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From 1989 to 1993, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers aired on American free TV. Also in the 90s, several more or less official comics were released for young readers (and, unbeknownst to the House of Mouse, the growing ranks of dedicated fans). In January 2003, however, one guy from New York City outdid it all single-handedly when he published something he had worked on for three years: Of Mice and Mayhem.
It is a webcomic, or rather a web graphic novel: It follows a comicbook page layout and, unlike the serial format of most web fiction, the entire story--all 232 pages, including a front and back cover--was published at once.
Instead of throwing the show's concept over and making up something entirely new, Of Mice and Mayhem picks up where the show left, and that is presumably after the episode "Good Times, Bat Times". Three of the most popular one-shot characters have joined the Rescue Rangers (and been given an extra popularity boost), and this extra personnel, together with their individual abilities, is direly needed on the case the Rangers are thrown into, a case that doesn't only go beyond anything ever seen in official material, but also takes several months to solve. Since the target audience isn't the same as the show's, namely the first generation of fans who had all grown up by then rather than the kids who watched CDRR on Toon Disney, the author could increase the overall intensity by multiple notches.
While some accuse it of being a bad excuse for blatant Shipping promotion, most fans regard Of Mice and Mayhem as one of the greatest creations ever done by a Rescue Rangers fan and "up there" together with the Fan Fiction epic Rhyme and Reason. It is often considered superior to the show as well as the official comics, both story-wise and drawings-wise, and it received fandom awards by the dozen.
Fans will be delighted to know that the author is planning a sequel, but it won't be finished for some time.
Of Mice and Mayhem contains examples of:
- Bald of Evil: Ferrante. In fact, even Gadget.
- Big Bad: Dr. Snow.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Gadget plus a couple of nameless rat assassins.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Both Chip and Gadget, but especially Chip.
- Continuity Nod: Chip and Dale mention their past rivalries over girls, particularly Gadget. Dale is over Gadget by this point, but Chip jokes about missing the competitions and having to develop a crush on Foxglove just to retain it. Dale isn't amused.
- The body swap episode also gets referenced.
- Darker and Edgier
- Everyone Can See It
- Everyone Knows Morse: Monty communicates with Chip this way at one point during a mission.
- Expy: Besides the canonical Dan Rather expy Stan Blather; the first family is clearly a spoof of the Clintons.
- First Kiss, True Love's Kiss: Probably the most famous of 232 pages, did wonders on the fandom.
- Funetik Aksent: Monterey Jack's extreme (yet fake) Aussie speak.
- Furry Female Mane: Subverted in that the number one example of this trope, Gadget, spends most of the story shaved "bald".
- Government Agency of Fiction: Snow and Ferrante are working for the U.S. government after all.
- Government Conspiracy: What most of the story is about.
- He Knows Too Much: The attempted liquidation of Chip.
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog
Gadget: I think I left the thingy on the whatzit....
- Interspecies Romance: Well, this is bordering on a shipping fic. The pairings are Chip×Gadget and Dale×Foxglove.
- Important Haircut: Gadget.
- Innocence Lost: Gadget has to overcome her, albeit brief, past as an assassin and even having killed a human under mind control.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: The guy Gadget kills really deserves it.
- Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: When Gadget meets Chip at the White House, the other Rangers stay back for a very good reason.
- Lego Genetics: Gadget discovers that the time Nimnul mixed up the Rangers' DNA left her genetically compatible with chipmunks.
- Love Hurts: Chip and Gadget.
- Manchurian Agent: Gadget as the MAP.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Gadget after realizing what she had done under mind control.
- My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: Happens to Gadget while the poisoned dart is closing in on her.
- Nonhumans Lack Attributes: Of course this always applied to Chip and Dale but Gadget has a few nude scenes in which whatever she might have is covered with fur.
- Not Quite Dead: Gadget.
- Our Presidents Are Different: President Logan, the President Personable who is actually unaware of the Government Conspiracy.
- Post-Kiss Catatonia: Chip.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Gadget is wearing a dress and a new hairdo when she comes to take Chip home, mind you she has been wearing dresses in the show for disguise purposes only.
- Shout-Out: The first daughter shares her first name with Tress MacNeille (voice of both Chip and Gadget on the series).
- And then there are Tress's Pikachu plush, a poison named after a Roland music workstation...
- Roy Batty, the leader of the movie-addicted bat clan, is named after Rutger Hauer's character, the sort of Big Bad, in Blade Runner. The bat in question might indeed have watched Blade Runner once too often and decided to adopt the name.
- Gadget felt the need to do a barrel roll.
- Tress has a Powerpuff Girls T-shirt.
- Taking the Bullet: Chip takes the poisoned dart fired at Gadget.
- The Fun in Funeral: Not a real funeral, but still.
- The Power of Love: Gadget is a mind-controlled assassin, captured by two killer rats, a poisoned dart is shot at her from a rifle, and Chip comes to save her.
- Time Skip: Number one occurs between losing Gadget and finding a possible trail to her, number two skips Chip's healing time in Washington and Gadget's therapy at home.
- Trojan Horse: Chip and Dale's cage.