Sunday, April 4, 2010

Comics Reviews: DISNEY'S HERO SQUAD #3 and WIZARDS OF MICKEY #3 (Boom! Kids, March 2010)

We didn't make as much headway in this month's editions of the "Heroic Titles" as I'd hoped. Indeed, we seem to be swimming in circles... hopefully, that's not the first sign that these titles are preparing to "jump the shark"!

We seem to be no closer to "closing the loop" on the Ultramachine saga in HERO SQUAD. Thanks to some quick thinking by Duck Avenger, The Phantom Blot loses all control of his motor functions (ewww!) and the Ultraheroes are able to finally claim control of Ultrapod-5, helping make up for Super Daisy and Iron Gus' inability to keep Roller Dollar from spiriting away Pod-6. Just when Eega Beeva (who has contributed absolutely squat of note to the Ultraheroes' campaign, I might add) is declaring the contest a draw (and thus, a victory for the turf-defending Ultras) in between puffs on his gum bubble, the other shoe drops as Emil Eagle gleefully announces that The Sinister 7 have captured Mickey. (Remember, Mickey went in search of Scrooge? Remember?) I foresee the Ultras having to give up their Pods in exchange for Mickey and then breaking their necks to prevent The S7 from completing the Ultramachine. Duck Avenger and the "liquified" Blot have a nice battle in the sewers, but that's it insofar as action goes for this ish.

Somewhat surprisingly, the "Origins" back-up feature passes over the origin of Duck Avenger and gives us part one of "Origin of the Red Bat". Actually, I'm impressed that The Red Bat actually rated an origin, albeit one in an obscure Brazilian story from 1972. The uninspired drawing could easily have been plucked from one of the Disney Studios stories of the era, and the premise -- a costumed Fethry and Donald crashing a masked ball to get a scoop for Scrooge's newspaper -- is equally blah (does Scrooge really have the time to play J. Jonah Jameson like this?). Even the ultimate villains will not be a surprise, as the "disguised" Beagle Boys give their i.d.'s away before we reach the inevitably awkward "To Be Continued" cut-off point. Bring on the Italian origins of Duck Avenger and Super Daisy with all deliberate speed, please!

In WIZARDS OF MICKEY, after an attempt by The-Villain-Who-Supposedly-Was-Destroyed-But-The-Joke's-On-You-He-Really-Wasn't to "rig" a multi-handed sorcery match and win a whole bunch of Diamagics has failed, our heroes get a call for aid from the mysterious magic-wielding dragons. It seems that "The Warlock Robot" and its minions have swiped a dragon egg and intend to probe it to provide TVWSWDBTJOYHRW with additional magical resources. Here, we see the influence of Tolkien peeking through, with a villainous adversary willing to employ "technology" as well as magic. Wizards of Mickey proved their bona fides to the dragon lord by (1) caring for the dragon puppy Fafnir and (2) using their smarts to defeat a team of oversized warlocks named The Giant Gonzos (no, this is not a crossover with Boom!'s MUPPET SHOW titles). Mickey, Donald, and Goofy probably could use the help of "Team Diamond Moon" on this mission, but, alas, Minnie, Daisy, and Clarabelle were left behind (along with "Team Jinx," which got surprisingly little to do in the wrapup of the latest completed chapter). Contrary to Boom!'s blurb for WOM #3, the dragons have not yet officially declared war on the "scaleless" over the theft of the egg, but the fires will be stoked if Wizards of Mickey do not succeed in their mission.


ramapith said...

"...Does Scrooge really have the time to play J. Jonah Jameson like this?"

Yep. From about 1970 onward, Scrooge is explicitly a *newspaper* tycoon in the Studio stories. It's treated as his most important business, and referenced in dozens of adventures even when the Duckburg Chronicle editorial office itself does not appear.
The newspaper concept bled into the Italian and (as here) Brazilian production too, though never becoming quite as central as in the S-coded stories.

I'm hoping some of the original American-produced Chronicle stories will eventually appear Stateside as well. Many are drawn by Tony Strobl, and some are absolutely hilarious.
And Scrooge, as you'll see, absolutely stays Scrooge.

Chris Barat said...


Thanks for clearing this up. The obvious question is, why did the Studio feel compelled to lock Scrooge into a SINGLE "major" business venture? Granted, it would be a good jumping off point for stories, but why constrict one's creative vision in such a manner?


GeoX said...

An effort to fashion him as a duck version of William Randolph Hearst? It does seem kind of arbitrary, though.

Joe Torcivia said...

Well, Scrooge DID also have that MIA “Secret Agent” business… And for a lot longer than I realized!

Chris Barat said...


It wouldn't make any more sense to make Scrooge's "main" business the care and feeding of spies than it would to make him a newspaper mogul first and foremost!


ramapith said...

"A lot longer"? Scrooge *still* runs the MIA in some modern Italian stories, though with Donald and Fethry rather than Donald and Daisy as the agents we usually see. (A bit of a shame; as much as I like Fethry, I also like the idea of an interesting role for Daisy.)