Sunday, June 28, 2009
Ciao, Have We Been Properly Introduced?
I spent a little time this evening on an Italian Disney Comics Web site checking out the Italian version of "Ultraheroes," which Boom! Studios will soon be unspooling at leisure in its first 10 issues of WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES. Knowing that the numbers of "Disney superheroes" and "Disney supervillains" that are canonical comic-book characters wouldn't be enough to raise a modest dust cloud, much less engage in a "globe-girdling" fight, I wanted to see just who the sets of competing characters would be. A nagging suspicion of mine was confirmed: the roster of villains will include some characters who are totally unfamiliar to American audiences. And in saying that, I'm being charitable towards Emil Eagle, who had a memorable turn in Marv Wolfman's multi-part epic in Disney Comics' MICKEY MOUSE ADVENTURES #11-14 (1991) but has had precious little exposure since then (in fact, I can't think of any, but my synapses might be misfiring) and will be completely unknown to the youngsters at whom the Boom! comics are supposedly targeted. You'd think that using Magica De Spell, a character who has actual magical powers, as the evil gang's distaff member would have been a no-brainer, but no such luck: the group does include a female, but it's a character named "Zafire." The males include folks named "Spectrus" and "Inquinator," for whatever that's worth, as well as John D. Rockerduck, whose U.S. bows have been few and far between themselves. The Phantom Blot and Pete are on hand to provide a schoche of familiarity, but how crazy is this, really: to introduce all of these newbies to both old and new Disney Comics readers in such an off-the-wall story? (Let's not even talk about the appearances of Gus Goose and Gladstone Gander as "superheroes" who've never assumed those guises in any American comic.) The person who dialogues this story is going to have a heck of a job on his or her hands.