How do you celebrate your dramatic return to villainy? For Negaduck, that’s a very complicated question. Your Major Spoilers review of Negaduck #1 from Dynamite Entertainment awaits!
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Ciro Cangialosi
Colorist: Ciro Cangialosi
Letterer: Jeff Eckleberry
Editor: Nate Cosby
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: September 13, 2023
Previously in Negaduck: He’s the exact opposite of Darkwing Duck in every way… evil, nefarious, dedicated to stealing lollipops from kids and not helping grandmas across the street! And now, he’s ready to begin a reign of crime and terror the likes of which St. Canard has never seen! Except all of the other villains are ripping off his ideas! What’s a criminal mastermind to do when the city’s thick with other criminals, stealing his shine? Why, take his villainy on the road, of course!
GUESS WHO’S BACK IN ST. CANARD?
On a beautiful spring afternoon in the city of St. Canard, a nice couple is enjoying a picnic lunch of peanut butter and pickle relish, when the ground explodes all around them. It’s Negaduck! (Even though the warden made sure he wasn’t building a tunneling device, he didn’t notice ND building a mole machine. Just… go with it.) Having once again returned to the ways of villainy in the strange alternate dimension in which he finds himself trapped, Negaduck really wants to make his return a memorable crime. Before he can activate his machine to make it rain food, he is interrupted by Professor Moliarty, who has the same idea. Then LIlliput Gooney pulls off his next plan before he can, ruining his army of giant bugs. Loath to seem like a copycat, Negaduck moves on to flooding the freeways, only to find his old lackeys in the Fearsome Four to get the jump on him. By the issue’s end, he’s actually managed to STOP more crime than he’s perpetrated, unless you count stealing Taurus Bulba’s new aircraft to find a magic artifact.
IN SEARCH OF INSPIRATION
The premise of this story is actually pretty clever, as Negaduck refuses to recycle anyone else’s plan, and each more ridiculous idea keeps getting pre-empted by St. Canard’s many idiot villains. The art is also quite fun, and I appreciate how Cangialosi successfully tweaks character design for better, more dynamic art. Liquidator especially benefits, but all the art is attractive and glossy, and the coloring is well-done. Parker’s story sets up the basic premise well, but the final page cliffhanger feels just a little bit sudden to me. The 22 pages of story go very quickly, which is both a testament to the writing and somewhat disappointing. As is so often the case, I imagine the eventual collection will read in a more satisfying manner, but this issue winds up feeling short.
BOTTOM LINE: AN INTERESTING START
Even with that issue, Negaduck #1 sets a fun tone, establishes the stakes, and uses a larger portion of the huge Darkwing Duck supporting cast than I ever expected, combining for 3 out of 5 stars overall. If you’re wondering what all the hubbub about Dee-Dubya is about… I actually wouldn’t really start here. But once you’ve checked out his ongoing solo series, this issue makes a lovely accompaniment.
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As first chapters go, it's kind of fun, and it sets a nice tone, but it feels a little bit incomplete.