Home > Disney, Gemstone Publishing > Uncle Scrooge #340

Uncle Scrooge #340

March 25, 2005

Quick Rating: Good
Title: The Heedless Horseman and other stories

Uncle Scrooge decides to become King of Duckburg – by winning the year’s biggest derby!

Writers: Carl Barks; Pat & Carol McGreal; Gorm Transgaard, Paul Halas & Jack Sutter
Art: Carl Barks, Nunez & Vicar, Jose Colomer Fonts
Colors: Susan Daigle-Leach, Edgemont, Marie Javins, Scott Rockwell & Pam Rambo
Letters: Susie Lee, Willie Schubert & Travis Seitler
Editor: Arnold T. Blumberg
Cover Art: Daniel Branca
Publisher: Gemstone Comics

This month’s installment of Uncle Scrooge stands out by its averageness. There aren’t any really spectacular stories, but there aren’t any poor ones either. It’s a pretty good issue all around.

The issue starts with a lesser-known Carl Barks tale from 1966, “The Heedless Horseman.” In the hopes of raising his profile among the people of his hometown, Scrooge decides to enter the Great Crystal Orb Derby, the winner of which is named King of Duckburg’s social scene for a full year. Scrooge decides he’ll win the contest by purchasing the fastest horse in town, but a series of mysterious booms and the horse’s erratic reaction to water may prove to be his undoing.

It’s not one of Barks’s classics, but it’s an entertaining story in its own right. Scrooge seems a tad out of character, caring so much about his social standing, until it’s made clear that he wants that status so that he can parlay it into better business deals. Overall, it’s a cute little story.

In “Beagle Brain” by Pat and Carol McGreal, the infamous Beagle Boys stumble upon an invention by Gyro Gearloose that turns one of them into a genius. The greater intellect seems to be the perfect tool to aid their criminal careers, but such a thing can go too far. A fun story with a cute punchline.

In Gorm Transgaard’s “Golden Illusion,” perhaps the strongest story in the collection, a blow scrambles Donald Duck’s brain and makes him believe he’s the legendary “Robin Duck.” Hallucinating, he rounds up the Beagle Boys to help him steal a fortune from the evil “King of Blottingham” and give it to the poor – utterly unaware that the castle he’s preparing to storm is Scrooge’s money bin! This story is just plain fun, and works better than most.

In “The Hardware Hardener,” Scrooge gets fed up with his pilot, Launchpad McQuack, constantly destroying his planes. He refuses to give Launchpad another job until he gets his own aircraft. When he brings the only plane he can afford to Gyro to help fix it up, he finds that a new solution to keep the plane solid may prove more trouble than he thought.

Finally, in “Jumbled Ducks,” the level of the money bin has reached such a point that Scrooge has no more room to put his money. He goes to Gyro for help, and the inventor supplies him with a compressor that will condense his money to one-third the space. The machine causes trouble, however, when Huey, Dewey and Louie accidentally get fused into one duck. This is also one of the better stories in the collection, although it and the other really good story, “Golden Illusion,” both ignore a big part of the way Barks characterizes Scrooge – that the money in his bin is the money he earned personally by the sweat of his brow, the part of his fortune that he never spends.

This is a decent issue, and fun for the Scrooge fan, but it’s not a spectacular issue. It’s just a fun one..

Rating: 7/10

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