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Review: ‘Duck Tales: Treasure Trove’

Duck Tales Treasure Trove

Duck Tales: Treasure Trove
Writers: Joe Caramagna and Joey Cavalieri
Artists: Gianfranco Florio, Andrea Greppi, Luca Usai, and others
IDW Publishing; $9.99

Disney’s Donald Duck and his nephews were originally created in the 1930s to star in works of animation. They proved so popular that their adventures were also chronicled in comic books, most notably in comics by Carl Barks. In 1987, Barks’ Duck comics and his Uncle Scrooge character inspired the animated TV series Duck Tales. And that, in turn, inspired comics based on the cartoon based on the comics based on the cartoons. Whew! And that brings us to this particular new Duck Tales comic book series, which is based on the 2017 reboot of the 1987 cartoon.

In the 2017 version of Duck Tales, Donald Duck is the overprotective uncle trying to raise his precocious and danger-prone nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie, despite his difficulty in finding and keeping a decent job. Long estranged from his world-famous and fantastically wealthy Uncle Scrooge McDuck, Donald is nevertheless forced to interact with Uncle Scrooge when he finds himself in desperate need of a baby sitter and, it turns out, seeing his grand-nephews re-ignites the spark of adventure in Scrooge, who returns to his globe-trotting, treasure-hunting ways, nephew and grand-nephews in tow.

The comics collected in Treasure Trove, the first three issues of the new ongoing Duck Tales series starting with #0, haven’t gotten quite that far in the Duck Tales storyline yet, however, so they read a bit like a series of mini-prequels to the first episode.

Writer Joe Caramagna handles the Donald and the nephew stories, which make up the bulk of the book. In each of these, Donald takes a new job—tour guide, maintenance at an old hotel, etc—and some combination of Huey, Dewey and Louie’s boredom and curiosity and Donald’s temper causes things to go disastrously wrong, with most of these stories ending with Donald running from the job site, dragging his nephews behind him.

There are a pair of back-up stories written by Joey Cavalieri that are set before the triplets were born and feature the adventures of Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck, and his sister, the boys’ mother, Della Duck. What exactly transpired to break them up—and what exactly happened to Della—isn’t broached; these are just short, fairly insane adventure stories that have the spirit of the Duck Tales cartoons…and Barks’ comics that inspired them.

Because the comic is based on a cartoon, every panel of every page has the look and feel of that cartoon, despite the fact that some seven different artists are responsible for drawing them, which, in and of itself, is something of an accomplishment. If a reader hasn’t seen the rebooted show yet but is familiar with the older version or the Barks comics—which are more readily available now than ever, thanks to Fantagraphics’ Carl Barks Library program—it might be surprising how different the nephews are from one another and from their original incarnation, which was essentially just one person in three bodies.

If you have seen the show, well, this comic is so close to in look and in tone that if you’re a fan of that, you’re bound to be a fan of this. Perhaps by the time the second collection comes out, Uncle Scrooge, Donald Duck, and Huey, Dewey, and Louie will all be on the same page.

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J. Caleb Mozzocco About J. Caleb Mozzocco

J. Caleb Mozzocco is a way-too-busy freelance writer who has written about comics for online and print venues for a rather long time now. He currently contributes to Comic Book Resources' Robot 6 blog and ComicsAlliance, and maintains his own daily-ish blog at EveryDayIsLikeWednesday.blogspot.com. He lives in northeast Ohio, where he works as a circulation clerk at a public library by day.

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