With this week's issue of PREVIEWS, listing comicdom's October releases, the other "Boom!" detonated, and we learned the plans for the new Disney comics license holder's versions of DONALD DUCK AND FRIENDS and UNCLE $CROOGE. The former purports to bring us "a Donald Duck like you've never seen" – to wit, a secret agent named Double Duck. Isn't that a jump-rope trick? More to the point, isn't it exactly the same row that Launchpad McQuack hoed so memorably in the DuckTales episode "Double-O-Duck"? To say nothing of the three issues of the Gold Key MICKEY MOUSE title in which Mickey became a "Super Secret Agent"? I guess we have seen something like it, at that. The "official logo" for Double Duck, however, is something we most certainly HAVEN'T seen before:
Ponder on this for a moment: Back in the Disney Comics era, it was once considered improper to show Mickey being threatened by sword-wielding ninjas on the cover of an issue of MICKEY MOUSE ADVENTURES. (They were changed to stick-wielders instead.) Now, it's kosher for Donald to pack heat (and no, that does NOT look like a "gas gun" of the Darkwing Duck variety) as part of a logo?? This means one of two things: (1) Disney has relaxed its sensitivity standards well below the "red level" it used to employ when nixing sharp-edged Ninja gear, benevolent pygmy Indians, fleas infesting the Beagle Boys, and the like; (2) Disney simply doesn't care anymore where the comics are concerned. I'm leaning toward (2), aren't you?
UNCLE $CROOGE and the company's irregular releases, it would seem, are to be Boom!'s main sops to the collectors in the audience. The pre-release blurb for U$ #384 burbles about "an all-new direction for icon Uncle Scrooge," but then goes on to reveal that the title will feature "Scrooge on new adventures that North American audiences have never seen!" In other words, we can probably expect the same sort of material that was featured in the defunct Gemstone digests and some of the later Gemstone issues of $CROOGE. I have no problem with that, as long as whoever is doing the picking takes care to review the splendid editorial work of (or, for heaven's sake, even directly consult with) David Gerstein. As I noted previously, Boom! also plans to reissue THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SCROOGE McDUCK to complement its planned list of reprint-heavy seasonal "Classics." Since a good portion of the target audience for these "prestige-style books" will probably already own the material reprinted therein in some form, it looks as if $CROOGE will be the most likely venue for the sort of material Gemstone readers became accustomed to during that late, still-lamented company's heyday.