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PKNA 5: Portrait of the Young Hero

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Portrait of the Young Hero is the fifth regular issue of PKNA. It was written by Alessandro Sisti, and penciled by Alessandro Barbucci.

Synopsis

Some maintenance workers arrive to repair an elevator at the Channel 00 building. Suddenly, a kidnapping attempt happens at the parking lot, and The Duck Avenger arrives to stop it. When he's descending by elevator to the parking lot, he loses radio contact with Uno, and when the elevator door opens, he finds a squad of Evronians bigger and better armed than the usual ones. Armored lawmen come to help, until the Evronians teleport away, at which point arrives Ducklas "Sty" Styvesant, from the Ministry of Spacetime, who explains that the Duck Avenger isn't at Channel 00 or even his own time anymore, but actually is in the year 2255. They sent the technicians to place a temporal transferrer in the elevator that activated when the Avenger entered.

The Duck Avenger is needed in 2255 to help against the Super-Evronians. He agrees to help, and Sty explains they would have immediately sent him back had he said no, so he sends his assistant Gordon to tell the staff that his return will be delayed. There still are some buildings of the old Duckburg, used as pillars to support modern buildings, but Ducklair Tower was demolished and in its place there is the Eidolon Garden, a public park donated by a rich benefactor. The Avenger isn't allowed to see much more of the future Duckburg, and is sent to an elevated place where his new headquarters will be, from where he will be able to reach any place of the city should the Super-Evronians attack. He's also introduced to his liaison officer, Colonel Mansur of the Earth Defence Forces, and to Geena, a servant droid of the same model as Lyla Lay, chosen as the Duck Avenger's assistant and interviewer so the Avenger would have a familiar face around. Sty also offers to replace or modify Geena if the Duck Avenger finds the similarity uncomfortable, but the hero refuses with the argument that Geena deserves as much respect as a human being.

23rd Century uses a form of entertainment called Personal Virtuality, which is like entering a film, but as The Duck Avenger isn't allowed to know too much about the era, so he is given an ancient megascreen TV that only accesses TV compatible channels. Mansur calls due to a Super-Evronian attack, so Sty drives The Duck Avenger to the place of the attack, where he faces a huge Evronian who, according to Sty, is "out of control!". During the battle, Mansur falls a long height, but after the fight is over, he returns claiming his uniform's gravity limiter slowed his fall. While Sty and the Duck Avenger return to the headquarters, Mansur has to hold on a horde of fans.

During the return, Sty's ship bumps with other and both have to land. The driver of the other ship is Odin Eidolon, one of the richest and most powerful men of the 23rd century, who caused the bump to meet the Duck Avenger, as he is one of his fans, and leaves his card just in case the Avenger needs anything. Shortly after, Gordon calls Sty, who tries to not have the Duck Avenger listen to their conversation.

After the Duck Avenger returns to the headquarters, he grows suspicious and tries to ask some questions to Geena, who dismisses him, by suggesting him to watch TV. While watching a movie, the Avenger finds a clue and asks Geena where to find some info on the best movies and actors. After finding what he needs, the Duck Avenger wonders who could he ask some questions about it, since Geena, Gordon, Mansur and Sty would simply deny anything. Then the Avenger remembers he met somebody who was unlikely to be part of the plot: Odin Eidolon. Geena signals that Eidolon's home is nearby, and the Duck Avenger takes the chance to go there while Geena is distracted.

Meanwhile, Sty meets with Gordon at a studio, where he congratulates the "Colonel" for his improvisation skills when the animatronic Evronian went out of control. They also talk about the casting of a lot of people who want to work in the show to be close to their masked idol. Sty gets a call from Geena, who has found that the Duck Avenger heads towards Odin Eidolon's house, and Sty's answer is to prepare scene 9-3.

The Duck Avenger arrives to Odin Eidolon's house via jetpack, and is greeted by two guardian droids, but luckily Eidolon deactivates them. Eidolon warns the Avenger about danger, as thought the hero knew there was something wrong, he didn't think it was so bad. Eidolon gives the Duck Avenger a weapon and warns him to use it at the right time, because it will only work once.

The Super-Evronians drop on Eidolon's house. The Duck Avenger, after what he has found out, is sure they won't shoot him, but one does so. This worries Sty, who is watching at a distance with a monitor. That specific Super-Evronian is blown to bits by Eidolon's guardian droids, and turns out to be a machine too. Gordon, "Mansur" and Sty arrive worried about "another defective Evronian and Eidolon ask for an explanation. The Duck Avenger tells Sty and his comrades to return to the headquarters so he can tell them what he found about them.

The Duck Avenger explains that when watching old movies, he ran into one called "The Prince of the Asteroids" starring Burton LaValle, the guy he knew as "Mansur", and then he found in the actors database that LaValle was the favorite actor of famous producer and director... Ducklas Styvesant. Recognizing himself corbered, Sty explains: the Duck Avenger is so famous in the 23rd century, that Sty got successful with a serial about the hero, and wanted the Avenger himself for the finale, side by side with one of the most beloved actors. He even managed to get permission of the Time Police, and kept the Duck Avenger in the dark so his acting was natural. Some of the Super-Evronians were holograms, some where droids, and some where costumed actors. After this explanation, the Avenger brings the fact that he was almost killed for real twice, and Sty explains they believed the first one was believed an accident (and LaValle pretended to fall to distract the Avenger while the defective droid was deactivated), but the new incident at Eidolon's house makes clear that somebody in the 23rd century wants the hero dead.

The Duck Avenger wants to be returned to his own time, but is convinced to film one last scene, no more, and with the condition of being left alone, as he doesn't trust Geena anymore. When everybody leaves, the Duck Avenger thinks who may be his mysterious enemy, maybe the Raider, and that he needs help to catch him.

Later, at the place of the last scene, all fans are kept away save for Eidolon, who was invited by the Duck Avenger. While the scene is filmed, Burton LaValle acts somewhat spaced out, but the scene proceeds without issues. When filming is over, LaValle drives a land cruiser and tries to run over the Duck Avenger, but the Duck Avenger on scene was just one of Eidolon's droids, while the real hero stops LaValle. Sty accusses LaValle of being the one who tried to kill the Duck Avenger, but the hero reveals LaValle was in a partial Coolflame state, and the real enemy turns out to be Gordon, who removes his mask to reveal to be Grrodon, the last Evronian on Earth after their defeat centuries ago at the Duck Avenger's hands. When he found out about bSty's plan for his serial, he got a job where he could reprogram the prop droids. Grrodon tries the direct approach with his Evrongun, but a voice tells the Duck Avenger to use the weapon Odin Eidolon gave to him. The Avenger does so and deflects the Evrongun's shot. Grrodon tries to escape and Odin Eidolon crosses on his way, so Grrodon shoots him with his Evrongun and it doesn't work. This defeat causes Grrodon a deep despair so he kills himself by stealing a ship without planetary capabilities and flying into space, where it's implied that he disintegrates.

The Duck Avenger is returned to his own time, where he takes care of the kidnappers from the beginning. Back at Ducklair Tower, Donald tells to Uno about his adventure. Uno wonders how an A.I. so durable as himself may have been absent from the 23rd century, and Donald wonders how Odin Eidolon was immune to the Evrongun, but considering that Lyla is also immune to these guns, it means Eidolon may secretly be a machine himself. Donald also wonders how could Eidolon have the weapon against Grrodon ready beforehand, and gives it to Uno to examine it. While the components haven't been invented yet, Uno keeps the design in his memory banks as it may be useful in the future.

Uno has deduced that Odin Eidolon is himself in the future, having been able at some point to transfer himself to a robotic body. When he tries to tell it to Donald, he is too confused and tired to understand Uno's explanation, so Donald goes to sleep without knowing the answer.

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