First issues of series like this tend to get all of the notice, but there’s something more interesting about the second issue where you get insight into how the book will really play out when there isn’t all of the first issue pressure and effort. The good news for fans of “Darkwing Duck” is that things are looking great. After a strong first issue, the debut arc of BOOM!’s new “Darkwing Duck” ongoing series continues with an equally strong and entertaining second issue. The first issue established the premise of Drake Mallard retired from his vigilante life and struggling with regular life, ending with him considering putting on the costume while, elsewhere, the Fearsome Five has become the Fearsome Four and are making a comeback.
This issue divides its time between Darkwing Duck as he investigates Quackwerks, the company that everyone seems to work for and the one that supplies St. Canard with its Crimebots, and the villains, as they catch Megawatt up to speed with their plans. Since the first issue showed both Drake and Megawatt as working in the same company, both unhappy with their lives, having them both getting back into their old habits parallel to one another is a good way to structure the issue. Seeing both men get back into the swing of things is interesting with Darkwing Duck having to go it alone, while Megawatt has his three villainous compatriots to help guide him back into the life. That both groups are targeting Quackwerks is another smart choice.
Brill’s writing has a great, lively rhythm to it as he cuts back and forth between the two plots. The villains have a very playful edge to them, especially Quackerjack, who has gone even more over the edge, especially when the name “Negaduck” is said. Darkwing Duck, on the other hand, finds himself in trouble when he’s discovered at the Quackwerks offices after hours and is forced to sing at a retirement party, a suitably absurd idea for the character. Brill fills the issue with funny asides while pushing things forward.
James Silvani, like most of BOOM!’s artists for Disney properties, has a lot of skill. He really gets the look of the world and its characters, but is able to also play with that and push them. Quackerjack is very lively and animated in his body language and facial expressions, but Silvani also nails the close-ups of his face when he delivers that one serious line at the end of a long speech. His line work is bold and strong, suitably simple for the material, but also complex in its layouts at times. A page where Darkwing Duck stumbles across the assembly plant for the Crimebots is very detailed, packed from top to bottom.
Silvani also blends his work well with Brill’s writing, getting across visual jokes like the grumpy look of the retiree or the insanity of Quackerjack when Negaduck is mentioned. They’re a very smooth team, working in harmony to make “Darkwing Duck” another winner for BOOM! The company continues its track record for great comics based on films and TV shows. I can’t wait until next issue!