Home > Disney, Gemstone Publishing > Uncle Scrooge #339

Uncle Scrooge #339

February 27, 2005

Quick Rating: Excellent
Title: The Crown of the Crusader Kings and other stories

Scrooge sets out to find one of the greatest treasures of the Knights Templar!

Writers: Don Rosa, Daniel Branca, W. Gattino, David Gerstein, Carl Barks
Art: Don Rosa, Daniel Branca, Carl Barks
Colors: Egmont, Susan Daigle-Leach, Scott Rockwell, Summer Hinton
Letters: Todd Klein, Willie Schubert
Editor: Arnold T. Blumberg
Cover Art: Branca
Publisher: Gemstone Comics

Whenever Don Rosa gets to headline an issue, you guys get to hear me gush about him. So let me get that out of the way quick. This issue is great. Fantastic. Brilliant. Excellent. Okay, on to the review.

This issue Rosa presents “The Crown of the Crusader Kings,” a sort-of sequel to the Carl Barks story “The Philosopher’s Stone.” Scrooge McDuck discovers that he holds the key to finding an ancient crown, part of the treasure of the Knights Templar, and he and his nephews set out to recover it. This turns into a globe-trotting adventure through arctic wastes and lush jungles as the boys find themselves in a race against remnants of the Knights to find the crown.

The preface to the issue notes that this story was originally published in Europe prior to the book The DaVinci Code and the movie National Treasure, which happen to use some of the same themes. There’s a lot of that feel to this story. Rosa uses a lot of actual history to piece together this story, blending in historical facts about the Knights and Christopher Columbus with his own “Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck” tales and Carl Barks classics to weave the most exciting comic I read all week. His artwork, as always, is wonderful. It’s detailed and exciting, and every page is laced with tiny visual gags that act as tiny bonuses for anyone sharp-eyed enough to find them.

The story isn’t exactly a cliffhanger, but it ends with a tantalizing promise of a sequel (and, in fact, we are promised that it will see publication in Uncle Scrooge #342). That may be the most eagerly anticipated issue of this title I’ve ever waited for.

We also get another treasure hunt story, “In Quest of The Green Hope,” by Branca, Gattino and Gerstein. This time out, Scrooge and his nephews set out to find a treasure that traces back to the founding of the town of Duckburg. This story has a lot of those same treasure hunt elements that make for the best Scrooge stories, and it’s a lot of fun too. We wrap things up with a reprint of Carl Barks’ “The Great Wig Mystery” from 1964. This one hasn’t been reprinted as much as many of his other stories, and it’s easy to see why. While it’s a fun little story, it’s not the Duck Man’s best work. When Scrooge’s planeful of wigs crashes, a rival of his gins up a phony lawsuit to take him for his entire fortune. His only chance is to find a witness who can exonerate him – Donald, who’s lost on a mission of his own.

The Rosa story alone is worth the price of this issue. It’s absolutely fantastic. The others fill things out nicely. One of the better issues of Uncle Scrooge.

Rating: 10/10

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