Review: DuckTales #0 (2017)

DuckTales, Woo-hoo!

Written by Joe Carmanga, Art by Gianfranco Florio.

A few years ago, the DuckTales reboot premiered on Disney XD and contrary to what you might think when you hear the word 'reboot' the show is pretty darn good. It stays true to the spirit of the original show while modernizing it a bit, taking advantage of the advancement in animation and storytelling since the original show ended and by introducing its unique elements like Della Duck. Alongside the TV show, Disney launched a DuckTales Comic series as well, published by IDW. It ran for a total of 21 issues, 20 regular and one 0th, which is the one we'll be taking a look at today.

Let's dive in.

The issue features both an A & B story the basic premise of which is the same. Both stories are set before the show's premiere, before boys knew about Scrooge being their uncle, with a very overprotective Donald taking care of the boys. In the A-story, Donald has gotten a job as a tour guide on a large lake, a job which he very much enjoys. The boys want to use the opportunity to go canoeing, but Donald being overprotective simply ties the canoe to the back of the tour-boat. When an overenthusiastic passenger tries to take over the wheel, the boat crashes and everyone gets stuck on a small island within the lake which they try to escape through all kinds of ways.

In the B story, Donald is the new temporary caretaker of an old hotel were the boys eventually find a movie director by the name of Mallard Hitchcock He's been attempting to finish his latest movie, The Revenge of the Screaming Duck, but it has been taking ages since he fired his entire cast & crew. Louie, bored like the rest of the boys and looking for a quick buck as always, convinces him to hire the boys as the new cast & crew to finish the movie. When … hears Donald's scream he is taken aback by its 'beauty' and decides that's what his movie has been missing, so the boys set up a set of elaborate traps to scare Donald and get his screams on video.

If I had to say which of the two stories is the better one, I'd say the B-story. The A-story is much more standard and a bit bland, while the B-stories focus on cinema gives it much more personality. The stories are filled with tongue and check references to cinema, Mallard Hitchcock himself is an obvious parody of Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock and as an older reader I understand these references and I got a good chuckle out of them as well.

As said earlier, both stories are very similar. They're both about Donald in a new job were thinks quickly go wrong resulting in him losing said job and run away screaming. This similarity isn't a bad thing however, on the contrary, it's very much how a traditional Donald Duck strip is set-up. I read a lot of Donald Duck as a kid, and many of the stories utilized the same set-up but differed in their execution.

While the writer doesn't lump the boys together, I do feel the dialogue should have been switched here.

The stories themselves feel very much like regular Donald Duck stories, just with the DuckTales art style and personality. As the TV show already uses an art style that invokes that of an older Disney comic strip, the issue replicates this style without any trouble. The writing also matches that of the show in the characterization of Donald and the boys. Donald is very, very overprotective of the Huey, Dewey & Louie, a trait the show puts a lot of emphasis on and the triplets all have a much more distinct personality like the show. Louie, in particular, has his character shine through in both stories with Dewey's attention-seeking behaviour shining through in the B-story. There isn't an emphasis put on their different characterization, but it's there.

Conclusion

DuckTales #0 is a very good issue. It's very much two traditional Donald Duck stories, just with a DuckTales coat of paint put on it and there's nothing wrong with that. If you're a fan of Donald Duck, the DuckTales reboot or you just want something fun for you kids to read you can't go wrong with this issue.

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