Uncle Scrooge: The Tourist at the End of the Universe
Writer: Carlo Chendi, Daan Jippes, Vic Lockman, Lars Jensen, Jan Kruse, Nino Russo, and Vito Stabile
Artist: Giorgio Cavazzano, Daan Jippes, Marco Rota, Tony Strobl, Daniel Pérez, Sander Gulien, Alessandro Barbucci, Noel Van Horn, and Enrico Faccini
Colorist: Digikore Studios, Egmont, Disney Italia, Digikore Studios, Sanoma with Travis and Nicole Seitler and David Gerstein
Letterer: Nicole and Travis Seitler
Publisher: IDW Publishing
A review by Melissa Prange
Uncle Scrooge is never short of money-making schemes. He convinces Donald to pay him for attending a family dinner. He charges his nephews to see a flying saucer and will do anything to protect his prized dime. All in all, Uncle Scrooge might not be the most likable person in Duckburg, but he has no shortage of adventures with the help of friends and family.
Uncle Scrooge: The Tourist at the End of the Universe features nine Scrooge-related adventures (although he doesn’t actually make an appearance in all of them). The stories were originally published between 1965 and 2014 in a handful of different languages. In spite of differences in time and language, the artwork and feel of the volume remain consistent. Sadly, the same can’t be said for the quality of the stories.
The two highlights in The Tourist at the End of the Universe are the title story (originally published in 1981) and “Sins of the Sorcery Summit” (published in 2014). While other tales are fluff or a series of (boring) misadventures, “The Tourist at the End of the Universe” and “Sins of the Sorcery Summit” have a solid plot, humor, and slight suspense.
In “The Tourist at the End of the Universe,” Scrooge McDuck encounters O.K., a duck-like alien intent on visiting all of the Milky Way. Scrooge, of course, finds a way to use this to his advantage (i.e., taking his nephews’ money). The story is silly but in a fun way. Scrooge McDuck is at his Scrooge McDuck-iest as he scrounges every bit of coin from his family. It’s definitely the highlight of the collection–which is a shame because it comes right at the beginning.
The other bright spot is “Sins of the Sorcery Summit.” The tale features both Witch Hazel and Madame Mim and gives off delightful Halloween vibes. In it, Magica de Spell teams up with her witchy friends to steal Uncle Scrooge’s number one dime. Things get complicated when Donald and Gladstone make a bet that neither one can stay at Old Fort Lockman overnight. Everyone soon finds themselves mixed up with witches, forcing the ducks to use their brains to outwit Magica.
It’s unfortunate that the other stories in this volume don’t stack up to this pair. The rest are okay at best. The ones featuring the Beagle Boys are especially dull. The worst story in the volume features the Beagle Boys, magical flying pants, and a space-bird thinking cap. Its wackiness, sadly, doesn’t save it from being mind-numbingly boring. While the other stories in The Tourist at the End of the Universe aren’t quite that bad, they aren’t good either. Overall, three-quarters of Uncle Scrooge: The Tourist at the End of the Universe seem like filler. That’s seriously disappointing.
The Verdict: Skip It
If you happen to be a mega Uncle Scrooge fan, The Tourist at the End of the Universe might be a must-read for you. It provides a snapshot of retro and modern Duckburg stories that are both funny and tedious. Unfortunately, the collection as a whole doesn’t provide enough humor and charm to make it worth your time.