Saturday, February 18, 2012

SMA's Awesomest Episodes Ever: Darkwing Duck Vol. 1

In this feature I discuss different episodes from various television shows that have stuck with me well past childhood.

It's no surprise most fans of the cartoon series, Darkwing Duck know that the titular character's creation is heavily based on/inspired by DC Comics' Batman. In the episode, "Time and Punishment" the writers of the series penned a love letter/parody of the classic Batman story, The Dark Knight Returns (DKR).

In DKR, we find a future, older Batman who retired from his crusade shortly after the haunting death of his partner Robin (Jason Todd). Fueled by an unyielding sense of justice and the violent emergence of the criminal gang, The Mutants, Batman once-again dons his costume to restore order to the chaos.

Much like DKR Batman, Darkwing Duck forged his persona of Darkwarrior Duck from loss; specifically the presumed loss of his daughter, Gosalyn. As a noted rebel to authority, Gosalyn disobeyed her father during a bust of the villainous duo QuackerJack and Megavolt as they were about to travel to the future in their time machine, the Timetop. Gosalyn accidentally hitched a ride to the future to find the criminals of her home St. Canard were gone under her father's watch, but a much more disturbing reality remained in his wake.

For decades, Darkwing thought his daughter ran away and from the loss, resigned himself to a malaise towards crimefighting. In seeing the streets as unsafe for everyone, Darkwing becomes Darkwarrior to purge the streets of criminals in his beloved city. However, driven by loss, anger, and bitterness Darkwarrior placed every citizen in his crosshairs for even the slightest offense.

The attitude of Darkwarrior Duck is very reminiscent of DKR Batman in his zero-tolerance handling of criminals. Nice touches were added in the design of Darkwarrior's costume and car--clearly inspired by the DKR Batmobile. As an added bonus the writers even included a nod to the creative team of DKR when Darkwarrior learned of a crime happening at the corner of Miller and Varley St. (DKR was written/illustrated by Frank Miller and colored by Lynn Varley) As a comic fan, this was a easy way to win me over and the nods to DKR were just icing on the cake.

Still making an impact today, BOOM! Studios recently began a new ongoing comic series for Darkwing Duck with the inaugural arc entitled, "The Duck Knight Returns."

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