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Gadget: It calls itself Solego, and all I know is that it wants the medallion and something terrible will happen if it gets it!
Solego: Nothing will happen that shouldn't have happened centuries ago!!
An epic five-part comic story that ran in Disney Adventures in the later half of 1994. Written by Bobbi J.G. Weiss and David Cody Weiss and illustrated by Cosme Quartieri, it features a Cross Through linking together The Disney Afternoon shows Tale Spin, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Goof Troop, DuckTales, and Darkwing Duck. Published immediately following Marv Wolfman's departure as the comics editor for the magazine and at the start of Heidi MacDonald's run in that position, it was (probably) intended to build up to and commemorate the magazine's 50th issue, but ended one issue later than planned (see below). Despite that little delay, it is still considered the magazine's Moment of Awesome.
The eponymous Chaos God is Solego, an evil immortal sorcerer of the ancient world who destroys everyone who opposes his rule. Fortunately, a young wizard named D'Shane manages to split Solego in two, imprisoning the sorcerer's immortal mind in a crystal cage and his mystical powers in its gold setting, keeping the halves separated so that Solego can never escape.
Many centuries later, in the time of Tale Spin, an archaeologist named Professor Simon Potsherd removes the two artifacts from the jade block they were kept in and fixes a chain to the crystal for handling. He arranges to have them transported to Cape Suzette, but the gold setting gets lost in the ocean, and an ordeal at Higher For Hire arises when Rebecca Cunningham is possessed by Solego's crystal. After a minor tussle, Baloo and Kit drop the crystal deep into the ocean.
Fifty years later, a fisherman fishes the crystal out from the sea and brings it to the museum where the gold setting now resides (having been donated by Scrooge McDuck after being found during a diving expedition). That night, Fat Cat and his cronies sneak into the museum to steal it, and while foiling his plans, the Rescue Rangers have a brush with Solego, who nearly gets himself back together by possessing Dale and Fat Cat. Fortunately, a well-timed electric shock to Fat Cat keeps the two halves apart, and the Rescue Rangers have a pair of crows carry the crystal and the setting in different directions to keep them separated.
However, the crow carrying the crystal accidentally drops it into a car with a computerized brain - which is being being delivered to Pete in Spoonerville. When Goofy gets a look at the car, he becomes suspicious that it may be haunted. Later that night, Solego uses the car to learn from a TV report that the gold setting has been taken to Scrooge's infamous Money Bin after having been found in a pawn shop. Upon seeing the car hack into his television set, Goofy realizes that Pete's new car is possessed. He and Pete try to rid the car of the evil spirit, to no avail. Solego then entraps Goofy and Pete inside the car's interior, and forces the latter to turn the engine on so he can get to Duckburg. However, the car ends up going over a cliff, though not before Goofy and Pete escape.
From his battered state, Solego uses the car's phone to hire Spoonerville's tow service to tow the car to Duckburg, under the guise that it's being paid for by Scrooge McDuck. The next morning, Fenton Crackshell takes a look at the car (which Scrooge insists he knows nothing about) and finds the crystal inside. Under Solego's spell, Fenton signals to become Gizmoduck. Solego, having no more use for Fenton, takes full control of the Gizmosuit and kicks Fenton out. Upon breaking into the Money Bin, however, Solego finds out that the gold setting is not actually in the Money Bin, but in St. Canard (as Scrooge had sent it there to be cleaned). Scrooge, Fenton, and the nephew trio meet with Professor Potsherd's son, Bisk, who reveals to them the backstory of the Chaos God and D'Shane. Subsequently, Scrooge sends Fenton to St. Canard, and then calls up S.H.U.S.H. Headquarters, because there's only one person in St. Canard who can help now - Darkwing Duck.
In St. Canard, J. Gander Hooter briefs Darkwing and Launchpad on the mission. The duo (and Fenton) arrive too late to stop Solego from locating the setting. Solego brings the crystal and the setting together and, now assuming his original form, brings hell to St. Canard. A battle rages between Solego and the good guys; the Chaos God disintegrates Fenton's Gizmosuit and turns Launchpad into chopped liver, leaving Darkwing to stand alone against him. After some cat and mouse battle between the two, Darkwing accidentially defeats Solego by ducking behind a reflective satellite dish, which reflects Solego's own powers back at him and splits him back into the crystal and setting, which are then permanently re-sealed back in the jade block and buried deep beneath Scrooge's Money Bin.
This story notably also marked the swansong for the Tale Spin, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, and DuckTales comics in Disney Adventures, as these shows would never have another full-length story in the magazine after this one (with the exception of a DuckTales story in 1996 that was originally meant to run in an earlier issue). Sadly, it was never reprinted after its original publishing, but it can be read in full on this page (provided you click the "Show" on the spoiler boxes) or this page.
This story has the following tropes:
- Action Prologue: Chapter 1 opens up with Baloo thwarting the Air Pirates.
- And I Must Scream: D'Shane intended for this to be Solego's ultimate fate, but this is averted throughout the story. Later, it is implied to happen to Solego at the end of the story, when the two halves of the Chaos God medallion are buried deep beneath the Money Bin, dooming Solego to an eternity trapped within the crystal--with the gold setting just mere inches out of grasp.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Played straight but ultimately subverted:
Darkwing: So what does the richest duck in the world--who might slip me a big fat bonus for a job well done--want me to do, anyway? Recover a stolen fortune? Rescue a rich niece? Guard his caravan while he goes off in search of treasure in a far-off country?
J. Gander: He wants you to pick up a necklace from the jewelers.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Happens in Chapter 5:
Launchpad: So what am I, chopped liver?
Solego: As you wish! [zap]
- Bilingual Bonus: "Solego" translates from Latin as 'the sun I am'.
- Buffy-Speak: Right after Solego disintegrates Gizmoduck in Chapter 5:
Darkwing: You--you exploded him!
- Canon Foreigner: Solego, D'Shane, and the Potsherds.
- Celebrity Paradox: Goofy is apparently watching Darkwing Duck on this page.
- Cross Through: While it took a LITTLE bit of fudging to make it work given that the Rescue Rangers universe had to fit in there, it ultimately worked all five shows into the story very well.
- Cursed with Awesome: Sort of. Solego, though trapped within a crystal, has the power to possess any living or mechanical thing that comes in direct contact with the crystal.
- The Dreaded: Solego, obviously.
- Diabolus Ex Machina: That trope and its title are also parodied as "Spookus ex Machina", which is the title of Chapter 3 that involves Goof Troop, as Solego does possess Pete's new car and tries to harm Pete and Goofy by taking them to Duckburg.
- Expy: Solego seems to be one of Kulan Gath, from Red Sonja.
- The Faceless: The human security guards in Chapter 2.
- For the Evulz: When Solego gleefully uses the Gizmosuit to smash through the Money Bin's front door:
Solego: Ha-ha-haah! I'd forgotten how much fun it was to break things!
- Later on, he chases Darkwing Duck around like a cat toying with a mouse.
Solego: So, little hero--AMUSE ME! [zap]
- Great Big Book of Everything: The Junior Woodchuck Guide (obviously), which has info about Solego and Professor Potsherd.
- Hannibal Lecture: Solego delivers a brief one to Darkwing, mere seconds before being defeated.
Solego: I am disappointed in you mortals! you are no challenge anymore! You have grown soft and cowardly!
Darkwing: Then how come I'm still alive?!
Solego: Because I hoped you would prove yourself a foe of some worth! Only D'Shane proved his worth, and he was a mere boy! You will die a sheep, like the rest of the sheep called men! And I shall be the only wolf among you!
- Haunted Technology: Solego possesses Pete's car in Chapter 3 and the Gizmosuit in Chapter 4.
- Homage: Chapter 3 is an homage to Christine.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Touched upon in Chapter 1. Rebecca Cunningham puts up the biggest fight against Solego's mind control because her daughter's life is at stake.
- Solego also lampshades this trope as the reason he'd rather start possessing technology instead of people. People have personalities and feelings that can fight against him; technology has none of these things, thus giving Solego complete control.
- Identity Impersonator / Blooper: It might have been an accident on the artist's part, but Fenton appears alongside Gizmoduck in the denouement at SHUSH headquarters. (This page has the offending panel.)
- Magic Versus Science: Played with. Solego, impressed with modern technology, intends to combine it with his existing powers once he regains full strength. And then in the end Darkwing dives behind a satellite dish, which reflects Solego's magic in the same way the knight's shield did centuries ago and again seals him in the amulet.
- Meaningful Name: The Lost Temple of Duuminglum in the lost city of Rakkinroon.
- Also Solego's name (see Bilingual Bonus above). Somebody has a high opinion of himself.
- Mind Control Eyes: Rebecca flashes these in Chapter 1 and Dale flashes these in Chapter 2 when Solego possesses them. Fenton also gets these eyes as he reaches for Solego's crystal in Chapter 4.
- Mundane Utility: Subverted. Scrooge McDuck hires Darkwing Duck to "pick up a necklace from the jewelers." According to Launchpad, Scrooge usually hires "low-paid menial flunkies" to do small jobs like that, but said necklace is VERY dangerous, and Darkwing is the most qualified to get it.
- Never Say "Die": Averted; Solego threatens Scrooge to "bring [the medallion] to me or DIE!"
- Never Trust a Trailer Splash Panel: The opening splash panel for Chapter 3 seems to indicate that, at some point in the story, Pete gets possessed by Solego (although this never happens; he merely buys the car that Solego possesses). Likewise for Chapter 5 (see the image above), which seems to indicate that Darkwing valiantly stands tall against a fully-powered Solego (when, in fact, he spends much of the chapter running and ducking for dear life).
- No Ontological Inertia: Once Solego is defeated, Gizmoduck un-disintegrates and Launchpad changes back to normal.
- Not Himself: When Solego threatens Scrooge's life (see Never Say "Die" above), Scrooge instantly knows that Fenton isn't in the Gizmosuit.
- In Chapter 1, Molly thinks that something is wrong with her mother when Rebecca/Solego growls at her. Then Baloo knows something's wrong when Rebecca/Solego steals the Sea Duck.
- Origins Issue: We don't get any details about D'Shane trapping Solego, or Professor Potsherd locating the crystal, until Chapter 4.
- Out of Focus: Despite being main characters on Goof Troop, PJ and Max only appear on one page of Chapter 3, admiring the new car. The actual plot itself belongs to Goofy and Pete.
- The Scottish Trope: As explained by Bisk Potsherd:
"He came to be known as the Chaos God, for it was bad luck to say his name aloud!"
- Sealed Evil in a Can/Soul Jar: Solego, for most of the story.
- Shout-Out: The crows at the end of Chapter 2 are named Edgar and Allan.
- Even more interesting when you factor in that Magica DeSpell's raven brother is named Poe.
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: Chapter 3 is almost one of these. Except the story also serves the purpose of making Solego realize that he doesn't have to possess mortals anymore, and the ending gives him a way to reach Duckburg. Both of these things set up his hijacking of the Gizmosuit in the following chapter.
- Willing Suspension of Disbelief: Chapter 2, the Rescue Rangers chapter, is the only one taking place in a universe that resembles the real world with real places, and on top of that, it's the only universe of the four populated by humans. The readers have to wrap their minds around how it fits into the same continuity as the other four shows, all of which are populated by anthropomorphic animals in lieu of humans.
- The humans are depicted as funny animals for the duration of the crossover, though. Perhaps Translation Convention one way or the other?
- The Worf Effect: Solego easily destroys Gizmoduck, and Darkwing friggin' Duck himself spends most of the story trying to stay alive. It's so serious that Let's Get Dangerous is averted completely, and Solego is only defeated out of sheer dumb luck.
- You Are Too Late: Darkwing, Launchpad, and Fenton rush to the jeweler's to get the necklace before Solego shows up, but he's already there when the heroes arrive, and he has the necklace. Things get worse VERY quickly.
- ↑ where Solego's crystal is first located