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DuckTales & Darkwing Duck are back

I was largely introduced to Uncle Scrooge and much of the comics versions of Disney characters by checking ’em out after noticing a string of highly positive reviews by Blake Petit (of comixtreme.com and evertimerealms.com) more than half a decade ago.

Though I dabbled briefly in buying some of the newer comics as they were released, the ridiculous price ($8/issue!) Gemstone was charging for the books being geared toward collectors instead of readers quickly drove me away from the monthly releases. I did, however, pick up a couple of TPBs of Carl Barks’ Greatest DuckTales Stories (originally published in the Uncle Scrooge title, that later served as the basis for episodes of the cartoon), The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, and a couple other books that were quite enjoyable.

So when Boom Studios got the license to the classic Disney books, to publish through their Boom Kids imprint, I checked ’em all out on principle: $2.99 was not at all bad for giving things a look-see compared to the $8 price that one would have to be pretty darned committed to a title to pay.

I did quickly back off on the single issues of both the classic Disney books and the newer Disney/Pixar properties (particularly The Incredibles) in favor of collected volumes.

This month, though, has undone my intentions there, at least as the classic Disney stuff goes.

For a few months, at least, we have the return of DuckTales in Uncle Scrooge (the first issue of this, at least, was highly enjoyable) and in what has since been “upgraded” to an ongoing series from mini-series status the return of possibly my favorite Disney character, Darkwing Duck.

I expect DuckTales to make for a very enjoyable read in collected-edition format, and same for Darkwing Duck (and with a story title of The Duck Knight Returns and an inside-cover/title-page image in homage to the classic Batman: The Dark Knight Returns…I would absolutely buy a collected edition if they use that as the cover!)

But in the meantime, after nearly missing the first issues of both the DuckTales run (in Uncle Scrooge #392) and Darkwing Duck‘s premiere…both titles have now become the “core” of what I’m on the verge of making a full-blown pull-list at the local comic shop I’ve been frequenting for the last 2 1/2 years.

I suppose that makes both these titles a success, as Boom has drawn me back to the single issues rather than simply “waiting for the trade,” and in Darkwing Duck‘s case, might even result in what would basically be a “double purchase” of the first arc, at least.

If you’ve checked out neither of these, I would recommend tracking them down if your local comic shop still has ’em. And if not…keep an eye out for the inevitable collected editions, as both titles are an excellent read. These classic properties from childhood are back and better than ever!

Monsters, Inc. #1 [Review]

Laugh Factory

Writer: Paul Benjamin
Art & Color: Amy Bebberson
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Cover A & B: Amy Mebberson
Cover C: Jake Myler
Editors: Paul Morrisey & Aaron Sparrow
Publisher: Boom!Kids

It’s honestly been years since I’ve seen the movie this is based on. The characters look familiar, but other than Mike and SUlley, I couldn’t remember any of the names of any of the other characters. Still, I wanted to give it a shot, given it’s a first issue, I recalled enjoying the movie, and of course, I wanted to support a new comic from a smaller publisher with a $2.99 price tag.

The issue’s story is not all that deep–it basically reintroduces readers to the status quo left at the end of the film–that this company that used to generate power for the monster city with the sound of Earth-childrens’ fear has converted to gathering laughter as a power source instead–having discovered laughter to be far more efficient than fear. We witness the trappings of the film–the monsters in this plant using portals to reach Earth kids from their closets, and inspiring laughter which is sent back to the plant and harnessed for power.

The issue’s conflict comes from some monsters finding their props coming up missing, and then they’re found in Mike’s locker, though he claims he didn’t take them. Sulley–who has risen to the foreman position in charge of things is put in an awkward spot as others leap to conclusions, putting words into his mouth, etc. And of course, even Randall is back to cause trouble.

The story’s not terribly complex or deep, but it moves along at a quick pace. We do get a full story here, with the ending fitting things well, and no “to be continued” to be found (instead, we’re given a small text box reading “The End.” signifying this specific story’s concluded).

The art’s not bad, and definitely captures the primary visuals of the characters. As this is a 2-D comic and the movie was CGI…there’s plenty of differences stylistically. I’m quite satisfied, though, with the way the characters appear–they’re quite recognizeable, and there’s plenty in the way of facial expressions that really add depth to the characters that simple words wouldn’t.

I think kids who enjoyed the movie will enjoy this–even adults ought to be mildly entertained by it. Having enjoyed the film when it was out and hving fond memories attached regarding who I saw it with, this was a nice bit of nostalgia. I see no reason not to pick up the next issue, but at the same time there’s not an ongoing story prompting me to follow into the next issue for the story’s continuation.

Story: 7.5/10
Art: 7.5/10
Whole: 7.5/10

Finding Nemo: Reef Rescue #2 [Review]

Reef Rescue Part 2

Written by: Marie Croall
Art: Erica Leigh Currey
Colors: Erica Leigh Currey
Letters: Marshall Dillon
Editor: Paul Morrissey
Covers: Amy Mebberson, Erica Leigh Currey
Publisher: Boom! Studios

This second issue of a 4-issue mini leaves plenty to be desired. At the same time, it’s a charming, mostly fun read. While I come to this as an adult reader, for the target audience–kids/fans of Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo, this seems a great revisit to the characters.

The story itself seems simplistic enough: the reef Nemo and Marlin & co. live in is dying. It’s up to them to find out why, and save their home. (See? Reef Rescue. Save the reef. Makes sense.)

This issue reintroduces the supporting cast of fish from the Australian dentist’s fishtank, as well as reveals the source of the reef’s ailment. Amidst the action we get plenty of in-character lines and references that–particularly when one pictures the movie–work quite well.

Visually, the characters are very recognizeable from their movie version (though for some reason, Marlin’s fins just seem HUGE to me in this issue).

Ultimately, this seems a good series for younger readers in particular, though adult fans ought to enjoy it quite well, also. THe price tag is a bit much, but still relatively cheap compared to many other comics these days.

I suspect this’ll be available as a collected volume before long, and so you may want to wait for that version. Still…there’s something to having a low-key book like this to snag each month for 1/3 of the year.

Recommended.

Story: 6.5/10
Art: 6.5/10
Whole: 7/10

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