Writer: Joe Caramagna
Artists: Luca Usai, Antonello Dalena, Andrea Greppi, Gianfranco Florio, Michela Frare
Colorists: Giuseppe Fontana, Kawaii Studio
Letterer: Tom B. Long
Review by Laura Forsey
In DuckTales #7, the characters seem to jump right off the page. In the first story, “There is No Place Like a Ghost Town”, Scrooge is offended by Louie’s laziness. Not impressed with his nephew’s “business” selling balloons of expired milk to young pranksters online, he takes Louie out to the desert to show him a real business venture. At first Scrooge plans to build a shopping centre and resort on the site of an old ghost town. When they hear that there might be gold buried nearby though, he quickly recruits Louie to help him look for it. Louie on the other hand, is spooked by a bunch of reanimated skeletons bent on protecting the hidden treasure. The basic premise isn’t really anything new, but I was impressed by the way the story didn’t force Louie to learn a trite lesson about how Scrooge was right about the value of hard work, only to undoubtedly unlearn it by the next issue. Now, it doesn’t condemn his laziness either, but without Louie shows his ingenuity and business savvy both in using his own milk-balloon prank against the attacking skeletons, and to come up with a way to make money off the ghost town without tearing it down. A resolution to the story that shows neither Scrooge and Louie are completely in the wrong feels more honest and fair than either “the old guy is wiser than you think” or “the young guy’s innovation trumps experience”. More than that, it’s common in kid’s media especially for a character to learn their lesson about overcoming a character flaw, only to completely forget that lesson by the next instalment. There’s nothing wrong with moral lessons in entertainment, but when characters always return to the status quo no matter what, it feels less genuine and more like hollow preaching.
The second story, “The Stone of Truth”, features the four kids alone in the mansion when a con artist comes to the door disguised as an insurance assessor. While the scammer tries to con his way into the McDuck vaults, Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby work as a team to give him the run around and keep him from giving Scrooge a bad risk assessment. Although it’s not a very long story, Joe Caramagna’s dialogue is so good it’s not at all hard to hear the character’s voices as you read. The dialogue isn’t the only thing with remarkable consistency, though. Both stories, though drawn by a total of five different artists, look nearly identical to each other and to the tv show in terms of style. While it can be nice to see different artists’ take on certain characters over the run of a series, the strict adherence to a “House Style” can help the reader feel more immersed in the story. It’s not a surprise that DuckTales requires this level of consistency, given that Disney is known for this sort of exacting standard among its artists. Especially for younger readers, such as the audience of this comic, keeping the art as close as possible to the show’s animation makes for instant recognition and an easy transition from tv to the comics.
Buy It. Often comics based on cartoons or TV shows can be disappointing, but if you enjoy the new DuckTales show, it’s a pretty safe bet you’ll enjoy these comics as well. The stories aren’t long or heavy on plot, but they are entertaining, and have even convinced me to get into the show for the first time.