Part three of "Crisis on Infinite Darkwings", not unlike part two, rolls along in relatively straightforward fashion... but a surprise revelation at the end justifies some
As promised in #6, Gosmoduck (assisted by Honker) and the reformed "Crimebots" do indeed join Darkwing, Morgana, and, in a manner of speaking, Launchpad (who gets one grand two-page splash panel's worth of combat against some of the "infinite Darkwings" and virtually no other exposure) in their fight against Negaduck and Magica. Good guys and bad guys finally square off in the villains' subterranean lair, and the expected magical fireworks and exaggerated punch-ups ensue. I'm not normally a fan of overheated superhero battles, but here is a case where a few additional pages might actually have improved matters. Magica "neutralizes" Morgana with surprising ease -- in view of how many times Morgue has been battered, brainwashed, and the like in this story, can we infer that writer Ian Brill has something against DW's girlfriend? -- and thus, a magical showdown that Darkwing Duck and DuckTales fans had literally anticipated for years doesn't deliver on its promise. Likewise, the ruse that DW uses to counteract Negs' assault a la chainsaw, mace, etc. is almost childishly simple. Gosmoduck makes up for some of the letdown when she receives a near-deadly blow from a "Wolfman DW," but, after 20 years of waiting, I could have hoped for a little more of an epic "feel" to this battle. (DW's entrance line, "I am the TV crossover that doesn't live up to the hype!", turned out to be truer than Brill probably intended.) All current antagonisms will probably have to be shoved to the rear in part four, when everyone will be forced to deal with the "sinister force" behind St. Canard's misbehaving water... which turns out to be Paddywhack, the frankly unsettling force (the word "villain" seems a bit inappropriate for such a creepy being) who made such a memorable impression in the TV episode "The Haunting of Mr. Banana Brain".
If you watched the video all the way through -- and haven't watched the TV ep in a while -- you now see the connection between Paddywhack and water. Paddy was reportedly supposed to get a second TV appearance in the fourth DW season that never came to pass, so I'm happy to see Brill bring him back, but tossing Paddy into a narrative that already seems so overstuffed may not be the most effective use of the character. Paddy is a strong enough adversary to merit a story in which he is the principal antagonist from start to finish.
In the course of his fight with DW, Negs reveals his ulterior motive in dumping the "infinite DWs" into St. Canard. After the unwelcome visitors "exterminate" the "Regularverse" DW -- and I'm hard-pressed to see why simply causing mass chaos in the streets and skies of St. Canard would help to accomplish that task, but whatever; perhaps Negs is simply letting them run riot on general principle before directing them to their main task -- Negs will turn around and destroy them, thus eliminating all DW simulacra apart from himself. This is definitely a believably grandiose (and ego-driven) scheme for Negs, next to which he must regard Magica's desire for the Old #1 Dime as the equivalent of Oliver Twist's request for an extra helping of gruel. It's hard to see how Paddywhack relates to Negs' game plan, though.
As things stand right now, unless Brill really outdoes himself in part four, "Crisis on Infinite Darkwings" is not quite measuring up to "The Duck Knight Returns." The plot is a little easier to follow, but the appearance of the "kitchen-sink DW" in DARKWING #6 reflects Brill's "throw-in-everything-you-possibly-can" approach to this storyline, and some of the parts are fitting together better than others. I can't quibble too much, though; this continues to be a first-rate read.