Over the last few years, Boom! Studios’ kid imprinat, Kaboom!, has done a remarkable job with the Disney properties, bringing back the likes of “Darkwing Duck,” “DuckTales,” “Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers” from the old “Disney Afternoon” cartoon block, as well as new adventures of classic characters such as Mickey, Donald and Goofy.
So I was greatly disappointed (though not surprised) when Boom! announced the end of their Disney licenses. Their Pixar titles, including a great “Incredibles” book, wrapped up a while back. Muppets, too. It makes sense since Disney bought Marvel, but it’s still a bummer.
So today is a last hurrah of sorts, with the release of the “Darkwing Duck/DuckTales: Dangerous Currency” trade paperback, reprinting the four-issue crossover that ended those two titles.
And what a finale it was!
It had action, adventure, humor and lots of great characters. Everyone gets a chance to shine, even young Honker Muddlefoot, Gosalyn’s best friend. There’s even a hint of young love, though we’ll probably never see it happen.
In the story, classic Disney comic villains the Phantom Blot and Magica De Spell are taking over St. Canard (home of Darkwing) with a slimy black substance that turns people into supervillains (and Darkwing’s rogues gallery even worse) and even brings inanimate objects to evil life.
Scrooge McDuck has come to town to investigate a seemingly unrelated matter, and it becomes a battle of wits when Unca Scrooge meets Drake Mallard and quickly learns he’s Darkwing. It’s old school vs. new school when the two must work together (along with Gyro Gearloose, Huey, Dewey, Louie, Webby, Gosalyn, Honker and Launchpad) to save St. Canard and Scrooge’s fortune, more specifically his No. 1 Dime.
Writers Warren Spector, who did the Wii game “Epic Mickey,” and Ian Brill nailed the characters, totally true to their cartoon (and, in the case of Scrooge, comic book) origins and taking them new and exciting places. I’m so glad they had enough advance notice, unlike “Incredibles,” to do a proper story to wrap up loose threads. “Darkwing,” especially, had a lot going on that had been building quietly, and it comes to a satisfying conclusion.
Artists James Silvani and Jose Massaroli also have done wonderful jobs on their series. It was always fun to scan the backgrounds of “Darkwing Duck” issues to see what obscure characters Silvani would sneak in during a crowd scene or on a flyer blowing in the wind. But, more importantly, they nailed the characters in their way, too.
So, yes, I’m extremely bummed to see these titles come to an end, though I know Kaboom! has some great things in store, including “Peanuts” and “Adventure Time,” plus the original “Snarked” title from former Muppet comic creator Roger Langridge and “Star Wars” spoof “Space Warped.”
If Disney/Marvel is smart, they’ll snag all the Kaboom! Disney people ASAP and continue the titles. Plus, add a “Gummi Bears” book. A geek can dream, can’t he?