Monday, January 18, 2010

Comics Review: WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES #702 (Boom! Kids, December 2009)

Anything can happen, so just enjoy the ride. That's my well-considered philosophy regarding the world of "Ultraheroes" from this point forward. Just in this issue alone, we get (1) a startling, and canon-crumbling, revelation that The Phantom Blot may have something in common with the Batman Beyond villainess Inque; (2) evidence that The Beagle Boys are aware of the existence of DuckTales and Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers as television shows; (3) a hero vs. villain battle (Duck Avenger and Super Daisy vs. Zafire and Spectrus) that features the added frisson of the readers' not knowing what the villains' powers actually are before things get cracking! To paraphrase Chip from "the [show] with the fly" (per The Beagles): Are they cuh-RAZY? To paraphrase a popular office worker's lament: You don't have to be crazy to make sense of this title, but it helps.

Picking up right where MICKEY MOUSE AND FRIENDS #299 left off -- and dropping it in exactly the same way -- the Boom! promo for this issue demands: Come adventure with The Duck Avenger, Super Goofy, and the main man Mickey himself, as they take on the Phantom Blot and his nefarious group of ne’r do wells! At stake…nothing less than the riches in Scrooge McDuck’s Money Bin! (Well, that and the "take over the world" machine that the "Sinister 7" want to assemble out of the scattered Ultrapods. And I think Emil Eagle is in charge of the "7," though he seems to be restricting himself at this point to barking orders at "subgroups" of villains as they head out to pick up 'Pods.) The fight for Ultrapod-4 between the bickering D.A. and S.D. and the duo of Spectrus (projects holograms, shoots "hypnotic rays," makes the occasional egotistical crack) and Zafire (fires off "electricity", as well as catty remarks, both with and without special gloves) takes up 14 of the book's pages and progresses about as one might expect, with the disguised Donald and Daisy taking umbrage at being described as one another's inamorati even as they're giving/absorbing "beatdowns." Refreshingly, the good guys triumph through trickery, rather than physical force. Afterward, D.A. and S.D. have another heart-to-heart, and it looks as if Donald and Daisy's romance may, in fact, be heading for the next (read: superhero identity) level.

While The Battle of Miceland Woods is taking place, there's plenty of wheel-spinning going on elsewhere. Gladstone seeds a social chat room with positive remarks about Cloverleaf, only to get the comments thrown back in his virtual face. (I must confess, I can easily see Gladstone doing this.) Scrooge leads The Beagle Boys on another doomed escape attempt, prompting the Beagles' aforementioned fourth-wall breakage (I wonder what role DuckTales plays in this context -- a reality show?). Mickey goes in search of Scrooge, but only because the pizza parlor is closed. Eega Beeva comes off worst of all, completely losing the thread of the plot as he becomes overly interested in purchasing Fethry/Red Bat's "garden igloos." On the final page, we get our preview of the next fight: The Phantom Blot (whose newly-acquired "liquid dematerialization" powers are pretty cool, it must be admitted) and Roller Dollar (what's John D. planning to do, anyway -- amortize his foes to death?) vs. The Red Bat and Iron Gut, er, Gus. Gus doesn't even appear to be on the scene of the upcoming battle, however -- and a jittery Fethry refers to himself as "P.B." rather than "R.B." at one point. Not looking good, Ultraheroes.

2 comments:

Chuck Munson said...

Hi Chris,

It seems that, even if the Boom Disneys are not all that serious Disney comics fans might want or should expect them to be, you are nonetheless having a good 'ole time with these reviews of them! I'm enjoying them immensely; please keep up the good work!

Chuck

Chris Barat said...

Chuck,

I'm trying to play it down the middle as best I can... akin to how I approached the Disney Comics line (remember the cries of anguish when Gladstone I handed over the license?). I'm interested in seeing how things will change when Ultraheroes and Wizards of Mickey spin off into their own titles. WDC&S is apparently going to have a new Mickey serial. MM&F -- who knows?

Chris