Writer: Amanda Deibert
Art: Carlo Lauro
Publisher: Dynamite comics
Release Date: April 19th, 2023
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As the story continues from last issue, Drake Mallard has now hung up his cape, and has traded in his sidekick Launchpad for his girlfriend, the magical Morgana McCawber. Yet, crime never sleeps and it appears that the villainous vegetable known as Bushroot has once again returned to menace the citizens of St. Canard. Darkwing Duck #4 is exciting and has an element of mystery. Darkwing has come out of retirement already (c’mon, you didn’t think the Masked Mallard would stay out of action for very long, did you?) Although the fight with Bushroot is relatively short, Bushroot does suggest he is working for someone. Who could this be?
Could it be Darkwing’s diabolical doppelganger Negaduck, the sinister crime boss Taurus Bulba, or perhaps someone new? It’s also fun to see a subtle reference to the final episode (in production order) of the show, “Malice’s Restaurant”, in which Morgana opens a restaurant. Deibert also did a good job of showcasing Darkwing’s egotistical personality, like when Morgana makes a suggestion, he ignores her and then says exactly what she just said as if he had said it. It’s also cool to see Darkwing incorporating new technology and new features to his gas gun.
The art in Darkwing Duck #4 is consistently good. The panels when Darkwing first emerges in his costume as well as his wielding of his gas gun are stand-out panels. Also, the scene in which Drake Mallard mows the lawn into the shape of his profile as Darkwing is symbolic of his giant ego. It very much feels like it could easily be an episode of the show.
While Darkwing Duck #4 still presented a fun story, it seems like this series is focused more on Darkwing’s relationships with his family and friends as opposed to his fights with the villains. The villains so far seem to be under-utilized. There needs to be a bit more action sequences and more interaction with the villains. At least there are some hints as to what may end up setting up future plotlines, but there should be more of a balance of action and relational conflict. Hopefully future issues will improve upon this point.