Bet you've never seen Donald Duck in a superhero costume, piloting a giant mecha, fighting an enormous, mutated alien before.
"The darkness suits you, Mr. Paperinik."
—Leonard Vertighel, PKNA #22: "Fragments of Autumn"
Paperinik New Adventures is perhaps one of the strangest (at least to outsiders) but most interesting titles produced by Italian Disney comics.The main character? Paperinik (sometimes known in the English-speaking parts of the world as Superduck, The Duck Avenger, or a whole slew of other names that never really seemed to stick), a small-time superhero who has been defending the city of Duckburg against its criminals for years.You probably know him better as his civilian personality, Donald Duck.In an obvious case of Italians Love Donald Duck, the character of Paperinik was created way back in the late 1960s as a Gentleman ThiefSecret Identity to make Donald Duck less of a loser and capitalize upon the success these kinds of stories were having in the country at the time (see Diabolik, which also inspired Paperinik's name — "Paperino" is Donald Duck's italian name), but he quickly switched from avenging the wrongs he suffered in his Donald Duck persona to generally fighting crime, thanks to the various super-gadgets built for him by Gyro Gearloose. For more than thirty years, many stories about him were written, most of them totally out of continuity, and some even contradicting previously established facts, with the popularity of the character waxing and waning in cycles, though he was always well-received.In the mid 1990s, during a phase of lack of inspiration for the "classic" Paperinik stories, PKNA came in as an attempt to write single-issue adventures that would fit into an over-arching continuity; a "disruptive" project commissioned to a group of mostly young talents, who had no problem admitting that they were "trying to play Marvel". This was the first comic book that Disney Italy published in the American comic book form factor, further emphasizing the attempt to compete with them on their own ground. In a twist of irony, Disney now owns Marvel.It all starts when, while patrolling the city, Paperinik runs into a TV star being attacked by aliens, and all his weapons prove to be useless against them; he's only saved by the intervention of the police. Soon afterwards, Donald Duck gets a job as the caretaker of his uncle's new purchase, a 150-floor-tall skyscraper called Ducklair Tower, and accidentally discovers that the building actually has 151 floors: the "secret floor" is home to an AI called One, created by the original owner of the building, who decides to assist Paperinik in his new battles against time-pirates, mad scientists and alien invaders where his old gear would be of no help. And Paperinik is going to need all the help he can get, because he is soon facing major disasters, and even a battle for the very future of planet Earth.Paperinik New Adventures ran for 52 issues (March, 1996 - January, 2001) plus four special issues detailing various elements of the Back Story and focusing on minor characters. It was followed by another series in the same continuity, PK2, which was not quite as successful, and ended after 18 issues and one special. It was, in turn, followed by an Ultimate Universe continuity reboot, called simply PK or Pikappa, which lasted 32 issues but was even less successful. The first series, considered one of the best thing Disney ever did by a very loyal fan community, has been re-printed recently in Italy.While the classic Paperinik has gotten several new stories in the last years, and even a new monthly publication in 2012, rumors of a new PKNA series have been proven to be just that so far; in October 2013, however, series creator Francesco Artibani gave an interview - in Italian, obviously - where he said that a return of the series, as a direct sequel to PKNA and PK2, is being planned thanks to the interest of the new Italian publisher of Disney comics (which, in a further twist of irony, is the same that's been publishing Marvel comics in Italy for years).The original series has been never officially translated into English, but the series reboot, Pikappa, is currently available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and PSP. Hopefully, if these comics are a success, the classic series will get a translation as well.Till then, a scanlation project of PKNA, which can be found here, has finished the original series and PK2, with no plans to release Pikappa as well, as it's already available through legal channels.A video game, Disney's PK: Out of the Shadows, was made, and even released in English, but it wasn't very successful. Nor related with the original comic books in any substantial way.A second video game, this time for mobile phones was also released. It features a mix of the classic Paperinik with the DuckTales universe and it's much, much better than the other game.Compare Darkwing Duck, another Disney series about a superheroic waterfowl.Oh, and give the recap page some love.
This series provides examples of:
Actually a Doombot: In "Fragments of Autumn" Lyla is put on trial for shooting a human member of the Time Police. He was actually a robot-replica used in a plan to destroy both the droids and the Time Police.
To clarify: Angus usually tries to ruin Paperinik's reputation for no apparent reason, but he's also a surprisingly capable journalist, who apparently became famous for exposing a traffic of NUCLEAR WEAPONS, exposing a member of the Congress in the process, and is hellbent on exposing the crimes of a Corrupt Corporate Executive.
A God Am I: when one of the Evronians (the scientist Zoster) manages to acquire Xadhoom's powers, and to a degree Leonard Vertighel, the greatest android designer of the 23rd century, (who goes crazy trying to create the perfect woman).
Aliens Speaking Italian: handwaved once, when an alien explains his training includes cosmic languages. Played straight most of the times, though. When asked about it, the authors hypothesized aliens may have learned it by watching subbed sci-fi movies.
All Just a Dream: All the adventures in PKNA issue 26 ("Time is Fleeting") turn out to be the demo of a futuristic TV show. And the closure of issue 43 ("All in Good Time") leaves some doubts...
All There in the Manual: The various issues had columns with more data about the month's story or the comic book in general. Doubled as foreshadowing in some cases — for instance, in #0/3, the column detailing the layout of the Ducklair Tower mentions Everett Ducklair's cryogenically frozen daughters in fine print.
Almighty Janitor: When he's not busy saving the world, Donald is an errand boy at the Ducklair Tower offices. Also Ziggy, the other errand boy, had brilliantly passed the exams to become an intelligence agent before he decided it wasn't the life he wanted. In the second series our hero finds aid in Lyo, who is the custodian of an abandoned factory, but in his day he was the tech supervisor of a superhero named Astrongman.
Alternate Continuity: PKNA started as a sequel to the then-stagnating classic Paperinik stories, and even with an all-new cast beside Donald Duck, it never forgets the origins of Paperinik. Over time, however, the series has evolved into this, and it's officially recognized as such by Disney.
Three non-Urk stories in PKNA have traveling to an Alternate Universe as a plot point. The first is The Day of the Cold Sun: the Raider has a prototype device to reach other dimensions and attempts to power it up (adequate power sources in the future are too well-guarded), not knowing it's incomplete and would make himself stuck into all realities at once until the Time Police managed to get him out; he accidentally brings Urk to our universe and by the end of that story, One has the technology needed to travel safely among the multiverse. The second is Ancient Future, where PK accidentally ends in a Lord of the Rings-like world ruled by an alternate and dimension-hopping Raider, who finally brought an end to the incessant wars and rules benevolently. The third is The End?, the finale of the Ultimate Universe reboot, where the Paperinik of the original series shows up just in time to aid Donald in defeating the last Evron fleet.
Artistic License: In a Bad Future Angus Fangus becomes governor and starts running for the White House. The problem is that Angus is a Maori born in New Zealand, therefore he can't become President of the United States.
Authority Equals Asskicking: True for Evronians with military power: with the exception of the occasional Giant Mook, low-ranking troopers are as strong as the average human being; officers haven't been shown in physical combat, but are more muscular than the troopers; all known generals but two (an unknown high ranking political general and pre-Super Soldier Trauma) are tall, muscular and one even survived a direct hit from Xadhoom; members of the Imperial Senate are like the generals, only bigger; finally the Imperial caste have the ability to fire lethal beams from the non-talking head, with the Emperor having serious muscles too and proving he can handily defend himself.
Averted with the scientific caste; Zoster is puny, compared to Zondag, though they are considered equal. Played straight again with Gorthan, which went toe-to-toe with a giant robot.
The Xerbians have a variant, as the authority depends from the IQ: the higher it is, the greatest is your authority. That came to bite them back in the ass: pre-superpowered Xadhoom may have been the most intelligent Xerbian in history, but became the president when she was still too young and naive, and was the main force behind Xerba signing a commercial treaty with Evron.
Bad Future: PKNA #34. Dear God, issue 34. PK has been accused of terrorism, his secret identity revealed by Angus (who now is a governor), his layout was bombed down and his family has left the town out of shame. Plus, Lyla has been deactivated, and the Organization is stronger than ever. And why all of this? Because of the Raider's death, Trip, his son, was raised by the Organization, named himself the Gryphon, and singlehandedly caused the Bad Future.
A different type of Bad Future is featured in Pikappa #27, as revealed by a PK from the future who looks apparently identical to the present one. He comes from a thousand years in the future, with the Evronians still attacking Earth regularly, his mind transferred to artificial bodies long since - when one is destroyed, another one replaces it immediately. His friends and relatives long since gone, all the future PK has left is the certainty he can fight with no worries abouthis own safety.
Bastard Boyfriend: Two pop out in PK2. One is Tyrrel Duckard, a droid from the XXIII century who was in a relationship with Lyla. When he reappears, he's gone crazy because the microcontration stopped time travel and trapped him in a jail where he had infiltrated on a mission. So he evaded and tried to force Lyla to go back to the future using a device that would have erased the whole continuity, and savagely attacked her when she refused. The second was Lucas, the ex-boyfriend of Stella Nice. He forced her to hide him in her house while his gang was fighting a war with another gang to gain control of the streets of Duckburg.
Tyrrel is this even in the reboot, despite the completely different origins. Like Lyla, he was built by a genius in the XIX Century but he went insane and set their mansion on fire, leaving even Lyla (who was trying to save their creator) behind. When he finds her more than a century later, she has lost her memories and he transmits her some fake ones; when she recovers her true memories, she is enraged.
Big Screwed-Up Family: Where do we even begin with the Ducklairs? First off the father: Everett is one of the smartest minds on the planet but his Science-Related Memetic Disorder caused him to turn everything he touched in a superweapon: it took him several years of meditation far away from civilization to resolve that. He is also an alien escaped from planet Corona. He brought his daughters with him, to save them from becoming the queen of said planet. Unfortunately, due to a series of accidents upon their arrival on Earth, he left them when they were children and found them again as adults. He still has regrets over this. His daughters, Korinna and Juniper, are basically two kids trapped in adult bodies because of this, and they refuse to forgive him. They also plan to turn Earth into a new Corona. And then there is Serifa, Everett's wife and Korinna and Juniper's mother, who is just interested in using her children to obtain the title she never got. Man, is this enough for everybody?
Big "NO!": ...and immediately after it, Trauma meets his first defeat.
Everett in PK2 #11, at the climax of a very important flashback.
Body Horror: The most important members of the Evronian Imperial Council and the Emperor have two heads: one on their shoulders, and an eyeless one on the tip of their tail. Not horrified yet? Very well. Did I mention that the eyeless tail-head is the one that does the talking? The other has a Breath Weapon.
What happens to the Evronian supersoldiers created using Angus as a guinea pig (they appear in the last issue of the first series) that can't get nourishment fast enough.
PKNA #25 "Crossfire" shows that the whole population of the planet Vanium was like this before the Evron invasion, since every member of the Nimoids (the smarter race) lived in symbiosis with a member of the Mastonts (the stronger race).
Brain Uploading: The Ultimate UniverseContinuity Reboot had this trope when Lyonard D'Aq uploaded his brain as a side result of him exploring a virtual world. Then this trope became a Chekhov's Gun when after Lyonard got Killed Off for Real (or, more precisely, turned into the monstrous Lyozard and then killed off) and One downloaded the data version of his brain into a (superpowered, of course) bionic body.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Eugene Photomas, widely considered one of the best lawyer of the 23th century... now, if only he could remember which case they were discussing...
Sam Plot, writer for Tv show "Anxieties". Before being partially coolflamed, he changed the main actor since the previous one was temporarily missing (kidnapped). Later in the series, after the first actor resurfaces, he rewrites this as the two actors being two different main characters, long lost twins who were Separated at Birth and are now reunited. And have the exact same name.
Call Back: PK2 #13, "Everything and Nothing", to PKNA #10, "Trauma". Both issues were made by the same writer and artist, and the former was in fact advertised as "from the creators of Trauma". In both stories PK has to confront a large and very powerful enemy, resorting to a Mini Mecha at some point, reflecting on himself in the meanwhile.
Some characters of PKNA and PK2 do not have roles in Pikappa's rebooted universe but get small appearances in it, like Rupert Potomac and Anymore Boring in the first issue, and Mary Ann Flagstarr, General Wisecube and Colonel Westcock in the last one.
Canon Discontinuity: The only Disney series with a link with Paperinik New Adventures is the Italian continuity on the Junior Woodchucks, whose best known story, the multi-episode Threat From Outer Space, is alluded to in Xadhoom, with Huey, Dewey e Louie appearing in that issue just long enough to explain their uncle they have to leave Duckburg for a JW mission and briefly allude to the events of the most recent episodes of their story. No other Disney series, board game or whatever is even loosely connected to either Paperinik New Adventures or the Italian Junior Woodchucks continuity.
Catchphrase: Xadhoom is fond of saying "Let's dance" or a variant of this, especially before wiping out some Evrons.
Dancing is apparently the first thing she thinks of when happy, as evidenced by her requesting a specific dance when she discovered a group of Xerbians, revealed to be Evrons in disguise by them not knowing what it was: a very popular dance on Xerba.
Chekhov's Gun: A few apparently insignificant things get an expanded role later on: the horrible tie PK got from Newton (no, not that one, nor the other one) was instrumental in saving the whole temporal continuum, the gizmo containing Xadhoom's memories was the McGuffin of two later stories, Everett Ducklair's cryogenically frozen daughters had been mentioned in the fine print of the blocking of a column about the layout of the Ducklair Tower in issue 0/3 of the first series (they would only appear in PK2), etc.
The cronal unit. You know, the one that almost destroyed time itself if it wasn't for Newton's tie. One kept it, just in case...
Christmas Episode: PKNA #13, The Darkest Night, although the Christmas theme is not prominent. It is more, however, in Pikappa #30.
Comic Book Time: Averted, as the series seemingly progresses in real time. In PKNA #30, Two remarks that it has been about two years since his last battle with One (which happened in #8), and in issue #37 Paperinik explains that a few years had passed since he first met Xadhoom.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: Averted. Paperinik can easily enough dispatch a dozen or so Evronians, but when there are to many of them he'll either need to be rescued or retreat. Defied by Xadhoom, since it doesn't really matters if you attack her with one or one hundred soldiers.
Conspicuous CG: Used on several covers of PK2, with less than stellar results. Also in #10 of the same series, to depict metal and glass melted by the rays of the mini-bots.
Conspicuous Trenchcoat: In the first issue of PK2 Everett sends one of his robots after Paperinik. To blend in, he dresses it up like this. Donald, having seen the robot before, recognizes it immediately but everybody else is fooled.
Must be a thing for robots because later in the series, a corrupt lawyer disguises his one hundred mini-bots assembled in humanoid form in the same way.
Continuity Lockout: A very rare example from Disney, connected only to a specific sub-continuity of the Junior Woodchucks (itself locked out from the rest).
Convection Schmonvection: Featured heavily in PKNA #45 "Operation Hephaestus". The most jarring moment is probably when Paperinik is flying just a few centimetres above the lava.
It was cool and unusual, but it was also a death sentence; every single time the Evrons tried to ambush her, she would fall right into the trap note even when she guesses it but still charges in because there's a lot of Evronians there. Particularly egregious when a group of Evrons masked themselves as Xerbians (Xadhoom's people) but accidentally blew up their cover by not knowing what a Xarghon was. Xadhoom played along to get some laughs as the false Xerbians tried to guess what it was, then told them she knew everything and what a Xarghon was (the traditional Xerbian dance of welcome) before killing every single ambusher and then blast it open with her sheer power before killing every single Evron and blow everything up.
Cool Car: The Pi-kar, the hero's flying car, equipped with any kind of gadgets and weapons, just like the Batmobile. It comes with a Cool Garage with a lot of secret exits (and full of other Cool Cars, but One does not allow Paperinik to use them). In PK2 the hero is given a new model as a parting gift from One, before Everett deactivated him: it can shapeshift to be Hidden in Plain Sight (a necessity since PK was booted out from Ducklair Tower.
A correction: One doesn't allow -Donald Duck- to use them, as they would draw too much attention and people would start making questions and pondering things if they suddenly saw Donald driving a superfancy car instead of his old 313.
Speaking of Donald's old 313 car, it begins the series on all of its old and awesome glory (among other things, it could fly) but it's destroyed by Xadhoom during a confusing first impression, hence why Donald is now driving a new car.
The 313 with the X plate is officially known as the "313-X". It's basically the same car as ever, plus some additions built by Gyro Gearloose in the more traditional - and milder - Paperinik stories. Said additions give Donald the possibility to switch between the 313◊ and the 313-X◊ at will, whenever he needs to do so; and given Paperinik has no superpowers, like Batman, the 313-X can be similarly compared to a downgraded Batmobile.
Crapsaccharine World: Corona, homeworld of Everett Ducklair. Under the facade of a realized utopia where advanced technology and nature have achieved a perfect coexistence, under an illuminate matriarchal government which elects a queen, lies an absurdly strict and competitive society. After a scandal involving a previous queen, who defied the celibacy required with the role, a new system to select future queens is created, consisting in having little girls grow into adulthood inside capuseld, to avoid the influence of "useless" emotions. Beside the inherent wrongness of the system, which can only end up creating very emotionally stunted individuals, it's evident that even before, under the apparent harmony lied strong rivalries for the title of queen. A woman who didn't manage to get elected, accepted her boyfriend's marriage proposal only to have daughters and make them fulfill her dream. We are speaking of Serifa, Everett's wife.
Cross Over: Happens in Xadhoom, where Huey, Dewey e Louie allude to a multi-episode Junior Woodchucks story then being published in Italy. Given it's barely two pages and you needed to follow both series to notice, it completely flew over most people's heads.
If anything, PK2 is even darker: complex familiar relationships, dramatic focus on abusive love interest, an ally turned into an ambiguous figure willing to manipulate the minds of others with chips planted in their brain... the list goes on.
Deep-Immersion Gaming / Unusual User Interface: The Ducklair Tower has a room that basically amounts to a holodeck, used to explore computer programs from the inside. Downside: the projections are very realistic and there are no security measures — meaning that if someone is injured they get hurt for real.
Demoted to Extra: Scrooge McDuck is the only member of the regular Disney Ducks apart from Donald who gets any amount of screen-time in PKNA, (even Huey, Dewey and Louie are Put on a Bus), but he has a very minor role and barely gets involved in the plots. Similarly, Donald's nephews are the only classic characters to be seen in PK2, and always briefly.
Does Not Know His Own Strength: Urk. In one issue, overjoyed because he has finally returned to his own dimension, he hugs Paperinik. Cue crunching sound.
Urk: "Uh... Sorry. Did that hurt?" Paperinik: "Just a couple of ribs. Don't worry, I have more."
Didn't Think This Through: According to the Raider, the Organization planned to dispose of Paperinik after they saved time. But Paperinik still had to defeat the Evronian Empire and get rid of that Evronian invasion fleet sitting in the asteroid belt...
Driven to Suicide: Yes, you read that right: Grrodon the last Evrononian, who remained on the Earth alone for three centuries after Paperinik destroyed the Evron Empire, tries to transform the hero into a Coolflame in the future. However, thanks to a gun created by Odin Eidolon, he fails. Desperate, Grrodon steals a flying car and heads for the space, knowing that the car will explode. Can count as an Alas, Poor Villain.
Earth All Along: Paperinik ends up on the "Lady Elenthari", the ship of space mercenary Neopard, who forces him to fight with him in a war on "a distant, periferic planet" in exchange of returning him to Earth. At the end of the issue, PK is enraged to find out that the planet is Earth, and they simply ended in the Sahara desert.
Easy Amnesia: Inverted: After a bad hit on the head, the usually prone to forgetting things Photomas is able to remember names and dates. It is explained that it won't last, however.
Organization Leader: We're only defending our workplace. We plunder time! And without it, you see...
Executive Meddling: The reason why PK2 is so short: while it's true that it wasn't being as successful as the first series, the production of the PK video game prompted Disney to push for a reboot that, ditching the classic origins of Paperinik completely, could have been sold more easily abroad. Original creator Francesco Artibani quitting to pursue other projects (like Monster Allergy) didn't help.
Fantastic Racism: Many human timepolicemen in PKNA consider their droid "coworkers" as disposable machines despite them being as intelligent and able to feel emotions as them. Also in #36 two Evronians soldiers joke about the byological inferiority of Xerbians.
The Xerbians love this trope: the first thing their colony ship Antra did after escaping their fallen homeworld was to search for inhabitated worlds and warn them of the Evron threat, starting with Earth. Sadly, the Antra was intercepted near Saturn.
Genius Loci: The Ducklair Tower is, for all purposes and intents, One's body. In one issue, after Paperinik gets spirited away to another dimension, One keeps a group of robbers, a squad of federal agents and Angus running in circles inside the Tower for several hours.
Genre Savvy: A member of The Evron Senate shows a notewhorty amount of savvyness when he is told they are heading towards a field of "annihilons".
"First: There is time to verify the information. Second: the information comes from an enemy. Third: where the enemy says to not go, you go. Fourth: in any case, when in doubt, consult the Emperor.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: Basically describes the entire comic. (Also probably contains the only Disney character uttering the word 'bastard' uncensored.)
Grrodon and Xadhoom basically commit suicide. Pretty heavy for a Disney comic, eh?
In PKNA #1 "Shadows On Venus" there is a photo of a woman clearly topless and barely hiding it behind a towel.
In PKNA #35 we see how the Evronians consume the emotions they absorb: it really looks like a drug addict getting his fix.
In PKNA #43 "Time to Time" we have Lyla complimenting a fellow droid for his "nice bodywork". Paperinik's reaction also makes this a Crowning Moment of Funny.
Space mercenary Neopard spouts alien expletives all throughout the two issues he appears in. When in the last two pages of the first issue Donald asks him what do they even mean, Neopard whispers something in his ear, and he freaks out saying "You can't say that kind of stuff in a teen-rated comic!!" In a milder example from the same issues, Neopard's Robot Buddy is The Unintelligible only apparently, while in truth he speaks a cleverly disguised dialect from the Lumbardy region. He never swears but he's ruder than the translation ballons say.
In PK2 #4, Everett is watching over his daughter Juniper through a fake mirror while she's changing clothes, commenting on how much she's grown up and she having eyes like her mother. Nothing is seen (Everett himself acts as Scenery Censor), but it's still a bit creepy for a Disney comic.
The back-up story of Pikappa #17 seems made only to cram in as much fanservice of Birgit Q as they could. She's first seen working with a very tight and short dress, then she undresses on-panel (the Toplessness from the Back trope is used), comes out of the shower in a towel, and finally dresses in a very form-fitting uniform for a special training.
The main story of Pikappa #20 is even worse: she undresses in front of Donald and some men (Toplessness from the Back is used again) to put on an armor and fight a robot. Clearly she is not shown while naked, but still...
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Morgoth from PK2 #13, a giant humanoid lizard with an armor and a weapon made of morphing metal. When we are introduced to him, it's implied that him and Paperinik have been fighting for some time already. Justified because he's not real, he's part of the virtual reality where Paperinik is trapped.
Giant Spider / Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Last Haga from "In The Shadow" that is completely undetectable by any kind of tracking device (One himself couldn't localize it despite being the Genius Loci of the Ducklair Tower), can reproduce extremely quickly asexually and it's stated to be able to consume entire planets.
God Guise: After taking control of a droid of the Time Police,Two accidently trasports himself in the past where he is workshipped as a god by a group of Natives Americans.
Government Conspiracy: The US Army even held negotiates with Evronian emissaries for some time, and actively works to keep the public at large from knowing of the Evronians and their attempts at invasion. They are not completely wrong, since widespread panic could be even worse. The first confrontations between them and Paperinik are obviously not friendly, but they are able to find a commond ground after PK saves a base from an Evronian attack.
Hope Bringer: Discussed: Gorthan is afraid Paperinik might become one for the other planets under the attack of Evron.
Humanity Is Infectious: Xadhoom references Earth games such as Bowling and Pingpong, and Gorthan develops a fondness for Shakespeare.
Humans Are Special: Zigzagged. As described in one of Zoster's reports, the people of Earth have more emotional energy than normal... which for Evron means "more food". However, not only they are The Determinator, their energy is so much that it can't be completely drained in a single shot, allowing a recover.
Humongous Mecha: Yes, in a Disney comic. The fact japanese mecha are very popular in Italy (thanks to a boom of imported anime in the late 1970s-early1980s) contributed.
Hurricane of Puns: Xadhoom and the Raider love to make puns about fire and time (respectively), especially during a brawl.
I Die Free: in the original series, Geena. Proud to having defied orders until the end.
PK says this to Gorthan when faced with imminent defeat in the Ultimate-like reboot. It's what ultimately triggers Gorthan's Heel Realization.
PK's inability to remember how Xari looks like, even after seeing an alien who resembled him so much that Xadhoom herself thought it was him.
Xadhoom once thought she could make the Emperor of Evron believe she wasn't a Xerbian in spite of the Evrons having first met her on Xerba, her use of "Remember Xerba the Blue!" as a battlecry, her name being a Xerbian word, and the Evrons having actually masked as Xerbians for a trap (and they actually fooled her for a while, at least until they failed to recognize the name of a very popular dance). The Emperor immediately lampshaded it.
When Paperinik ends up in a Lord of the Rings-esque world, he never notices that there's something wrong with Lyla's unusual attitude until the truth is showed right on his face, namely that it isn't Lyla but a shape-shifting droid sent by the Organization to kill the future version of the Raider who has become the ruler of that world. After finding out, however, he's so pissed he utterly trashes the droid.
I Know What You Fear: Trauma (first series), Profunda (second series), and PK himself (in the reboot); the latter with a particular device, the others with psychic powers. Played with in the sense that they don't know the details of what their victims are experiencing.
Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: In more comedic issues, the Evronians tend to fit this trope. Angus may qualify, but probably Paperinik doesn't even consider him a villain, more like a nuisance.
Informed Flaw: We are told that among Evronians, the lower the rank the lower the intelligence and personality, with the lower castes being practically hive minds. Yet, we often see Evronian grunts show a surprising amount of personality, both in serious and comedic moments.
Insignificant Little Blue Planet: Well... sort of: there is an invading force hidden in the asteroid belt that plans on conquering Earth, so the Evronians do have interest in our planet. That said, the higher-ups on Evron can't ever remember its name.
Council member n°1: "Like the... the... help me out, please!"
It's Personal: The reason Angus is bent on exposing Fenimore Cook is that Cook once hid toxic waste where Angus's Maori clan lives, before he blackmailed him into stopping (but, on the other hand, he was forced to leave New Zealand).
Jerkass Has a Point: Angus always calls Paperinik a criminal and tries to expose him as such. In his first stories, Paperinik was treated as a thief and a criminal, and it was implied the police stopped trying to arrest him because they had realized they had no chance.
Angus' fake interview to a CGI Paperinik in PKNA #1 "Shadows on Venus" states that Paperinik was a nobody who took his costumed identity to get respect. Even though Angus doesn't know it, Donald's original motive to become Paperinik was to get even with those who treated him like a nobody.
Just a Machine: It's... tricky: Paperinik respects artificial intelligence as much as he does with human intelligence (after all, two of his closest friends and allies are an A.I. and a droid) but he has no qualms about destroying robots if they are threatening someone; in PK2 another A.I. calls him an "enemy of my species!".
Played straight by the human members of the Time Police, who had no problems sending Lyla to secure destruction so they can replace her and treat her as a simple object (even after droids get civil rights).
Killed Off for Real: Surprisingly, for a Disney comic book. Most of the violence is family-friendly, but there are some characters who really die, like Xadhoom.
Kinda Busy Here: Subverted in PK2: when Paperinik's phone starts ringing in the middle of a fight, it distracts the droid that was about to shoot him, saving his life.
Deconstructed in the reboot, where the phone distracts Pikappa and almost get him killed by a monster.
Kiss Me, I'm Virtual / Robot Girl: Paperinik says Lyla would be a very pretty duck... If she weren't a robot. Urk sends her a love letter. Her designer, Leonard Vertighel, loves her and thinks she's the perfect woman.
Even One tried to search for her telephone number.
Well, as One half-jokingly says, she could be a very good mate for a "cultured and handsome artificial intelligence" :)
Know When To Fold Them: Two henchmen of the Organization are smart enough to quit when Paperinik threatens their boss.
Gottfresh:"Stop him! Do something!"
Mantis:"You made him angry! See ya!"
Also, Colonel Neopard.
"The mercenary who knows when to quit is good for another time!" He was going to complete his mission anyway.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Paperinik has pills that erase the last few hours (or more) from a character's memory. They are actually one of the few special creations of Gyro Gearloose he keeps troughout all his appearances, and Gyro uses the last one on himself in order to forget about Donald being Paperinik in PKNA, thus severing the last tie to his old life and allowing him to protect Earth as a full-time superhero.
In an interesting case of Character Development, Paperinik decided to not use them anymore after losing memory himself, because he now knows how that makes people feel.
Left Hanging: Another 50-issue series would be needed to give a follow-up to all the loose ends.
Although it has a definite ending, PK2 was severely shortened over the original plans, so the conclusion is quite hasty and leaves no certainty about the future of Everett and his daughters, although one of the last issues of PKNA can be considered a Distant Finale to both series.
Let's You and Him Fight: Subverted in the hero's first encounter with Xadhoom: Paperinik honestly wants to thank her for saving him from the Evronians, but she mistakes him for an Evronian and tries to kill him. The second time he still wants to forge an alliance with her, but to have a chance to talk he traps Xadhoom in a containment cage. She can easily escape from it, but after seeing Paperinik fight some Evronians she understands they are on the same side.
Played straight when Paperinik met Urk.
Lighter and Softer: The rebooted series Pikappa. It's not without darker moments on the level of the first two, however: examples are #9, centered around that universe's version of Tyrrell Duckard, and #12 where one main character is Killed Off for Real (and then resurrected by putting his mind in a robotic body), and PK is seriously ready to throw away his moral code and kill someone for revenge, among other things.
Flagstarr: If I were you I wouldn't let (Paperinik) escape, Cooper, unless you wish to wait for your retirement while working in a radar station in Alaska.
(Later, to a completely different subordinate for a completely different failure): Start packing, boy, and leave your bermudas at home. You won't need them in Alaska.
Mythology Gag: The Final Battle between Paperinik and Trauma in PKNA #10 takes place at the Cathedral of Notre Duck, which appeared in a Carl Barks story. Also in #13 Bravestone, the village attacked by the Evronians, has the same name as a village in another Barks story, and two old citizens speak about a young Scrooge McDuck.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Ducklair escaped with his daughters to Earth in order to give them a normal life, rather than allow them to potentially become Empresses at the cost of their emotions. Turns out, they don't like having lost years of their lives in a coma and seeing a future as rulers denied... so they pull a Face-Heel Turn and try to become Earth's rulers.
No Export for You: Paperinik (or the Duck Avenger as he was called in the few stories published) never really took off in the States, although this may change as the new distributor for Disney Comics specifically wants to focus on more action-based stories.
Not Quite Dead: Several, including professor Fairfax, Two and Paperinik himself.
Not What It Looks Like: In PK2 #8, Rupert is going to visit Stella Nice, when outside her house, he sees the silohuettes of her and Donald Duck, apparently kissing. He's furious at first, only to later discover that it was Paperinik and she was just embracing him, after he discovered about Lucas and promised her to end it all.
Oh Crap: this.◊ Also Trauma and Morgoth. The last page of PKNA #6 ("Spores").
Xadhoom is quite excited to see that Evronian battlecruiser.
The same issue also features other classic fantasy tropes, sometimes subverted: e.g. members of La Résistance are orcs, and the Evil Overlordturns out to be not-so-evil after all.
Our Vampires Are Different: The Evronians. They are Emotion Eaters, but only for "positive" emotions (though they add apathy and terror to the list); they get no nourishment from "negative" emotions, and in fact these are the only emotions they are able to display. They feed themselves in small but frequent meals, which is why they have shoulder fuel tanks.
One mutated version in a What If? issue is able to absorb negative emotions, and without any Evrongun or technological drainers; in fact, they have a much higher metabolism that gives them a lot more strength... if they are able to feed themselves. If they can't, they quickly collapse.
Our Zombies Are Different: The coolflames are a not-dead version whose intelligence and emotion were drained out and now are slaves of their conquerers.
Overshadowed by Awesome: Paperinik admitted to sometimes feeling this compared to One's intelligence and Xadhoom's powers.
One:"While we were talking,my devices were already working!"
All the more that Donald keeps telling people that he is "good friends with Paperinik". Yeah right.
To be fair, it's been lampshaded once, when a villain also discovers PK's secret identity. It only happens in an Alternate Timeline, though.
(looking at pictures of PK and Donald): Uhm... without mask and and with mask... It wasn't so hard, after all.
Also, everyone knows that Paperinik has various perfect masks, including some of Donald himself. People probably figured out he's wearing a Donald's mask over his true face. Plus, in a non-Paperinik New Adventures story there was a memorable incident of the Beagle Boys unmasking PK and discovering the face of billionaire John D. Rockerduck, then he sneezed away the mask revealing the face of Donald, then he sneezed away that mask too to reveal a monstrous face (he was having issues with the glue of his masks): after that, only people who are from outside the city would think they can discover his face that easily...
PG Rated Opening: While probably not as merciless as an actual R-Rated Opening, the cold opening to the first issue isn't exactly family friendly either. It starts with the Evrons raiding a planet, and with what appears to be a young Xadhoom letting out a Big "NO!". Another example of Disney getting dangerous.
Phlebotinum Breakdown: "Someone will have to explain me what's advanced technology for, if batteries are out!" (Paperinik in PKNA #32). Not to mention when One gets infected by a virus in PKNA #23.
The inhabitants of Armadha, Neopard's home planet, are all mercenaries like him or work in related services like weapon selling and manufacturing. The planet has a very harsh climate (with the upside that they are very tough, since they have to live in such an environment) and is poor on natural resources, so they themselves are the only resource they can export.
Platonic Life Partners: Donald and Lyla. She clearly trusts Donald more than anybody else (after all, he is one of the few that know her secret to not think she is just a machine, while the hero is worried that Daisy might become jealous of all the time they spend together.
Red Shirt Army: Averted: quite unusually for a superhero comic, the US Army has proved to be able to hold its ground against the Evronians.
Re Tool: Beside the Continuity Reboot, Pikappa also brought changes in the structure of the monthly publication: main stories became shorter while back-up stories were longer.
Scaled Up: In the reboot Vendor creates a gas that turns people into dinosaur-like creatures. If they can be reached fast enough, the effect can be reversed. Unfortunately they didn't reach Lyo fast enough...
Donald: Over the years I've fought alien vampires, cyborgs, supercriminals. I've beaten enemies this idiot couldn't hope to even come close to. I could put him in his place in two seconds flat. But that would mean erasing the distinction between Donald and Paperinik. And I can't allow that. Donald: "...alright, you can keep it." Man: "Wise decision."
Set Right What Once Went Wrong: In PKNA #3 The Day of the Cold Sun Paperinik teams up with the Raider to prevent his city from being nuked by a nuclear fusion experiment gone horribly wrong.
Also in #14 Carpe Diem, where PK and the Raider team up again to set right what went wrong in the future and prevent the creation of a bubble that would erase the whole space-time continuum. In a subversion, their actions pratically start the anomaly in advance. Luckily, they manage to stop it just in the nick of time.
PKNA #34 is not only this, but PK points out that the villain, who is a criminal time traveller, could have invoked this trope instead of being obsessed with revenge, effectively dismantling his Freudian Excuse.
Ship Tease: Paperinik/Xadhoom, One/Xadhoom, Paperinik/Lyla, One/Lyla (and, by association, Odin/Lyla), among others....
And in PK2 Donald Duck/Tempest. That's right, Donald Duck, not Paperinik.
The Stinger: Half of the time the very last page/panel of the comic story acts as this.
Story Breaker Power: Even downplayed, Xadhoom's control over matter and energy qualifies as this.
Strange Bedfellows: Paperinik and the Evronians, on at least two occasions, and Paperinik and the Raider, on at least four occasions.
Super Soldier: One-off Evronian character Trauma willingly chose to become one.
The Evronians have a few different kinds of these. Grrodon is basically a weaker warrior capable of changing his looks (warriors like him resurface in the Ultimate Universe Continuity Reboot, and are implied to have gone rogue and murdered the last Emperor before Gorthan got their loyalty); Kravenn is the perfected version, having both the shape shifting ability, slightly superior strength and magnificent tracking abilities (he managed to track Xarion across the entire planet of Xerba, and it took throwing him into space twice to get rid of him); the already mentioned Trauma, with Super Strength, psychic powers enabling him to amplify fear into utter terror and the ability to feed from it; a group of Half-Evronian Hybrids based on the genes of the Beasts of Rhaghor and the data of the never-seen Project Abominion, stronger, faster and with superior smell than standard warriors but indisciplined and apparently much stupider (they mutinied and closed the normal warriors of their ship in a cell guarded from the outside; somehow, the standard Evronians evaded and made short work of the guards); finally, in an alternate universe, Evronian-Angus hybrids with Super Strength superior to Trauma and the ability to feed from negative emotions (on the downside, they need constant feeding or they'll collapse, and they were quickly dispatched when Paperinik and the US Army stopped fighting and started thinking about nice things).
In PK2 we have The Predator, an ex-Seaduck (a Navy seal expy) who gets trasformed in an 80% mechanical being with enough firepower to be a match for the Extransformer.
Defied in PKNA #22: Paperinik thinks that Lyla's designer, Leonard Vertighel altered robots to take over the world, but he mocks him on hearing this ("Be frank with me: you read a lot of comic books, do you?"): in fact, he "just" wanted to create the perfect woman.
Also lampshaded in the Omake chapter in #10, starring Angus:
Fang-Ho: "That nice gadget, placed on the back of your neck, will turn you into a faithful servant, whose only will will be... mine! Each new servant will make new devices that, in turn, will make new servants, until I have an endless army at my command! Do you know what I'll do then?" Angus: "You'll Take Over the World?" (Beat) Fang-Ho: "There must have been an information leak!"
In PKNA #39 there are three siblings named Alpha, Bravo and Charlie. And their surname is Delta. Charlie Delta's buddy is named... Gamma.
When Gamma lampshaded it, Charlie explained that their parents are in the military intelligence, and picked their names from the NATO phonetic alphabet, in alphabetical order. He then added that if they had younger siblings they would be Delta Delta, Echo Delta and Foxtrot Delta.
Two twin robbers named Castor and Pollux in PKNA #18.
Evronian soldier and Angus: "Paperinik!" Paperinik: "That's right. My friends call me PK, but you may call me Mr. Paperinik." Angus: "I've never been so glad to see you, Paperinik! Save me!" Paperinik: "I was talking to you too, Angus."
Those Two Guys: Two sets of them — a pair of soldiers serving under Wisecube / Westcock and an Odd Couple of Organization henchmen.
Thou Shall Not Kill: Averted entirely: while everyone, save Xadhoom, doesn't go looking to kill, no one shows reservations about doing so either, should they deem it necessary.
Time Bomb: It doesn't need to be a bomb: in PKNA #4 ("Earthquake") it's an earthquake machine - of course, it's disarmed Just in Time. And when the bomb cannot be disarmed, it can be thrown towards an enemy (#7, "Invasion").
Sometimes it's a Self-Destruct Mechanism: e.g. in PKNA #12 (the countdown cannot be stopped, of course: someone will have to self-sacrifice and take the damage) and #15.
Subverted in PKNA #31: the bad guy just clicks his remote, and one hundred bombs go off.
Time Police: Literally and actually referred to as such.
Time Travel: Naturally: one of the protagonists is a member of the time polic, and one of the major enemies is a thief who steals in the past.
Title Drop: Several with the title of specific issues.
Took a Level in Badass: The series revolves around him, the supporting characters and the villains, taking one.
And in ''Pikappa'', PK is pissed. Saying why would be a spoiler, but let's just say that what happened is enough to make him actually consider killing someone.note Comparison: to put that in perspective, the only time it happened to Spider-Man, it was in the "Back in Black" storyline, where a similar pressure of his Berserk Button made Spidey wonder, "was I actually going to kill him? The answer comes straight away. Yes, I was.".
In all continuities Paperinik has little issues about killing people... If it's absolutely necessary and/or the enemy is actively trying to kill him. Murder of a defenseless enemy, however, it's something else... And in the above part of the entry, he was charging a small laser cannon aimed at the head of a now defenseless Mad Scientist.
Took a Level in Dumbass: Inverted: while he is nowhere near as smart as Xadhoom or One (he even jokingly said he got out of elementary school only because of seniority), in this series Paperinik/Donald Duck is very intuitive, clever and able to make plans on the spot.
Torch the Franchise and Run: Apparently the creative staff was really dissatisfied with how Pikappa had turned out to be (the entire reboot idea was mostly due to Executive Meddling), so the book got a final issue where the timeline is rewritten and the events of the entire rebooted series never happened. To top it off, the day is saved by the holographic appearance of a PK who seems to be the one from the first two series, and who disappears hoping his adventures will not be forgotten.
Tranquil Fury: This comic series has the weirdest example of all in XADHOOM of all people. It's not apparent due the fact she's always killing Evronians in the most painful way she knows while thinking how to make their deaths more humiliating, but then a short story showed her allowing a tiny bit of hatred and rage flow free for a single istant, and kill by indigestion an Evronian cyborg capable to harness the energy of the emotions of everyone in the area. That's how we know she's in Tranquil Fury, that and the fact she ever went in Unstoppable Rage for a single instant she'd become a nova and destroy a solar system.
Twenty Minutes into the Future: At least judging by the tech level of the series. The US military, for instance, has both projectile and beam weapons and both tanks and combat robots.
Villains Want Mercy: Trauma in Issue #10 actually begs Paperinik for mercy◊ after the duck valiantly fights off the villain's fear inducing abilities (see trope icon above) and Paperinik spares his life... AFTER noting how pathetic Trauma's acting.
Villain Team-Up: Two forms an alliance with Evron in PKNA #30. It doesn't last for long.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Paperinik and Xadhoom are a type 1, with Xadhoom as the offender. However, this is already a good thing, considering she seems always angry at the rest of the universe.
They did it again for Earth, though it was for the opposite reason: no orbital defences, but earthlings are far too determined to be defeated by a small scout fleet, and assembling a bigger fleet would be impratical.
We Have Reserves: The Evronian Emperor and officials are more than happy to send their soldiers to die against Xadhoom to buy time to prepare their traps for her.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Fairfax, kinda. Fighting overpopulation with the creation of a new continent... and the destruction of the West Coast in the process.
Geena is a deconstruction: she wants to (change history to made droids equal to humans, even going as far as destroying the only safe way to keep an eye on history). However, after seeing the actual results (in the future she created, machines think of themselves as superior, and a war is about to explode), she sacrifices herself to stop it.
Wham Episode: "The Xadhoom Trilogy": we learn that Xari, Xadhoom's boyfriend, has been working with the Evronians to capture her; find the missing ship of the surviving Xerbians, who found a way to invert the effects of coolflamization; the Evronian homeworld is destroyed and Xadhoom transforms herself into a sun to save her people.
The first issue of PK2: Everett returns from Dhasam-bul, deactivates One, kicks Paperinik out of Ducklair Tower, learns his secret identity and reveals his daughter is in suspended animation.
From the Ultimate Universe reboot, issues 25 "Frontal Assault" and 26 "The Warrior King". The Evronians pull out all the stops and launch a massive attack on Earth, forcing the Guardians to send all the agents they can.
Wham Line: "The Emperor will respect his promise! You can count on it, Doctor Xari!"
What Happened to the Mouse?: there was an Evronian invasion fleet hidden in the asteroid belt, yet by the time we last see the Evronians nobody speaks of it anymore.
At the end of PKNA #9 The Springs Of The Moon, it is revealed that Evronian general Zargon is Not Quite Dead. Unfortunately, we'll never hear about him again.
In The End of the World (a special issue telling the Evronian invasion of Xerba) it's shown counsellor Xarion, the last survivor of the Xerbian evacuation ship Antra, managed to arrive on Earth with a database of the ships of the Evronian fleet. At the end of the issue he discovered that PK had accidentally ruined the support of his database, so he announced his intention to repair his shuttle and return on the Antra to recover another copy, but he never appeared again.
There was also the fanatical Nebula Faraday from PKNA #7. The end of the story hinted at a future apparition but she was never seen again.
What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Gorthan shows a growing interest for human emotions and culture, to the point he develops an autonomous personality (and studies Shakespeare). This gets him in trouble with his hive-minded, militaristic kin.
What If?: The last issue of the first series, which is in fact titled "If..." Using Everett with a magic book as a Deus ex Machina, it explores the consequences of the events of #1, 2 and 3 had things gone differently.
What the Hell, Hero?: Evronians reproduce by depositing 'spores' (actually 1-meter large vegetal-like blobs) on the worlds they conquer (or are attacking), and said spores, while gifted with formidable defenses against natural predators, are nothing more than defenseless fetuses against anyone equipped with ranged weapons. Yet, Paperinik, Xadhoom and the US Army have burned them down in more than one occasion.
This was actually called out by Zondag in the Alternate Universe Ultimate Continuity, when he denounces a slaughter of billions of defenseless spores as the worse crime of the super soldiers created by the Guardians of the Galaxy.
This is actually a Necessary Evil: due how fast Evronians go from being spores to be fully functional, indoctrinated and trained warriors (about a couple months as spores, and then a week before the warriors are adults), Paperinik and the US Army consider leaving those spores alone akin to having a sizeable enemy contingent behind the lines ready to attack at the worst possible moment, as it actually happened twice. Xadhoom, on the other hand, considers it payback.
Who's Laughing Now?: The character of Paperinik was originally created as Donald's way to get back at everyone who laughed at him, and committed various acts over the boundaries of legality (starting with stealing Scrooge's mattress while he was sleeping on it) to humiliate Donald's foes. While toned down in this series, remnants of that characterization are still present, especially in his dealings with Angus (like casually framing Angus for breaking in a bank as payback for letting himself being used by the Raider).
Women Are Wiser: With the possible exception of Lyla Lay (and even that is debatable) this comic is mostly an inversion of this trope: Paperinik and One must act as rationable and level-headed yins to Xadhoom's brash, angry and irruent yang, while Everett is way more in control than his daughters and an infinitely better parent than his wife.