Sunday, December 26, 2010

Comics Review: MICKEY MOUSE AND FRIENDS #303 (December 2010, Boom! Kids)

Mickey's snazzy new wheels -- provided by the Mouseton Police Department, which, judging by the number of high-tech accouterments packed into the vehicle, must be doing double duty as an affiliate of Double Duck's "Agency" -- take The Mouse and his lady into something resembling an adventure in "Mickey Mouse and the Tools of the Trade." For what is basically a six- to eight-page plot from a Dell/Gold Key issue of MICKEY MOUSE stretched out, like the proverbial piece of discarded gum attached to one's shoe, to over 20 pages, this 2002 Italian story is surprisingly enjoyable. The antagonists (a pair of supermarket thieves who intend to use the proceeds of their petty theft to "escape to South America"? Uh huh...) are easily dismissed, allowing us to focus on the wonder-car's many attributes. Minnie kvetches in somewhat annoying fashion before getting caught up in the chase, and the two mice don't even get (or deserve) the lion's share of the credit for sacking the bad guys, but this story rises above the humdrum for two reasons: Saida Temafonte's good scripting (Temafonte has improved a great deal since those early installments of WIZARDS OF MICKEY, HERO SQUAD, and Double Duck) and Giorgio Di Vita's artwork, which preserves the liveliness of the best Italian artists without stepping "over the line" into rampant sloppiness. Not a deathless work by any means, but a nice time-passer while we gin ourselves up for 2011 and the return of "classic" Mouse material.

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