Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ducktales, Season One, Episode Fourteen: "Hero for Hire"

This episode raises some important questions. Like: where have all the good men gone? Where are all the gods? Where's the street-wise Hercules to fight the rising odds? It doesn't answer these questions, necessarily, but it does kick a statistically significant amount of ass in the attempt.

After being fired by Scrooge for bumbling, Launchpad is tricked by the Beagles (along with Ma) into robbing banks for them on the pretext that they're shooting a movie. There are all-new Beagles--I'm still not sold on the individual personalities, but, just because it's so inexplicable, I like the fact that one of them is some sorta beatnik.

The main thing that makes this "Hero for Hire" good is Launchpad, who, I'm just starting to realize, is fucking awesome. I still miss Donald, but if he has to have a de facto replacement, they couldn't have done much better. Even if the episode hits maybe a little too hard on the whole "everybody needs a hero!" theme--like that Dustin Hoffman movie, Hero--it's still a pleasure to watch him do his thing, robbin' banks and then makin' things right again. Admittedly, the ending in which he has to rescue Doofus from the Beagles does sort of let down the "hero" theme--they defeat themselves through the usual incompetence; he has nothing to do with it. Also, I feel bad about him taking a voluntary pay cut when he goes back to work for Scrooge; I'm not convinced that he's quite that dim. But none of this detracts too much from the episode as a whole.

Stray Observations

-It's too bad we don't get to actually see him robbing his first bank; it's not at all clear how this robbery even works.

-The bit where Launchpad gets his cape caught in the bank's revolving door makes one flash back to poor ol' Dollar Bill in Watchmen.

-"Unsafe Safe" reference!

-So are we to assume that Doofus has parents or guardians or something? Or is he just some insane vagrant who dug a coonskin cap out of a dumpster somewhere and managed to convince everyone he's a Junior Woodchuck?


  1. In this episode, we briefly see Launchpad without his aviator cap, and he has a full head of red hair. In future episodes (both Ducktales and Darkwing Duck), when we see him without his cap, his hair shifts back and forth from being a full head, to just a single large tuft under the cap. The reason? Beats me. Given an earlier post of mine about Daisy's lack of visible tresses, I'm giving way, way, way too much thought to animated duck hair.

  2. Well, Launchpad's a pelican, so at least you're branching out with your waterfowl-hair ruminations.

  3. He gets better. Glad to hear he's growing on you!