looks slightly out of place on my bookshelf between my Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and my Lenore volumes, lol. The dialogue is delightfully in character and witty with lots of fun pop culture re fence in jokes, (although my fiancée, a die hard G.I. Joe fan, might not be so amused about one or two…;) ) and the only draw back to the added banter is it covers up more of the detailed and well plotted artwork and settings. Ah well, you can’t have everything in life, but this is close enough. speaking of, if none out there has any pull with Disney, can you push them along with FINALLy you releasing volume 3 of the Darkwing Duck cartoon on DVD? So many feverishly fantastic Fearsome Five episodes are missing from my collection! Love to all! Greta review, Mal!

    • I imagine sales of the trade and upcoming comic could help Disney to consider finishing the DWD release.

      And of course, anyone who has bought it, I recommend spreading word of the trade to those who might be interested, but unaware (I mean you have people to this day still not knowing that Gargoyles had a comic continuation).

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