The most popular comic book character in the world is finally back in print in the United States, thanks to the good folks at IDW Publishing. Your Major Spoilers review of Donald Duck #1 awaits!
DONALD DUCK #1
Writer: Romano Scarpa/Bruno Sarda/Kirsten de Graaf/Mau Heymans/Dick Kinney
Penciler: Romano Scarpa/Andrea Maccarini/Mau Heymans/All Hubbard
Inker: Romano Scarpa/Andrea Maccarini/Tony Fernandez
Colorist: Disney Italia with Digikore Studios/David Gerstein/Sanoma with Travis Seitler
Translation: Jonathan H. Gray/David Gerstein
Letterer: Tom B. Long/Travis Seitler
Editor: Sarah Gaydos
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Donald Duck: It’s always difficult to generate a “Previously” section for a number one issue, but I’ll be honest with you here, Faithful Spoilerites: If you don’t know who Donald Duck is?
I’m afraid I can’t help you.
A.K.A. DONALD DUCK #368
After all, we’re talking about a character who has sold millions and millions of comics, and whose adventures have spurred television shows, movies and amusement park rides, pretty much only second to that rotten mouse kid. This issue has all the stuff you want out of a Donald story: Huey, Dewey and Louie, adventure, and no respect for our heroic duck-man. In our first story, Donald gets roped in by his uncle Gideon McDuck, the newspaper magnate, who wants an unsuspecting type to help him investigate what he believes to be a secret super-scientist involved in a dark plot, leading to a kidnapping, the reveal of the maguffin and 500,000 servings of shrimp in lobster sauce.
Yeah, it’s like that. Additional stories in the book include Donald trying to win an ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ style competition (pretty amusing, with a nice kick at the end), and Donald falling afowl (Sorry, had to do it) of his feckless cousin Fethry Duck and nearly getting killed half a dozen times with do-it-yourself projects.
LIKE IN THE OLD DAYS
IDW’s Disney books are drawing on decades of stories that have never been presented to American audiences before, and so this issue has several different art styles in play, but Donald Duck’s world hasn’t really changed all that much since 1934 (which is the secret of his long-lasting and darn-near universal appeal), which gives us at least consistency in the world of Duckburg. I’ve always enjoyed the Disney titles (and found, in my comic-selling days, that a good batch of Donald, Unca Scrooge or Goofy comics can fetch unexpectedly high prices in the online resale market), and this one is a good one. As a whole, it’s even stronger than the very enjoyable Uncle Scrooge #1 that Stephen and I covered on Dueling Reviews not so long ago, and even with different teams working in different eras, this book holds together as a solid single issue. I’m even going to make sure and check in next month to see the conclusion of the first story’s mystery, and since the book delivers more than forty pages of story for $3.99, I won’t even be too grumbly about doing so…
THE BOTTOM LINE: AND I LIKED IT!
In short, there’s no reason not to pick this up, especially if you’re looking for an antidote to superhero fighty-fighty crossovers and dark broodiness. (Not that there’s anything wrong with either.) With a cast this charismatic (including Scrooge’s little-seen half-sibling Gideon driving the plot of the first tale), strong plotting, clever dialogue even translated from Italian, and good art throughout, Donald Duck #1 is a hit right out of the box, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. If you’ve ever complained about a lack of genre diversity in comic books, this is a book you’ll want to vote for with your dollars, and I suspect you won’t regret the purchase.