That cloaked avenger making a blazing comeback to protect his crime-plagued city is not the Batman of The Dark Knight Returns (1986) but a masked mallard meant to evoke him: Darkwing Duck, returning to the mean streets after a year of living the quiet life and raising his action-starved daughter, Gosalyn. Dragged from retirement, he reunites with mechanic and gadget-man Launchpad to go up against an array of former villains and—much more interestingly—the mind-control plans of megacorporation Quackworks and its army of crimebots. Darkwing has the ornery, beleaguered perseverance of another great cartoon duck—Daffy, of course. The slick color and expressive cartooning has as much to offer as the original mid-’90s animation where the character began, and the anticorporate theme is age-appropriate and welcome (though somewhat suspicious given that the property is owned by Disney). Ultimately, though, the concept is a bit too derivative to function as more than a fine pastime between issues of Boom! Kids' truly excellent adaptations of The Incredibles and The Muppet Show. Grades 3-5. --Jesse Karp
About the Author
Aaron Sparrow broke into the comics industry as a copy editor for Tokyopop, eventually moving on to write English adaptations of manga titles such as Devil May Cry 3, Hyper Police, the critically acclaimed Dragon Head, as well as the story "Family Values" for Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft: Legends anthology. In 2009, Aaron became the Lead Editor on Disney/Pixar/Muppets titles, developing their all-ages line and masterminding the triumphant return of Disney's Darkwing Duck with artist James Silvani. Aaron has also worked on comic books with DreamWorks Animation and Sesame Workshop, and is currently writing Joebook's upcoming Darkwing Duck monthly comic series.