Home > Disney, Gemstone Publishing > Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #669

Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #669

May 12, 2006

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Nightmuscle and other stories

Donald Duck: Superhero! Plus — more “Formula One”!

Writers: William Van Horn, Donald D. Markstein, Sarah Kinney, Wilbert Plijnaar, David Gerstein, Per Erik Hedman, Pat McGreal
Art: William Van Horn, Fransico Rodriguez Peinado, Al Hubbard, Jose Maria Manrique, Jack Bradbury, Wilbert Plijnaar, Flemming Andersen
Colors: Egmont, Susan Daigle-Leach, Kneon Transitt, Barry Grossman, Marie Javins, Scott Rockwell
Letters: Willie Schubert, Susie Lee
Cover Art: Daniel Branca
Publisher: Gemstone Comics

Another month, another Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories, and I’m glad to say this is a good package. This month’s installment is particularly strong, with a few ongoing stories and some solid solo outings. First up is William Van Horn’s contribution, Donald Duck in “Nightmuscle.” After Donald sees the latest superhero movie, he gets inspired to fight crime on the streets of Duckburg. Despite his usual blundering ineptitude, Donald proves to be a surprisingly effective crimefighter – that is, until the Rotten Twins show up. This was a very strong story – it cast Donald in a slightly different, more successful light than he usually gets to enjoy, while still remaining true to the character.

Markstein and Peinado give us “The Coming of Quadruplex.” Mickey Mouse is in deep trouble when his old robot-wrestling pal Sam Simian turns his robots over to the insidious inventors Ecks, Doublex and Triplex. Together they’ve got to bring down a legion of robots to save the city. Markstein has done a good job with the robot series of stories over the past few months – each has been a complete self-contained story, but he constantly builds on what has come before, making this a better-than usual streak of Mickey stories.

“The Bone Rush” is the first of two reprints in this issue, both of them with unknown writers. Al Hubbard did the art for this Scamp adventure, first published in Scamp #10 (1959). Scamp finds a new site to hide his bones, but finds himself forced to defend them from some of the bigger dogs in the neighborhood. This is the only story that didn’t quite work for me – the Scamp stories in general skew slightly younger than even the usual fare of this title, but for smaller children it may be just the ticket.

“Invention Contention” by Sarah Kinney and Jose Maria Manrique again pits Donald against Neighbor Jones, this time in an inventing contest. Both neighbors decide to put their skills to work creating robots, and of course, the conflict escalates. It’s a pretty standard Neighbor Jones story, with the two characters getting so absorbed by their endless rivalry that they forget everything else, but it works.

Chip ‘n Dale’s “The Fame Game” is the second reprint. This Jack Bradbury-illustrated tale originally appeared in Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #222 (1959) and features the two chipmunks getting it into their head to make a name for themselves by writing a book – but just finding a typewriter may be a challenge. This is a cute, funny story that also works well for the younger set – although it may be even more amusing for a parent to try to explain to their kids reading this story what a “typewriter” is and why the last panel is actually funny.

“Zeke Takes the Cake” by Wilbert Plijnaar with dialogue by David Gerstein features the Big Bad Wolf trying to enjoy his birthday by pilfering a cake from Missus Bear. Zeke doesn’t know, though, that his son has already procured the cake for his dad’s party – and Brer Bear doesn’t know that the cake is supposed to go to Zeke. Hijinks ensue.

Finally there’s part four of “Formula One,” “Pitstop Problems” by Per Erik Hedman and Flemming Andersen with dialogue by Pat McGreal. As Scrooge and Flintheart Glomgold continue their quest to conquer the Formula One racing circuit, Donald Duck allows his position as Scrooge’s driver to inflate his ego a bit too much, and his new demands may kill his uncle’s chances for victory. This has really be a very entertaining series thus far, and Hedman deserves a lot of credit for making each chapter its own separate, entertaining story while still making it part of the overall arc. I’m not sure how much longer this storyline will run, but so far it’s running along just fine.

The nice mix of characters and stories makes this a better issue than usual – a definite recommendation for Disney fans.

Rating: 8/10

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