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Review of Darkwing Duck: Orange is the New Purple (Issues 1-3)

Note: This review is spoiler-free!

After years of impatient hand-wringing and gritted teeth, it’s finally here: A brand new Darkwing Duck comic series! Words cannot describe how excited I am to see my absolute favourite superhero back in action after what has felt like an eternity of waiting (okay, it was actually six years, but that is basically an eternity).

For those unaware, the new Darkwing Duck series picks up after the events of the Definitely Dangerous Edition. Thorough reading of the previous series is not necessary to understand the present plot, although it certainly adds another layer of entertainment to the story.

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The first storyline, Orange is the New Purple, spans three action-packed issues filled to the brim with cameos and Easter Eggs, brought to us by none other than artist James Silvani. The new Darkwing team doesn’t hold back any punches. From the very first page, the series hits the ground running – literally—with a high-speed parade float chase that segues into the first story arc of Darkwing Duck’s newest adventure.  There have been a lot of changes in St. Canard since the titular cartoon series, including a brand new state-of-the-art supervillain prison. Our story begins here, when an inevitable jailbreak leaves Darkwing trapped inside with nearly all of his known foes, cartoon and comic characters alike, including some brand new faces created by writer Aaron Sparrow. It’s up to the masked mallard to fend off an army of super-powered fiends using his typical array of gadgetry and arrant alliteration (with a little help from a certain spirited daughter of his).

dwsurfWithout spoiling too much, I will say that Orange is the New Purple never fails to deliver on entertaining dialogue, diabolical plots, and villainous team-ups you never knew you wanted until you see them in action. It’s clear that Aaron Sparrow has a solid grasp of the characters, and does an excellent job at integrating them into a modern-day St. Canard where change doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Darkwing himself has updated his wardrobe by discarding his turtleneck for a more sophisticated tie and adds a second gas gun to his arsenal – a redesign by creator Tad Stones. But one thing remains constant, and that is DW’s sarcastic, witty banter which only gets better throughout the plot’s progression.

What I find most impressive about this entire arc is that a ridiculously large number of villains are crammed into each issue, and yet the storyline never feels rushed or laden with unnecessary prose. A balance has been struck by making each character feel pertinent to the storyline. Aaron Sparrow did an excellent job of selecting villainous partnerships that were complementary to one another – every interaction flows naturally and is filled with the type of silly jokes one might expect from a comic about talking cartoon ducks.  I am also enjoying the colours by Andrew Dalhouse – they add a real ‘oomph’ to James Silvani’s artwork – especially the scene where the “Big Bad” looms over our masked hero as a threatening silhouette.

1463619010043Personally, Issue 3 was my absolute favourite for a number of reasons: Our Big Bad of the story is shown in his element, and I absolutely love the stretchy, expressive faces this character makes.  Not to mention there are a number of Frozen references that had me laughing out loud.

One of my favourite new additions to this comic series actually comes after the end of each issue. Aaron Sparrow shares with us bonus material such as storyboards from the cartoon, and interesting tidbits of trivia about the creation and development of the series. Issues 2 and 3 also contain short one-page biographies for a number of villains appearing within the comic, straight from Darkwing Duck’s “secret files”. This plethora of information is excellent for readers who are unfamiliar with the cartoon or simply want to learn some extra facts about their favourite baddies.

Conclusion

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Everything about this series is top-notch. I get a sense that there is a combined effort happening behind the scenes by a harmonized team to bring us the type of story we’ve always wanted. Between the writing, the artwork, the colours, the lettering, and the editing, this new Darkwing Duck comic will not fail to disappoint fans. Hats off to Team Darkwing for all of their hard work!

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Where to Purchase Darkwing Duck Issue #1 Online

After long last, the terror that flaps has made his return! Now available in comic stores across North America, Disney’s Darkwing Duck #1 is already selling out in large numbers.

If you’re looking for an alternative to brick and mortar shopping, there are a number of online locations where you can purchase a copy. Negaverse.net has compiled a list of all online retailers currently selling Issue #1, and all upcoming issues as well!

More online sources to be added soon!

Edit: Issue 1 is now available digitally! New links have been added!

New Darkwing comic series officially announced for April!

It’s official: Issue #1 of the brand new comic series for Darkwing Duck will be released this April! Canadian publisher JoeBooks gave a rather climactic reveal via Twitter:



April couldn’t come any faster! In the meantime, stay tuned for a few sneak peeks and other goodies we’ll be posting in the next three months!

New Darkwing comics happening this year? We think so!

While 2015 experienced a general lull for Darkwing fans, the new year has brought new hope in the form of artist James Silvani and writer/editor Aaron Sparrow. Both have dropped hints at working feverishly on a new series, which is slated for release sometime this year.

Just recently, Aaron released a few sneak peeks via twitter:

And from James Silvani’s instagram:

I am the terror that flaps in the night. I am the teases without end #notformuchlonger #darkwingduck

A photo posted by James Silvani (@silvaniart) on

It’s worth noting that April 2016 will mark the 25th Anniversary of Darkwing Duck, and it would certainly make sense to release the comics in this timeframe. Additionally, publisher Joe Books has already announced the release of other Disney Afternoon titles, including both Gargoyles and DuckTales cinestories.

There’s no doubt that 2016 is a good year to be a fan!

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

crappy-crummy

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.

alliteration3

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!)

newart2

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

negsychange

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.

Where to purchase the Definitively Dangerous Edition

Definitively Dangerous

The terror that flaps is back! In less than two weeks, Disney’s Darkwing Duck: Definitively Dangerous Edition will be available for purchase at comic book shops and digitally through ibooks.

If you’re hoping to get your hands on a copy, then look no further! I’ve compiled a master-list of various online retailers that will be peddling our poultry purveyor of justice.

Purchase a digital copy

 Purchase a hard copy from online retailers

 

And of course, don’t forget to ask your local comic book shop to order in a copy for you!

This list will be updated as the comic becomes more widely available. If you’ve found a location that is selling the Definitively Dangerous Edition, be sure to comment and I’ll add it to the list!

Stay tuned!

On October 22nd 2014, James Silvani, the former artist of the 2010 Darkwing Duck comic series, announced the return of everyone’s favourite crime-fighting mallard.

Darkwing’s big comeback begins with a comic omnibus entitled Darkwing Duck: The Definitively Dangerous Edition, which contains a re-mastered version of the previous ongoing series, plus exclusive new bonus material. This will be followed by a brand new ongoing series beginning in 2015, published by Joe Books and spearheaded by writer and editor Aaron Sparrow.

We here at Negaverse.net are thrilled to see Darkwing back in action. This blog will be dedicated to covering all news related to the upcoming comic series. Stay tuned, as we plan to bring you more updates in the near future!