A comic book tie-in to the rebooted DuckTales animated series airing on Disney XD.
DUCKTALES # 2
Author: Joey Cavalieri
Artists: Story A: Gianfranco Florio
Story B: Antonio Dalena, Andrea Greppy, Roberta Zanotta
Colors: Story A: Giuseppe Fontana, Dario Calabria
Story B: Giuseppe Fontana
What You Need to Know:
In spite of his very best efforts to avoid danger, derring-do and general exertion, Donald Duck constantly finds himself being dragged kicking and screaming from one “adventure” to the next.
Along the way, he’s met many an interesting companion. Bandits, Con Men, Inventors, Androids, Thieves, Spies, Barbarians, and Monsters.
But a very long time ago, he only had one. His sister.
This is a story from when she was still around.
What You’ll Find Out:
This issue features two stories, both depicting the times when Donald’s twin sister Della joins him and Uncle Scrooge embarking on a series of adventures.
In Story A (Old Monteplumage Had A Chicken), Donald blames Della for having him shrunk down in size. Donald recalls the events leading to his current state when he, Della, and Scrooge set out to search for a Golden Chicken enclosed in a cage that grows in size when it’s released. The bird attacks Donald while Scrooge and Della figure out a way to shrink the former. Della then solves a Match-3-like puzzle on the wall that ejects Cacao beans, which were then force fed onto Donald and causing him to shrink. Scrooge and Della then feed the Cacao beans to the Golden Chicken before putting it back in the cage.
Story B (A Viking At My Door), has Scrooge, Della, and Donald venture into the desert to solve the mystery of sheep randomly appearing in refrigerators throughout Duckberg. They encounter a group of Vikings that tend to a herd of 100 magical sheep that act as air conditioners but needed a way to recharge their powers. Scrooge proposes sending the sheep into industrial freezers, which were delivered by air, but the 100th sheep turns up missing. Scrooge sends Donald as a substitute, which allows the sheep to recharge while Donald ends up in a block of ice.
What Just Happened?
The main draw for this comic book is that it is set in the same universe as the rebooted Ducktales TV series with the goal of expanding the show’s lore in as much the same way Carl Barks and Don Rosa did with the Duck Universe. Many who grew up watching the original DuckTales cartoon were also drawn into the Duck Universe (and by extension the Italian-only stories), which the rebooted comic book also seeks the same goal.
Unfortunately, despite the good intentions, this issue of the comics just fails to deliver the same appeal and interest the Duck Universe had. Rather than provide a sense of adventure with a good mix of humor courtesy of Donald, issue 2 seems to focus on Donald as cannon fodder for whatever shenanigans Scrooge and Della cook up with. Granted Scrooge has picked on Donald before in both Carl Barks and Don Rosa’s run, but those are with purpose and context. In this version of Ducktales, Scrooge, metaphorically speaking, throws Donald into the fire for the sheer heck of it.
And speaking of Della, the comic’s depiction of the character is not what I expected. The Duck Universe and the Italian comics depict Della as not only Donald’s twin sister but someone who is incredibly close to Donald. Here in Ducktales, it’s less close to her twin brother and more like an adult Mary Sue version of Webby, who like Scrooge isn’t afraid to use Donald as fodder.
The art style remains true to the rebooted DuckTales cartoon. Sadly, this doesn’t help make the comic anymore appealing because of the number of panel scenes that made little sense. It’s made even worse with the dialogue. One example is in Story B, where Della disarms the Viking Hella’s sword with her stick. But it’s drawn in such a manner that it looked more like Della’s stick had magnetic powers inside it – when it’s just an ordinary walking stick!
It’s a shame, really. I was so rooting the Ducktales reboot and hoping that the comics would not only do well among readers but also spark an interest towards the Duck Universe.
Final Thought: This issue is barely even readable, let alone entertaining and worth your wallet.