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Tear Jerker: Paperinik New Adventures
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Paperinik New Adventures
Xadhoom's backstory is heartbreaking: a young, smart woman who was ready to experiment on herself to save her people, only to return on her planet and discover that alien invaders destroyed it... and she was partially responsible for it.
The Reveal of #19, Absolute Zero. For most of the story PK, Lyla and Urk have fought a running battle against a powerful combat robot on the alien ship they had found, and brought in both their ship and the scientific shuttle Pioneer IV. The reader is brought to think it's some kind of trap from unknown aliens... Then they find the ship's log: it's the Antra, a Xerbian colony ship that left her homeworld during the Evron invasion to try and warn other races of the impending danger, and the robot is the Guardian, part of the ship's boarding defense. Sadly the ship was intercepted by the Evrons and left there after the crew was enslaved... And the vessel is still trying and contacting any non-Evron ship to warn them of the danger, while the Guardian brings the crews inside cryo cells to recreate the crew of the Antra.
It gets even more heartbreaking in the special issue The End of the World, that narrates the Evronian invasion of Xerba. We see how the entire crew sacrificed themselves so that Xarion, the last known survivor of the government, could escape and reach Earth with a databank with all the weaknesses of the Evronian fleet. In the escape Xarion's pod was damaged, and Xarion himself was nearly captured by an Evronian Super Soldier tasked only with his abduction (even if his capture was not necessary anymore). Finally, after years, Xarion arrives on Earth, knowing about Paperinik thanks to intercepted Evronian communications, but his attempts at masking himself while using the tracker of the Super Soldier gets him mistaken for an Evronian... And Paperinik accidentally erased the databankwhile attempting to capture the supposed Evronian soldier.
Donald is so devastated by this, he almost lets himself be killed, if it wasn't for the arrival of Zortag and the fact that Xadhoom wasn't really dead.
#33, the death of the Raider - undone in the following issue, but still. We can see how much he cares for Trip, with his last wish being that his son be informed by Paperinik, who cries for him.
#34. We are told what caused the Bad Future we see. Donald sounds so dejected...
They have destroyed me, Eidolon...
Xadhoom's Heroic Sacrifice by becoming a star to allow the surviving Xerbians to live on, giving them the necessary energy to rebuild their colony. Even more because the very reason she became Xadhoom was an experiment devoted to try and prevent this very problem for Xerba.
Issue 46, In The Shadow, is basically a huge and heartbreaking Hope Spot for everyone (readers and Paperinik himself) who wanted Xadhoom back.
The 1998 Special "0/1", a mostly comical issue, manages to give one. Gyro Gearloose, PK's historical gadget provider, takes the last memory pill in order to forget about PK, knowing that he would be only a load in his new, greater adventures, and that Uno will take care of him.
And then with his last words before the pill takes effect he says farewell to Donald. He already took a pill long before to forget PK's true identity, but he figured it out on his own long ago. He knew about Donald's burden for who knows how long.
Gets even more heartbreaking if you have read the non-PK Paperinik stories and know that not even Gyro actually knows his secret identity, and would take a memory pill at the end of those stories where he had to learn it. It implies he figured it out on a regular basis and took the pill on his own... And it was his own idea to begin with! Donald had just entrusted him with the secret of Paperinik's identity, and Gyro replied he didn't want to take any risk to accidentally expose him before taking a memory pill.
The ending of issue #43 ("Time to Time"): with time travel itself causing the phenomenon, called "microcontraction", that doesn't allow time traveling anymore, Paperinik has to return to his age and say farewell to Lyla, Odin and the Raider. Even sadder considering how much the entire issue was a big Ship Tease for PK/Lyla fans. If it wasn't for somne continuity errors (stories featuring time travel, written before this one, ended up being published after it) and the events of the last issue of the first series, it would have been a poignant farewell to those characters.
The last "story" in the final issue "If...". [deep breath]Lyla allows the Cold Sun experiment to happen, Duckburg is destroyed as PK and the Raider are forced to flee. PK pulls a Face-Heel Turn and causes the mass evasion from Time 0, Lyla reveals she actually used the Othership to teleport the people of Duckburg in another dimension, Kronin shoots Lyla for this, he curbstomps PK, and even after defeating all the inmates and getting someone to let him off the hook by claiming he and the Raider were hired to capture Kronin all along, PK has to watch Lyla as she dies in his arms. And then he returns to present Duckburg and lights a commemoratory torch with his "evil costume", before retiring in the ruins of the Ducklair Tower. Luckily, that never actually happened.
The first issue of the series when Uno is erased.
Word Of God confirmed that Uno was NOT erased, just SWITCHED OFF like the very advanced computer he ultimately is: for Ducklair, Uno's duty was to guard the Tower in his absence, and once he returned Uno wasn't needed anymore, for the moment. Plus, he knew he couldn't fully trust Uno in case he had to fight PK, and neutralized a possible threat. It was PK who misunderstood Ducklair's words (and the readers usually followed his interpretation), and the issues set in the future shows that Ducklair reactivated him off-screen in the last issue before leaving for space. That said, you cannot help but feel sad, especially because of a scene later in the same story: Donald receives a farewell message Uno left just before deactivation.
Korinna being fired from her job as a babysitter. Yes, she was far too strict, but it's one of very few times we see her genuinely upset and sad. And when she waves goodbye, she actually tears up - for the only time in the entire series. Korinna is, after all, essentially a very intelligent toddler stuck in a late teenage body (who's been forced to adapt in a very short time). She's just been split from the closest thing to friends she's ever had outside her sister.
Fridge Sadness emerges when you realizes that, since she hates her father Everett, she is acting as her mother would. Yes, her mother wasn't the best parent of the year either, but doesn't make it any less sad.
#9 deals with Lyla's origins (completely different from PKNA) and this universe's version of Tyrrel Duckard. At first convinced that the fire of the "Paradise Lost" mansion they lived in was caused by their creator - to go on with the symbolism, he had named them Adam and Eve - to destroy them, upon recovering her memories she realizes it was in fact Adam/Tyrrell who caused it. Faced with the sad reality that her companion has gone insane in his hate of humans (he won't stop fighting even after PK has shot one of his arms off), Lyla has no choice than shooting him. She asks PK to leave her alone, then deposes Tyrrel's body on the ruins of the mansion. Mmade even worse by the final issue: in the new timeline, Lyla and Tyrrell are happily together. Soon after, however, Zondag's army attacks and Lyla sacrifices herself so that her companions can stop him. Tyrrell may never know what happened to her.
Lyo's death in #12. Lyla's reaction pretty much mirrors the reader's.
In #17, PK has found ruthless Knight TemplarSuper Soldiers built by the Galaxy Guardians against the Evrons; however, when sieged by the Evrons, he utterly refuses to activate a bomb and flee while the soldiers stall the enemy until the bomb goes off. When one of the soldiers arms the bomb anyway...
PK: Are you really going to sacrifice yourselves just to destroy your enemy?
The entire story also gets constant parallels with Donald's teenage years: he recalls playing with a promising school baseball team that, thanks to a capable coach, came close to win the junior championship... And then the coach was arrested for match-fixing when he was a Major League player.
You may play the best match of your life... and still lose.
In #27, a future PK reveals what will be of the hero: now with artificial bodies his mind swaps to every time one is destroyed, he will still be fighting Evronians a thousand years in the future. All his loved ones are long gone, so everything he has left is the certainty he can fight with no worries for his own safety... Which makes you wonder if he just wants to die, once and for all.