Thursday, April 26, 2012

Darkwing Duck, Series One, Episode Thirty-Four: "Up, Up, and Awry"

Darkwing is undercover at a racetrack trying to figure out why horses are disappearing.  Turns out Megavolt is magicking them away to steal the horseshoes (the disturbing question of what he does with the horses themselves is never addressed).  DW and Launchpad are engaged in trying stop him when, in a genuinely unexpected twist, Gizmoduck shows up to save the dang ol' day (why was he just hanging out in St. Canard? Another mystery). 

As expected, DW is jealous of Gizmoduck's popularity and general awesomeness, and wishes he had superpowers too (if you count a suit as a "superpower"--and in any case, surely that teleporting thing he always does must count…).  So GD builds him an amusingly half-assed Gizmosuit knock-off involving a barrel around his torso and skateboards strapped to his feet.  Then, it's time to stop Megavolt.

Now, Megavolt's plan is good: he wants to steal all the metal he can so he can melt it down to make magnets which he can use to steal more metal to build even bigger magnets.  This seems quintessentially Megavoltian, and I approve.  I don't approve so much of the portrayal of Gizmoduck, though: Megavolt has them incapacitated with his giant electromagnet, and he goes "I'm afraid we're in trouble, Darkwing--without this suit, I'm nothing!"  Cue an obvious chance for DW to prove that fancy-pants metal suits aren't everything.  But that's exactly the opposite of the point of Gizmoduck in Ducktales, which went out of its way to demonstrate that he isn't just the sum total of the suit's powers.  Different show, different requirements, sure, but I really don't care for this devaluation of Fenton's character.

Also, the way DW subdues Megavolt is kind of unpleasant--he ties him up with wire and then, as he's begging for mercy, plugs the cord in, electrocuting the hell out of him, and then makes a dumb joke about "magnetic personality."  It reads like a parody of your Frank-Miller-style gratuitous sadism, but I'm pretty sure it's actually a version of the thing itself, and I kind of hate it.

So…yup.  That's about it.  I may have initially been keen on watching this series because of the promise of Gizmoduck appearances, but now I could do without ever seeing him again.  And let's be more careful about our characterization of Darkwing too, okay?

Stray Observation

-Hey, Ducktales' Webwa Walters appears, though Gizmo just calls her "Barb."

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