Darkwing Beyond
Original review author: Sasamy
Webcomic name: Darkwing Beyond
Author: "AkumaTH"
Start Date 2004ish
End Date Ongoing
Genre Sprite Comic
Defining Flaw Boring, talky, would rather tell you what happened rather than show you, sprite comic
Things that are fucking terrible about this webcomic: Page upon page of shitty exposition and poorly written dialouge
Things that aren't terrible but could use improvement: Least the text boxes improved over time
Summary: Zzzzzzz (Again)

Background

Once this comic was suggested on the forums and I took it upon self to review the thing, I found myself wondering; "just how good was the original television series?" I have come to the conclusions that Darkwing Duck was fucking awesome, go watch it.

This comic, made by AkumaTh, for shits and giggles I presume, is most definitely not awesome. Do not read it.

Story and Plot

Darkwing Beyond operates under the same premise as Batman Beyond, a plucky young hero taking up the mantle of their father, spoiler alert. Darkwing Beyond gets about as far as the title before spiraling into monotony. You see, Where Batman Beyond's previous Batman just got old, Darkwing Duck was killed in a lazy Google image search explosion with all his enemies, friends, and all the other interesting characters. In his place is Gosalyn, the little girl from the original series or an emotionless facsimile.

This new Darkwing then scours the streets of St.Canard meeting up not with new, original interesting characters, but rather characters from other franchises, characters made by other people and if you wish really hard, maybe an original character will show up. The storylines aren't so much connected as they are a series of adventures, as you'd expect from a superhero comic, no problem there, but really it all just boils down to superhero team up. Darkwing teams up with Carmelita (barely), Darkwing teams up with Bushroot, Darkwing teams up with the goddamn Pizza Cats. I'll admit, superhero team ups gets me as wet as the next guy who sits in the back of the bus, but they're only good because we get to see two beloved heroes interact. In this case the team-uppers (team-uppees?) have no personality beyond, well, anything.

Sure if you need to introduce some new heroes it's customary to have them fight, superhero comics being bound to a strict code that all writers must go by, but you have to understand, DWB's idea of a new plot is to introduce another shitload of characters to serve the plot, then drop them by the wayside. At no point in between do they show any sort of personality or sound like they’re even interested in this shit, thus defeating the entire purpose of the superhero team-up and making 90% of the storylines feel more like Akuma kidnapped some franchise mascots and held a gun to their heads while manically screaming for them to dance.

Marysue-dominic.jpg

Not exactly what I had in mind…

The storylines that aren’t about superhero team-ups, don’t exist, but work with me here. Besides the superhero team-ups, the plots in this comic are just boring. For instance, here’s a sub-plot about sprite comics… Where’s the logic in this? Sprite comics are boring + This is a sprite comic + Do a sub-plot about sprite comics in a sprite comic = ???. Or how about a Phoenix Wright parody? How do you even begin to make that interesting while at the same time having it acted out by ducks in a sprite comic? At the same time Akuma does take time out to try and make this faux Gos seem like the genuine article by doing a stand alone page about her buying comics from…Hampton J. Pig? Okay, fine, whatever. Either way, this brief glimpse of a personality is quickly put to rest by a handy wall of text.

Downfall

Tragic
Simply tragic…

Right here, that's it. You could easily argue that the comic was always awful, but when you notice that Kuma's decided to fill out his cast with the creations of others it's pretty common knowledge. Sure you can sneak in a cameo here and there, maybe use them to fill out a crowd, but give a fan character a prominent role and that's about it. Game-Over, no continues, go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars.

You've lost, good sir. Your cast will largely consist of characters that you can't develop on your own, because if you so much as did anything like, say, send the bitch to jail, you'd be on the business end of a strongly worded paragraph, as terrifying as the thought is. So things will play out pretty much like a Saturday morning cartoon…yeah…and while that's all fine and good for say, a show like this the fanbase of these comics don't consist of ten year old boys, they're mostly fourteen and are bound to notice how nothing ever changes in the comic. That, and even Darkwing Duck had the balls to off a bad guy once, sure he came back, but the fact is you couldn't kill a man if you wanted to.

Art review

Sprites. That’s about it. No shiny lens flares or anything. Everything else is done rather lazily. mouths are shamelessly copy pasted from panel to panel and character to character as if during conversations all anyone ever says is “Ooooooo”, recolors without shame, as Akuma himself pointed out (Um…thanks?) and it adheres the “six panels aligned in a perfect rectangle” rule to such a degree that there aren’t even any zoom ins. Really there’s nothing to say here besides “Get off your ass and put some effort into it”

…Also, I swear that building explosion gets lamer every time it appears. The first time it was just cheesy, but the second time it’s out of place. Making a decent explosions won’t kill ya, it’ll just take effort.

Oh, and because Luigiian said so, I have to bring this to attention:

sonictaur.gif

What the fuck is this?

Sweet baby Jesus would you just look at that thing, and I mean LOOK AT IT. That is the kind of thing nightmares and fail are made of.

THERE IT IS AGAIN JESUS CHRIST

Writing review

Following the “suck at story, suck at art and suck an ass and a half at writing” trope, Darkwing Beyond really goes the extra mile. With every new revelation there’s a truly terrifying amount of text accompanying it, as they say you couldn’t throw a stone without hitting an entire herd of them. Whether it’s The incessant monologues of Gosalyn someone’s hamfisted attempt to include a fan character into the canon. or just a guy thinking about what he had for breakfast it is absolutely vital you know everything behind it. You don’t know how that duck and the robotic duck know each other? HOLY SHIT READ THIS FUCKING WALL OF TEXT RIGHT NOW I CANNOT STRESS THIS SHIT ENOUGH. Even when Akuma’s got a decent twist set up that would make someone go “Oh, I should have known!” he gets right to telling you exactly how they set this up. Even the action is set aside for walls of text Goddamn, it’s not a book y’now.

Since everyone and their mom is a fan character, nobody really has any personality they just sit there, oozing walls of text from their orifice like they’ve got diarrhea mouth and occasionally not fighting so that they can deliver more walls of text. In between the rampant inclusion of fan characters, and the inclusion of every single cartoon franchise from the 90s, you’d almost be led to believe the comic was nothing but self-gratification.

Really, it is. I can think of no other reason for the inclusion of Samurai Pizza Cats Sonic The Hedgehog Looney Tunes Sly Cooper uper Mario Bros And the canon of other fan characters which probably intersects into other canons besides wankery. That isn’t to say you aren’t allowed to slip in a little for yourself into a comic now and then, why even make comics if you can’t have fun with it? But really, if you took away everything that was put it for the sole purpose of pleasing Akuma, what would you have left, the backgrounds? If you’re just going to throw in everything that gets you wet then there’s no point in putting it on the internet.

All in all I will admit to liking the villains a bit since while they aren’t the originals they still retain some of their personality. The exceptions would have to be Livevolt, whose personality flipped from crazy to boring, and Mechanegaduck, who for the longest would just kill people at random, then decided being a sociopathic psychopath was just too cool, and had Akuma hook him up with…a fan character. Why? Because fuck canon, that’s why.

Author biography

Akuma doesn’t like to tell much about himself, not even his age. So there’s no way to tell if he’s a psychotic mass murderer or just a guy, but I’ll go for just a guy considering he’s pretty calm about everything. He has a bunch of other comics which aren’t nearly as wordy as Darkwing Beyond, but I haven’t read those much. When he did eventually discover this review he did take it in (partly) stride, even pointing out some of his own flaws I had missed.

Conclusion

Like the sprite comics before it, Darkwing Beyond is boringly boring, that’s all there is to it. It’s the kind of boring where you actually feel yourself physically dying from the experience, literally shaving years off your life with each passing page. Not even regular sprite comics are this boring compared to this, something like this takes concerted effort. Though even if Akuma did manage to write in a way that didn’t bore the fuck out of everyone, he’d still be doing the same superhero team-up storylines, shoving fan-characters in left and right, and, hell, it’d still be a sprite comic. Being bad is practically it’s destiny.

Links

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