Royal Nonesuch takes a look at Disney\'s Uncle Scrooge #384, published by Boom Kids!
UNCLE SCROOGE #384
Written by Erik Hedman
Drawn by Wanda Gattino
SC, 24 pgs, FC, SRP: $2.99
COVER A: Tino Santanach
COVER B: Daniel Branca
Diamond Code: AUG090755
You will feel the need for GREED! Follow the adventures of everyone’s favorite-feathered penny pincher! An all-new direction for icon Uncle Scrooge, as he comes to BOOM! Kids. Building on a tradition created by some of the greatest creators the comic book world has ever seen, like Carl Barks and Don Rosa, these issues of Uncle Scrooge will follow Scrooge on new adventures that North American audiences have never seen! Join us in a bold new era for Scrooge that pays tribute to the past but heads to a new future!
The rich get richer as Disney's First Family of Fowl set off on another globe-trotting adventure is search of more money for Uncle Scrooge (Donald and his nephews probably get a cut too). This issue continues Boom! Studios' publishing relationship with with the Disney Corporation (you'd think they'd have their own comic book publisher by now).
The most interesting thing about Uncle Scrooge #384 is its narrative structure: there's a back-up story that actually continues the lead story, but also is itself continued in the next issue. It's an unusual, though intuitive, approach to serialized comics. This way, the reader is guaranteed a complete story every issue, but also has a reason to come back for the following one. It's what every publisher of serialized story ideally does, but few are as up front with their intent as to demarcate two different stories. It would make the target audience, specifically young children in this case, feel like they are getting more out of an issue. The story itself is serviceable. It reinforces who the characters are as well as what their motivations are. Uncle Scrooge, Donald Duck, and nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie (who are never mentioned by name anywhere in this comic), are off to Germany to search for hidden treasure in a supposedly haunted castle recently purchased by Uncle Scrooge. While there, they have to deal with evil sorceress Megica de Spell, who is, as always, out to get Uncle Scrooge's lucky dime. From there, they move on to Poland to explore Nicolas Copernicus' forays into alchemy. Interesting premises, but the writing suffers a bit from the fact that all the characters speak with the same voice. However, it seems that this comic is meant more for an audience who would be interested in the plot above anything else, including character insight.
The figure work in the art is pretty much what is expected. The Disney house style has not changed much, and Wanda Gattino apparently sticks with the model sheets. The colors are bright and inviting, and the storytelling is straightforward and never complicated. There are a few trouble spots where the flow from one panel to the next (or from one page to the next) isn't as smooth as it could be, but it illustratesl the story well. Young children should have no trouble following the action.
Uncle Scrooge comics are a veritable institution in the all ages set, but the current direction, if this issue is any indication, skews towards younger readers exclusively. Creatively, the comic does its job just well enough, but never really reaches past adequate. It should function perfectly well for parents who want to give their youngsters some enjoyable high adventure to read in the comic book form, but the parents themselves should look back at Carl Barks if they want to read these characters.
7 of 10