Writer: Joe Caramagna
Artists: Luca Usai, Gianfranco Florio
Colorists: Giuseppe Fontana and Dario Calabria
Letterer: Tom B. Long
DuckTales is experiencing a resurgence of popularity. It has a brand new show, starring David Tennant as Scrooge McDuck (how do they afford him?), a re-released, remastered video game, and now a comic book series. This series takes place before the show, and there is no Scrooge and company yet. It is just Donald Duck, and the triumvirate of Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
There are two mini stories in each issue. These stories are both in the style of the old fashion Disney cartoons, but with the art reminiscent of the modern TV show. In both tales, Donald gets some random job, and his nephews do something to almost ruin it. In the first story, “The Chilling Secret of the Lighthouse!”, Donald Duck is made caretaker of a lighthouse located in middle of the desert. The story starts by explaining the origins of the lighthouse. An explorer, who misplaced his ship, put a lighthouse in a town in the desert. He believed there were underwater rivers, and they would rise up. They didn’t. Chaos ensues as the nephews get to their inevitable shenanigans.
In the second story, “The Great Experiment of the Washing Machine”, Donald gets a job working as security for a scientific group, “The Bombastic Band of Brains”. The nephews are put into the BBB’s daycare room which is run by a drill sergeant styled duck. She makes them do push ups, and when she gets a call in another room, the trio escape their caretaker and find a washing machine that was created to turn style into comfort.
Overall, the book was alright. While it was certainly cute, I did not laugh, chuckle, or giggle at any jokes. The stories had no emotional beats either, serving as a perfunctory all-ages comic but not rising to the levels of Princeless or even Scooby-Doo Team-Up. Since the issue is a prequel, it does not yet have Scrooge or any of his compatriots, so the story does fully feel like a DuckTales book. The next issue’s cover does sport a well-drawn Scrooge, so it’s likely the rest of the characters are following as well. The art mirrors the cartoon well, and the artist does take the time to properly shade things that are in the shadow and draw white blurs behind Donald as he is dragged by rogue technology.
While the book has potential to be an enjoyable palate cleanser between the endless dystopia that is Image Comics and the constant hero on hero battles in the big two (Marvel and DC), it is not what I wish it would be. It could easily get better, and the jokes start to land, but for now, it’s only worth it if you are a big fan of the show. Otherwise, go get a Hanna Barbera comic.