Soon, I'll be posting posting the final entry in my "History of DuckTales Comic Books" series -- consider this a prelude...
It's the end of an era" I've just read DuckTales #6 and Darkwing Duck #18, Parts Three and Four of the "Dangerous Currency" story arc, and the last two regular issues of any Disney comic series that BOOM! will publish. (I believe there's still a couple trade paperback collections on the slate.)
There's a lot I haven't liked about "Dangerous Currency" The plot was illogical and relied too much on derivative giant monster invasion/apocalypse spectacle, and characterization was off. (I don't think Ian Brill is very familiar with DuckTales...)
But by the final few pages, rather than disgust and the sensation of cringing, I was, surprisingly, overwhelmed by sentiment. Not because the story was moving (or even particularly good), but because I became acutely aware that I had reached the last several moments of a distinct era of my life.
Don't get me wrong -- I'm glad to be done with BOOM! They were unknowledgeable and mismatched in regards to Disney comics, contemptuous toward and resentful of life-long fans, and their overbearing, bombastic hype/PR style was insufferable.
Nonetheless, for the past two years, for better or for worse, my regular visits to the comic shop and many of the Internet-based discussions that I followed (and sometimes participated in) centered around BOOM's Disney comics. At first, I boycotted the respective titles during the Wizards of Mickey/Ultraheroes/Double Duck, or "Yeah, THIS is the kinda thing kids'll think is WAY COOL!!!!" phase -- but ended up catching up on all of them to enhance my reading of Chris Barat's reviews. (Yes, the comics were supplemental to the reviews, not the other way around -- oh, the irony! And testimony to the hold this hobby has on me, and the value I put on the fan community in general and certain friends' writing.)
I was floored when, in March of 2010 -- still mired in the "Yeah, THIS is the kinda thing kids'll think is WAY COOL!!!!" stranglehold on the line, it was announced that BOOM! would begin publishing a Darkwing series and that starting with #392, Uncle Scrooge would be devoted to DuckTales content. It's an understatement to say that this development was completely unexpected. I reiterate: this was 2010. Neither DuckTales nor Darkwing had been in contemporary productions for close to 20 years, and were completely nonexistent in the public eye. Of course, we now know that it was a gentleman by the name of Aaron Sparrow who was responsible for the launch of these comics. Darkwing was an instant success -- yet for some reason, Sparrow was fired by BOOM! even before #4 was out... (Sparrow has shared a lot of behind-the-scenes details here...)
More often than not, when I purchased a new issue of Darkwing (and BOOM!'s short-lived Rescue Rangers comic, launched in the wake of Darkwing's success), I'd read it as soon as I got back in my car, before driving home! I'd been dreaming about new Disney Afternoon comics for 20 years; it was inevitable that I'd be captivated...
When Darkwing's second and third story arcs suffered harsh criticism at ToonZone's Disney Pixar forum, I would stick up for BOOM!, rallying, "Guys, just be happy someone's doing these comics at all!" And before long, between the Disney Afternoon titles and the content of Uncle Scrooge, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck during the "Classic are back!" era, it seemed that the line had attained near-perfection. But things started to sour when, early this year, the "classic" titles were cancelled, without there having been, to this day, any official acknowledgement from BOOM! on the matter. Rescue Rangers didn't make it past #8...and even before it was cancelled, it had already evinced drudgery...as became the case, more and more, with latter-day issues of Darkwing... And meanwhile, DuckTales was given its own title, but we all know how that went...
Anyway, for all of the writing's flaws, as "Dangerous Currency" was winding down, I found myself once again thinking, "Well, this is it. I guess I should just be glad someone made these comics at all!" Silvani's double-page spread of various DuckTales cameos was largely the impetus for this...Bubba!? Genie from
DuckTales: The Movie?! Coming full-circle, I marveled, "This is 2011?!!" Never thought I'd get to see a full-blown DuckTales-Darkwing Duck crossover. In spite of the MAJOR continuity gaffes, in spite of the inane-ness of the nephews and Honkers being transformed into giant monsters, I've relished it as much as I can.
Ian: I believe you gave this your all. James Silvani (and Amy Mebberson, whom word on the street is contributed to the crossover's art...): your work shines and inspires! Aaron: thank you for fighting so hard to get these comics off the ground, and your continued dedication to them! I hope that they're picked up by another publisher in the near-future, and you're at their helm!