I start this thread as both a review piece (with spoilers) and as a method to get something off my chest about these two series, whose shows were a big part of my childhood and whose comics were finely written.
So these two issues marked the end of a big crossover and also served as the finales for both series. If the news of these series ending feels sudden...that's because it is. The hammer from the Disney/Marvel acquisition came down and that meant any Disney comics needed to come to an abrupt end. And thus, we got a hastily thrown-together finale to which Warren Specter (Ducktales) and Ian Brill (Darkwing Duck) did their damndest to wrap things up nicely with a bow.
As a story, it felt good. For Scrooge McDuck, it felt like just another adventure. For Darkwing, on the other hand, this felt like a true ending, for however quick it came. The plot revolves around evil slime that would corrupt anything it touched. It made the Fearsome Five Four into badder versions of themselves and the Beagle Boys into a five-headed hybrid. The villains looked to be the Phantom Blot (in a VERY nice nod to a one-time appearance on Ducktales) and the League of Eve-il, led by Magicka De Spell.
The resolution (which I'll keep brief) was a culmination of several Darkwing comic stories. Negaduck (returning from another dimension in a plot point from an earlier issue) was revealed to be the source of the slime, as the tron splitter that was used on him in that same earlier issue kept working continuously until there were millions of particle versions of himself that Negaduck Prime could control. The combined minds of Gyro Gearloose, Scrooge, and DW were able to create an antidote that could be fired through DW's gas gun and Gizmo Duck's new cannons. With this, the Fearsome Four are subdued, reverted to their old forms, and not heard from again. As for Negaduck, DW's able to re-open the dimensional portal, thanks to a Morganna Macabre failsafe, and a magic word sends Negaduck, the Blot, the League of Eve-il, and the Beagles into the other dimension to get rid of them, once and for all. And so the Disney Afternoon comics end with Darkwing about to end on a corny cliche, before Scrooge cuts him off and they simply settle on a handshake.
This felt intensely rushed. They tried to squeeze in a story arc worth seven, eight, or nine issues and crammed it all into four. Major revelations and exposition (and there were a lot) were kept to less than two pages. But in the end, the story ended up being solid and, like I said before, was the best way to end these series. What I liked the most was the way the writers played up the main difference between Scrooge McDuck and Darkwing Duck as individuals! Scrooge constantly brings his nephews along with him for his adventures, because they offer the kids valuable life experience and also because Scrooge would never see his family, otherwise. It's a shock to Darkwing's system (as Darkwing is constantly worrying about keeping Gosalyn safe) and he ends up learning, in the end, that he can't separate his superhero life and his family life...nor should he. Like Scrooge says, there's no superhero life and family life, it's all just ONE life. It's just brilliant character work and I loved every page of it!
I'm VERY torn about the abrupt nature of these cancellations. On one hand, these two series were both AWESOME! They brought a beautiful sense of nostalgia and were well-written enough for me to enjoy, while also clean enough for me to give my niece and nephew to enjoy afterwards. So you can imagine my utter IRRITATION AND ANNOYANCE that they were being cancelled because of the Marvel deal. Is Marvel even going to DO ANYTHING with these two franchises? Or are they going back into the Disney Vault, never to be heard from again? You can probably take a guess as to what the answer is.
And yet...I also appreciate actually GETTING an ending! As a kid, I had to deal with both of these shows getting an unceremonious cancellation without any sort of finale or proper ending. Today...I have my proper ending. A big part of my childhood has received its proper closing chapter and I'm sure a lot of fans appreciate that Darkwing Duck and Scrooge McDuck not only got final chapters at all, but also got well-written ones, all things considered.
If you haven't caught these comics and you were a childhood fan of these two shows, you absolutely owe it to yourself to get the trade. Get it for your kids and then spend a day talking to them about how AWESOME these shows were back in the day!
Has anyone picked up the latest by Foley yet? He was on Mancow this morning promoting the book, and I've heard it has gotten mixed reviews at best. As soon as my wife gets back I'll have her grab me a copy as i've enjoyed all his books so far.