Continuing on from the conclusion of recent “Crisis On Infinite Darkwings” storyline, Saint Canard’s resident caped do-gooder is looking to repair his damaged image and re-assert his “essential speciallness on the streets of St. Canard!” After a dramatic and comedic exit from a meeting with ad execs, DW asks to be left alone, one can only assume to ponder recent events and where to go from there. Enter a convenient distraction from his painful meditations in the form of a library robbery by two-bit hood… Steelbeak!?! And he’s bringing with him another plot of impending world doom from the three shadowy figures that mastermind F.O.W.L. !? What follows next is a semi-traditional hero/villain team-up done in a manner you could only get from Darkwing’s team.

I have to admit that with each issue I read, I fall a little more in love with this title. The creative team does a thoroughly fantastic job of translating every aspect of the show’s sensibilities into print. I realize this is a point that I’ll probably harp on every time I review a DW issue, but let’s face the facts that many of the kiddie-centric titles that are based on ‘toons, such as seeing Ben 10 in print just doesn’t read as well as this, which is sad considering its obvious comic-based sensibilities. But Brill and gang have managed to take Steelbeak, a character whose obvious espionage thriller-story styled roots one would not have thought would do so well, but everything from his accents and physical mannerisms come through just as they would have in the show, which makes this an immersive and easy read to get caught up in. After all, it really is easy to believe that Steelbeak would go turncoat when his bosses want him to trade in what is probably one of the most fashionable outfits in cartoon history for a monk-style hooded-robe.

“I ain’t saying I’m some goody two-shoes all of a sudden here. But calling upon something that has an incomprehensible mystical presence that obliterates all free will and sanity? Even I got my limits!”

I bet Steelbeak doesn’t watch much TV.

There’s one thing that I take issue in with in the book, and it stems from the chaotic, insanity-inducing threat from beyond the stars that serves as the looming cosmic threat for this story arc. It’s a little played out and gets spoofed fairly constantly, even fairly recently in South Park.

But hey, at least it’s not more vampires and zombies, right? I’m sure that’ll happen soon enough though.

I’m also really intrigued to find out what details they have in mind as to why F.O.W.L, the DW universe’s equivalent of A.I.M, a mainly scientific organization with an espionage bend, decides to delve into the dark and mystical. That’s another reason why Brill excels as a writer: he really does a great job of finding one element to reel you in and keep you going, even if it might not make sense at first.

This book is a must-buy. Period. It’s a good starting point to what might be a somewhat questionable story arc that looks like it has the potential to be great, and serves as an excellent jumping-on point for fans who are only now realizing that there’s a Darkwing Duck title on the shelves. I have read the entirety of this series so far, and I can say that it has yet to disappoint, and I doubt seriously that it will any time soon.