The Inducks page for "Flabbergé" cites "Disney Europe" as the story's "origin", and "1992" as its "Date of first publication". Scroll down to its publication history, which is divided up by country, and you'll see that it was printed in Finland, France, and Italy in 1992. So, which was first?
In Finland's case, we see that the story was printed in Disney waltit #3. Note that the only publication date given is a generic "1992".
On the other hand, it first appeared in France in Disney Club #6, and the entry gives a much more specific date: February 1992.
Finally, Inducks dates its premiere Italian printing, in Fumetti Disney Club #2, to September 1992.
So, nless I'm misinformed about February preceding September during the course of a calendar year, we can ascertain that France beat Italy to the punch. ;)
And presuming that Disney waltit #3 wasn't released in January or February, (not likely, given that #1 and 2 are also generically dated "1992"), then I'd wager that the French printing was the first.
Now, note the similiarity in the titles of the French and Italian publications, and that all three used the same cover art for the issue featuring "Curse of Flabbergé"; it would seem that these were regional versions of the same periodical, yes?
Indeed, if you peruse the Inducks pages for Disney waltit #3 and France's Disney Club #6 and play around by clicking on, each in their turn, "Previous" and "Next", you'll find that both periodicals printed the same stories, but in a different order. (Judging by the contents of its two issues, it looks like the same was intended for Italy's Fumetti Disney Club, but Inducks turns up no further issues.)
What I'm getting at is... for a hardcore vintage-era Disney Afternoon fan like me, a glimpse of these series is like a peek into a long-lost, long-sought treasure trove.
Let's take stock, shall we. We'll stick with the French Disney Club, since that entails a couple curiosities that the Finnish version doesn't.
Disney Club #1 (France, January 1991) features a 44-page Rescue Rangers story, "L'ombre du croisé". Inducks says that the stories "origin" is the mysterious Disney Europe.
Inducks' scan of the first page of a version printed in Spain:
Disney Club #2 (France, September 1992) featured a second 44-page Rescue Rangers story, "La légende du Silverhorn". This one also "originates" with Disney Europe...as do the stories featured in all successive issues, except where I'll note. (Spoiler: #5 and 7 didn't use Disney Europe-"originating" material.)
Inducks' scan of the first page of ""La légende du Silverhorn" is from Sweden:
Disney Club #3 (France, September 1993...wait, huh?! That's later than the date for #6! This is completely out-of-whack...okay, scratch everything I've said about dates so far!!!) stayed true to tradition, offering yet another 44-page Rescue Rangers story, "Le sommeil hanté".
(At this point, for efficiency's sake, I'll attribute all of the scans in this post to Inducks. I'd be lost without them.) The scan of the first page of "La légende du Silverhorn" is actually procured from the French version, and so, for once, the cover that we're showing is unified with the interior page that we're showing:
A note of more contemporary relevance: I am betting that one of these three Rescue Rangers stories is the one "that had never been printed in the U.S." and qualified as "a fun story with great art" that when he was still at BOOM!, Aaron Sparrow had wanted and tried hsi damnedest to serialize in four issues of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories -- as he recounts in the second post in this thread at The Old Haunt. (He's awesome for sharing such behind-the-scenes stories. And it's even greater that he's promised to one day, possibly in the near-future, tell even more!)
Disney Club #4 (September 1991...er, so #4 pre-dates #2 and 3? *commence screenplay mode* Possessed Little Girl: Something's not right here... *end screenplay mode*) featured a 41-page TaleSpin story, "The Volcano of Gold".
I actually know what the title translates to, because this story was, until "Curse of Flabbergé", the only one of these stories to have been imported to the U.S., appearing in (and even represented on the cover of) Disney's Colossal Comics Collection #5 (September 1992):
In light of me actually being acquainted with this story, its fitting for this post that Inducks' scan of the first page is from this U.S. version. (Squint real hard, and you can read the credits in the margin. Bobbi J.G. Weiss provided the English dialogue -- in those days, she'd claimed TaleSpin as her domain! Rightfully so -- without the least bit of strain, you can hear the show's voice actors delivering these sharply-written "lines"!)
I'd always thought "Volcano" was a fantastic, high-flying (no pun intended) adventure story with exquisite art that nailed the aesthetic of the TV show (enhanced by the rich coloring). (However, on the occassion of recently re-reading it, I found the ending to be more than a tad silly and far-fetched...but overall, it still stands as an impressive effort!) I'd pined for more like it, anguishing over the fact that, wherever it'd come from, there very well might've been! (Okay, I'm exaggerating in my use of words like "pining" and "anguishing"...for[melo]dramatic effect!)
Thus, I was very excited to find these Inducks pages. And I made a special point of re-reading Uncle Scrooge #394 and 395 (thanks, David!) when I realized that "Curse of Flabbergé" was part of this lineage. (Which the other DuckTales stories featured in Uncle Scrooge #392-399 are not.)
It turns out that "Volcano of Gold" was the only TaleSpin story that the shadowy "Disney Europe" entity produced for the Disney Club franchise. (Thus, there weren't "more like that" after all -- at least in terms of TaleSpin.) (The quality of "Volcano of Gold" is a big part of what inclines me to think that it was one of Disney Europe's three 44-page Rescue Rangers stories that Sparrow was referring to in the above-linked Old Haunt thread.)
Nonetheless, Disney Club #5 (July 1992...er, should I even bother citing Inducks' dates at this point?) was also devoted to TaleSpin, but the story featured was a translation of Bobbi J.G. Weiss and Oscar F. Saavedra's "Flight of the Sky-Raker" two-parter from Disney Comics' TaleSpin ("ongoing" series) #1 and 2).
#6, of course, we've already covered. (It was comprised by "The Curse of Flabbergé", remember?)
Disney Club #7 (July 1992...and #6 was February 1992 -- finally, something that makes linear sense!) appropriated another story of Disney Comics/U.S. origin -- John Blaire Moore's adaptation of "Darkly Dawns the Duck", which had comprised Disney Comics' Darkwing Duck four-issue mini-series (November 1991-February 1992).
Disney Club #8 (November 1993...consistency! We're on a roll, folks!) resumed the use of content produced by Disney Europe, presenting, in contrast to #7, an original Darkwing Duck story, "Mystermask règle l'addition". (From the covers, have you picked up on that "Mystermask" is what they call DW in France?)
Page one. Spain again.
It's a moot point now, but I'd meant to urge BOOM! to commission a good translation and sharp English-language dialogue for this story, and include the results in a second volume of Darkwing Duck Classics.
#9 and 11 eschewed The Disney Afternoon, opting for material based on two of Disney's "blockbuster hit" animated feature films (that I won't name, so that my blog will never come up in searches for them!). (Or, taking a cue from Geo and employing, er, conversational language: fuck that shit.) #10, however, gave the spotlight to Goof Troop. Like its predecessors, I'm not going to include any images, just because I don't want people to come to my blog and see Goof Troop...but I will state that I'm really curious to know what someone did in the course of a Goof Troop story that long!
If while at Inducks' entry for #11 (I emphasize: one of those issues that doesn't concern us...), you're to click "Next", you're brought to their entry for the first issue of a different French anthology series, which Inducks denotes as being entitled Hors Collection. Interestingly, #1 showcased another energized forty-plus-page romp that we Americans were treated to in Disney's Colossal Comics Collection (in #9, to be exact): the Romano Scarpa-drawn Uncle Scrooge story "The Euro Disneyland Adventure". Which was presumably created -- quite possibly commissioned -- as a tie-in with the opening of...well, come on, I think you can guess... ;)
Is there a reason Inducks favor the Colossal Comics Collection versions, when applicable? Page one:
I really would like to read those three Rescue Rangers stories and that Darkwing story. Hell, the Goof Troop story, too. Finding and purchasing them online might be tricky (dealing with international shipping would be near-inevitable, but not insurmountable. Acquiring the relevant [insert language here]-to-English dictionaries and Beginner's Guide to [insert language here]-type books would be the easy part.