Disney Comics was a comic book publishing company owned and regulated by The Walt Disney Company. It was set up in 1990 in response to the resurgence of the comic book market and after the license for regular publication was taken from Another Rainbow Publishing. From the start, Disney Comics suffered from mismanagement from up high in regards to the treatment of the artists and the qualitative and quantitative output, resulting in the end of Disney Comics and relicensing to Another Rainbow Publishing in 1993. This event is known as the Disney Implosion.
Disney Comics launched with eight titles, of which DuckTales and Chip N Dale's Rescue Rangers were based on a television series and meant to kick off joint-marketing with The Disney Afternoon. This never came to be. A Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears mini-series was planned, but preliminarily cancelled since the television series's run had ended, while a Goof Troop comic series was promised but never made. TaleSpin and Darkwing Duck did see the light of day, but were cut short in 1992.
Disney Comics's Darkwing Duck mini-series was announced in an editorial in August 1991 and the run lasted from November 1991 to February 1992. It covers four issues, which together are an adaption of the TV special that launched the cartoon series, "Darkly Dawns the Duck". The adaption is called "Brawl in the Family", with "Darkly Dawns the Duck" being the subtitle of the first issue. A longer series was supposed to come out of this, which like TaleSpin would feature original stories. This would not be, though, by the time the decision to leave it at four issues came a two-part adaption of "Just Us Justice Ducks" had already been finished to serve as filler later on. The adaption was published in Cartoon Tales and Colossal Comics Collection, which were Disney Comics's comic collection projects started in 1991 after the success of Disney Adventures.
All Disney Comics issues available at the same time as the first issue of Darkwing Duck came with an editorial to promote the comic and cartoon. The editorial contains information from the development days that didn't necessarily turn out to be true for the final product. One example is that the editorial promoted Tuskerninni, Bushroot, Steelbeak, and Megavolt as the main villains.
Living in the bustling riverfront city of St. Canard with his adopted daughter, Gosalyn, Drake Mallard appears to be just another frazzled but affectionate father facing the perils of parenthood in suburbia. But Mallard's ruffles feathers mask his secret identity as Darkwing Duck, a dashing and daring costumed adventurer, the self-styled "terror that flaps in the night".
Only three people are privileged to know the identity of the winged crusader: the aforementioned Gosalyn; his pilot and cohort Launchpad McQuack; and local boy genius, Honker Muddlefoot.
Relying on his small band of allies to help him accomplish his missions, Darkwing Duck battles criminals of all shapes and sizes, especially the nefarious agents of F.O.W.L. (Fiendish Organization for World Larceny). Deadly foes such as Steelbeak, Doctor Bushroot, Megavolt, and Tuskerninni pose a constant threat to Darkwing's one-duck campaign against evil.
Darkwing also sometimes lends his special talents to the ultra-secret intelligence organization known as SHUSH, which provides him with a sizable paycheck and the latest crimefighting technology. Since Darkwing rarely takes the time to learn how these gadgets work, he shouldn't really be surprised when they backfire... but he always is!
And you'll be surprised too, starting this month, when we introduce our newest Limited Series, starring the strangest superhero of all. Adapted (from a teleplay by Jan Strnad, Tad Stones, and Jymn Magon) and pencilled by John Blair Moore, inked by George Wildman, Darkwing Duck is a title unlike anything you've ever seen before from Disney Comics. All it needs to become a regular ongoing series is your support. Look for it this month at your local comics shop or newsstand, and pick up a copy or two.
We promise you won't be disappointed.
Darkwing Duck comics
|"Darkly Dawns the Duck"||01||November 1991||KJL 006|
|"For Whom the Bull Toils!"||02||December 1991||KJL 007|
|"Fowl Play!"||03||January 1992||KJL 008|
|"The End of the Beginning!"||04||February 1992||KJL 009|
|"Just Us Justice Ducks Part One"||Cancelled||Cancelled||KJL 010|
|"Just Us Justice Ducks Part Two"||Cancelled||Cancelled||KJL 011|
Darkwing Duck republications
Within the USA, "Brawl in the Family" first saw full republication in issue #4 of Colossal Comics Collection in July of 1992. "Just Us Justice Ducks" followed in issues #5 and #6 in September and October of that year, after debuting fully first in Cartoon Tales #7 in February.
A notable non-USA publication of "Brawl in the Family" occurred in 1992 in France. In the 1990s, there was a series of Disney Afternoon comics called Disney Club. Issues contained one large comic story per issue. Issue #7, which is simply called "Mystermask" ("Darkwing Duck" in French), contained a translation of "Brawl in the Family". This issue inspired one follow-up Darkwing Duck issue, namely, the very next issue. This one is titled "Mystermask Règle l'Addition" and contains a then-brand new story that, to date, has not seen a release on English markets.
In the 2010s, Boom! Studios held the Darkwing Duck license. In addition to their own comics, they released a collected trade paperback titled Darkwing Duck Classics, Volume One, which contained Disney Comics's "Brawl in the Family" four-parter and the first four Darkwing Duck stories that were published in Disney Adventures. This occurred in February 2011. More volumes weren't published, because Boom! Studios lost the license and ended its Darkwing Duck run in October 2011.