Sunday, December 20, 2009

Comics Review: WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES #701 (December 2009, Boom! Kids)

It's "more of the same" logically dubious, action-filled, quasi-satirical Italian "junk food" in part three of "Ultraheroes" -- though the sight of Cloverleaf (Gladstone's created-off-the-cuff superhero identity) skimming through the sky on a rocket-powered shamrock (a "Cloverglider," to be technically accurate) will likely test even the patience of those of us who aren't "purists." Between take-out pizza orders -- the closest thing this epic has to a running gag -- Cloverleaf duels Peg-Leg Pete in the Calisota Desert (after calling in a TV audience, no less -- has CL been taking lessons from Darkwing Duck?) for another piece of the "Ultramachine." This battle is handled well enough, as Cloverleaf believably trusts in his luck and drives Pete crazy, but writers Alessandro Ferrari and Giorgio Salati bloop the climactic kick over the bar when the publicity-prizing Cloverleaf reacts to the onlookers' "pity party" for the defeated Pete by wishing that his luck would turn bad -- and getting his wish. If losing the fight were really that desirable, then, given the way that Gladstone's luck typically works, shouldn't he have lost the initial showdown? Things get even worse when Cloverleaf's decision to "allow himself to lose" ends up making him a laughingstock, a fate from which Gladstone's good fortune should have protected him in the first place by causing his wish to backfire. Ferrari and Salati later commit another gaffe when Gus Goose eats Goofy's supply of "Super Goobers" and doesn't acquire Super Goof-style powers (he has to "sleep them off" instead), but it's the Gladstone-related goofs that really left me shaking my head.

The story slows down long enough to attempt some deeper characterization as Donald and Daisy, in costume as Duck Avenger and Super Daisy, trade dialogue about wanting to have "someone special" before reverting to their default "bicker" setting. We get a hint afterwards that Duck Avenger may have feelings for Super Daisy, but any change of heart will have to wait for the denouement of a promised battle in the Miceland Woods between the antagonistic ansers and "Sinister 7" newbies Spectrus and Zafire. Finally finding out what specific powers these hitherto-unknown baddies have is more than enough reason to look forward to #702. The imprisoned Scrooge's continued dissing of The Beagle Boys' efforts to prove that they belong on "the criminal A-List" also works fairly well. Untidily wrapped this package may be, but I must admit to enjoying the "Ultraheroes" saga more than the ongoing cycle of stories in UNCLE $CROOGE, which I never would have expected when Boom! took over these titles.

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