Sunday, December 19, 2010
Comics Review: DONALD DUCK AND FRIENDS #361 (December 2010, Boom! Kids)
If only the sole feature of DD&F #361 were as lively as Sabrina Alberghetti's clever cover! Not even the heroic efforts of David Gerstein can mask the undeniable fact that Francois Corteggiani and Comicup Studio's 1994 effort "Donald Duck Tsunami" is one lame excuse for a story. "Retconned" as representing the continuing adventures of the feudal ronin Tekka-Don introduced in DD&F #359-360's "Son of the Rising Sun," "Tsunami" mixes byplay between T-D and (in order) work-wearied villagers, the massive (and terminally stupid) "advance scout" of a horde of ruthless bandits, and the "full complement" of said bandits with the completely gratuitous on-pouring of a pair of tidal waves. I don't know which is harder to believe: the notion that a bandit-band worth its stolen salt would employ a "scout" who is so absurdly easy to recognize and to fool, or the idea that a tsunami happens to arrive just when the bungling T-D needs it to subdue his foes. T-D makes a comment that tries to pass off the improbable inundations as unexpected "high tides," but I think Gerstein may have meant it as a joke, if not a wry comment on how silly the original plot was. (Comicup inadvertently does the same thing when it shows one of the villagers fleeing the first tsunami with an inexplicable grin on his face.) Gerstein tries manfully to make this thing worth reading, and he succeeds to the extent that "Tsunami" actually ends up being fairly readable... but it's little more than that. This whole "Kung Fu Donald" sequence -- the back-up story "The Titan of Tae-Kwon-Duck" in #360 excepted -- is making the Double Duck stories look better and better all the time.