Friday, June 24, 2016

New-ish comic review: Uncle Scrooge #419 (IDW, June 2016)


IDW: If you keep having both the A and B cover reflect the contents inside, 
I'll keep buying both! (And glad to help sales that way!)

"Scrooge's Last Adventure" Part 3
written by Francesco Artibani
drawn by Alessandro Perina
lettered by Nicole and Travis Seitler
new U.S. dialogue by Jonathan H. Gray
(Italy, Topolino #2987, February 26th, 2013)

When the support of Scrooe's in Part 2 pushed him out of his post-defeat slump and he vowed to fight back against the cabal that has robbed him of his financial empire and dignity, he meant it. Part 3 finds him practically marching through the Gates of Hell Pluto and into the Realm of the Council of Dark Magic. While Donald is understandably scared and Magica is walking on eggshells around her former masters, Scrooge bullishly confronts the Council like their secretaries or bureacrats standing between him and a rival CEO he's determined to confront -- and the comedic contrast between Scrooge and the more on-edge Donald and Magica is one of Part 3's hightlights. Another is the battle of wits against the Council that Scrooge wins -- a fine entry in the "Hero moves onto the next phase of his Hero's Journey by overcoming an intellectual challenge from a physically large immortal Guardian of some sort" tradition hailing all the way back to Oedipus solving the Riddle of the Sphinx. Kudos to Gray for the intelligence and complexity of this exchange, and how charmingly in-character the asides between Scrooge, Donald, and Magica were.

And said next phase consists of -- a surprise new encounter and new outing with the Terries and Firmies(!!!) Scrooge and Donald in order order help the subterranean part-bowling ball ones solve a major environmental crisis that'd beset them, the culprit turning out to be none other than... Glomgold. This reveal nicely ties Terry-Fermy episode into the wider story arc as a whole. In my review of Parts 1 and 2, I compared "Last Adventure" to the ill-realized "Rightful Owners" DuckTales four-parter. That disaster had attempted to revisit a couple of classic Barks adventures, too... but Artibani's return to the land beneath the ground is succintly and fully-realized, and packed with the requisite "mass roll" action by Perina, its place in the larger story balanced and in the proper scope, a deflty-paced and rollicking run-up to final chapter. Scrooge even has his top hat returned to him! (...wait, are you sure Don Rosa never had that happen?!) ;) Gray does a perfect job with the Terries and Firmies' country music FM radio-"learnt" speech -- it felt as though I were reading the original!
_______________

"The Stick-Up"
written, drawn, and lettered by William Van Horn
(New to the U.S. First appearance anywhere in Norway's Donald Duck & Co. #2010-09, March 1st, 2010)

Another Rumps McFowl-oriented Van Horn short making it U.S. debut. Rumpus, inexplicably left in charge of Scrooge's office while he and his nephews are off on yet another adventure (funny setup, that, to have an entire one of those happening off-panel), nearly blows it by making some frivolous decisions to use McDuck funds toward an attempt to win a television promotional contest -- but inadvertently foils a near-successful Beagle break-in plot, while winning the contest... which ends up benefitting Scrooge, since he owns the company hosting the contest! Genuinely kooky, clever, quickly-paced, funny stuff, replete with some wacky, calamitous syrup-based purely Van Horn visuals!

-- Ryan

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