Mickey Mouse is one of those timeless characters that everyone knows. From his first appearance in the Steamboat Willie short back in 1928, he has proven time and time again that he’s a hard mouse to keep down. While his contemporaries may have faded like the ink they where drawn in, Mickey Mouse has gained more popularity year after year. He is one of the few characters that can connect through almost any culture, and now he has come to Boom Studios. I got the chance to read Mickey Mouse and Friends #296, the first issue from Boom Kids division of Boom Studios. Was it a success or just another mouse tale? Find out after the jump…
I remember reading Walt Disney comics back when I was a much younger lad, mainly the Whiteman issues. My favorite was Chip N Dale, and I still remember loving the simple art work and reading those issues to tatters on family trips. So when I heard that Boom Studios was getting ready to start putting out honest-to-goodness Walt Disney comics starring the old gang, I decided that I needed to check some of them out.
Mickey Mouse and Friends #296 features a Mickey who is currently a sorcerers apprentice in a small village called Miceland. Currently, a drought has brought the people to their knees and Mickey’s attempts at help via magic have not turned out well. Can you say really big and angry animated turnips?Â I knew you could. It seems that apprentice Mickey does not quite have the grasp over his powers that he needs and his mentor, Master Nereus. He explains to Mickey that part of learning how to use magic is when NOT to use it. Yes, it seems that Master Nereus has the powers to bring rain to the people, but he also has the wisdom not to. He explains to Mickey that he will bring the rains to the village using the Diamagic, a magic crystal that controls rainfall, but that it will have to wait. He must go to the Great Bukara Library where some problem has arose, and he is leaving Mickey in charge. Mickey is to guard the Diamagic until his return.
But even as Master Nereus rides away from the village, a dark. cloaked rider arrives. It is Peg-Leg Pete the Great, and he is also a magic-user. Claiming that he has come to Miceland to see the great Master Nereus, it seems that he has actually come to steal the Diamagic. Preying upon Mickey’s insecurities as a soceror and his desire to help the villagers, Pete sets up Mickey to practically GIVE the Diamagic to him. After he regains consciousness, Mickey decides that he must recover the Diamagic and redeem himself. With his faithful companion, Pluto, he sets out for Grand Haven, capitol of the Dolmen Kingdom.
Arriving in the capitol, Mickey is dumbstruck by the wonders he finds. After encounters with several groups of mages, he discovers that there is a sorcerers tournament in town, and the grand prize is Diamagics, lots of them. The winner gets all of the Diamagics and can reunite them all into the Crown of the Sorcerer Supreme! Mickey also finds that Peg-Leg Pete is in town for the tournament and his team, the Black Phantoms, Â hang out at the Plucked Owl. Confronting Pete, Mickey challenges him for the village’s Diamagic. Pete, with no little smugness, points out that a challenge cannot be accepted outside the tournament. Also, to enter the tournament, you have to have a team. His team, the Black Phantoms, consisted of himself and his partners, the Beagle Boys. Disheartened, Mickey goes off to find a team to join.
Needless to say, it does not go well; he is rejected 10 times in an hour. Eventually, he runs into an alchemist and herbalist named Goofy, and a rouge mage named Donald (and his little dragon, Fafnir.) One is out to follow his calling, the other is ducking a hotel bill, I’ll let you guess which is which. After each of the newcomers relay their origins, it is finally decided that they should form a team and enter the tournament. Deciding that they could each gain something from such a union, they go to enter the tournament. When they are asked the name of their team, Mickey mutters a little under his breath, until he strikes on the name The Wizards of Mickey! In the audience watching the procession, Peg-Leg Pete is upset. He realizes that The Lord Of Deception would be very unhappy o Nereus’s apprentice had joined the tournament.Â The next issue promises several answers, including how the Wizards of Mickey began the tournament, and who the Lord of Deception is, in the next issue, entitled, “The Dolmen Swamp!”
A grown man reading a Disney comic in the United States may get (got) more than a few stares, but I believe this book is worth dealing with some stares. Is it groundbreaking literature? No. Is it full of adult themes? No. Does it have an entertaining story, comical moments, and some morals hidden way down, yes. I read this book by myself at first, but a little while later I read it to my daughter and she seemed to enjoy it. Since she is only 18 months, it can be a little hard to tell. I can almost guarantee you that she was as entertained by the voices I made up to go with the story as she was by the story itself and the illustrations. This book is well worth the money, and will take you back to that place where you where just a kid with a rolled up comic in your back pocket. I can’t wait to see what else Boom Studios has instore for us. I’m giving Mickey Mouse and Friends #296 4 out of 5 stars.