Friday, July 2, 2010

Comics Review: WIZARDS OF MICKEY #6 (Boom! Kids, June 2010)


The looming "ultimate showdown" between the Wizards of Mickey team and the back-from-the-brink-or-wherever-it-was-he-was-hiding Phantom Blot may be the last WOM material we see for a bit, and WOM #6 -- which, praise be, actually brings a substory to a conclusion without diving straight into another one (see below for what fills the gap) -- sets up the looming faceoff rather nicely. During the concluding phase of "The Return of the Phantom Blot" -- which meant something very different back in a more mundane day -- Mickey, with a fair amount of assistance from Minnie, leaps to the fore as the hero. Mickey has now been promoted to the rank of "sixth-level sorcerer" thanks to a gift from the grateful Dragon Lord Ormen, but he uses some old-fashioned trickery worthy of a Captain Kirk computer-con to blunt The Blot's plot to use wood shavings from other sorcerers' staves -- plus some additional materials which The Blot conveniently stumbled upon during his trip out of the other dimension -- to magically locate the heart of the Dragon Kingdom. I have to wonder, where's the love for Donald and Goofy? Shouldn't their staffs' powers get augmented, as well? At the very least, the Dragons could cure Donald's magic of its unfortunate habit of only working on a time delay. Hopefully, Mickey won't get to hog all the legerdermainly laurels during what's to come in the final two (for the moment) issues. BTW, during our brief flashback visit to the other dimension -- which appears to be located very close to the North Pole, by the looks of things -- we learn that Mickey's master Nereus is still alive and well. If and when this title returns, at least Nereus will be around to lend an experienced hand, though Mickey is piling up honors at such a clip that the apprentice may soon be giving commands to the master.

We get a surprise at the back of the book with the reprinting of part one of the Paul Murry-drawn MICKEY serial "The Sorcerer of Donnybrook Castle" (WDC&S #351-353, December 1969-February 1970). The unexpected insertion is justified by the argument that, in the words of the Gummi Bears theme song, "magic and mystery are part of" Mickey and Co.'s history. Well, since Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and Goofy spend this portion of the story under the delusion that their journey to medieval times (courtesy of a short-tempered wizard) is part and parcel of their tour of the headlined fortress, they're less a part of the story (so far, at least) than pieces of flotsam carried along in the wake of it. There actually is a real mystery here: What happened to Minnie's pucker? The original tale was produced during the "bow-tied Mickey/frump Minnie" era, during which Minnie sported those off-putting big red lips. Both previous American printings of this story feature that version of Minnie. Here, though, the lips have been stripped! Given that Murry's lettering has been completely replaced while the actual dialogue has remained intact, I'm guessing that Boom! used a European reprint with a "de-puckered" Minnie (and at least one such version does exist, according to Inducks) as its source material. This is fine as far as it goes... but the Minnie we've been seeing in WIZARDS OF MICKEY has big lips in some panels, "normal" lips in others!! In this case, consistency is most definitely not the hobgoblin of oversized mice.

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