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PopMatters on Darkwing Duck (and Antigone) September 21, 2010

Posted by John D. Moore in Comics Commentary.

I don’t know if I’ve ever read a piece on PopMatters (a site that, as its name implies, considers the entire scope of poop culture worthy of intelligent analysis) that didn’t offer a perspective worth reflecting on.  Last month, they published a review of Darkwing Duck #1 by comics editor Shathley Q that reads Darwking in the sociological context of the world of Disney Comics, especially Carl Barks’s pre-McCarthy Duckburg, and what telling this story in 2010 might mean.

Like Barks before him, in relation Disney’s ownership of Donald Duck, [Darkwing Duck writer Ian] Brill wrestles with what journalist Malcolm Gladwell defines in Outliers as the Power Distance Index in cultural production. Cultures with a high PDI find themselves reliant on established traditions and specific social hierarchies to navigate the world. Low-PDI cultures however, nurture their heirs on the notion that the world is awash in ambiguity, complexity and that meaning can be made rather than existing as predetermined. . .

Whether with Duckburg, tilting at the better tomorrow hoped for immediately postwar, or with titular hero as a recursive for the superhero genre as a whole, Darkwing Duck feels like another kind of tomorrow.

As the series has progressed through this first “Duck Knight Returns” arc, the drama of the Power Distance Index seems very much at the forefront.  It’s a classic Darkwing story, but this review is a valuable piece highlights its place in our 21st century landscape.  The review concludes with a note that the reason you’ll pick the book up is for fun, but it’s always worth exploring the contexts and themes that power our entertainment.

Read: Antigone Tomorrow: Darkwing Duck #1



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