Home > Disney, Gemstone Publishing > Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #671

Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #671

July 26, 2006

Quick Rating: Good
Title: Zenith and other stories

Donald tries to scale Mt. Cranky – and Scrooge and Flintheart face off in the final lap of the Formula One tour!

Writers: William Van Horn, F. Gottfredson, M. De Maris, Wilbert Plijnaar, David Gerstein, Pat and Carol McGreal, Carl Buettner & Per Erik Hedman
Art: William Van Horn, F. Gottfredson, B. Wright, Dick Matena, Fransisco Rodriguez Peinado, Carl Buettner & Flemming Andersen
Colors: Egmont, Scott Rockwell, Marie Javins, Barry Grossman & Kneon Transitt
Letters: Susie Lee & Willie Schubert
Cover Art: William Van Horn
Publisher: Gemstone Comics

This month’s issue of Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories is something of a mixed bag. There are a couple of really good stories, one disappointing one and several in-between.

William Van Horn’s “Zenith” is first. When the Mayor of Duckburg announces a contest to rename Mt. Cranky, Donald and the boys all want to be the first to the top of the mountain to secure naming rights. Unfortunately, they aren’t alone. Van Horn uses this story to drop in a lot of his own contributions to the Duck’s “Universe,” which is fine if you’re familiar with the characters. For those who don’t know them already, though, they’re all pretty much ciphers here – you don’t really get to know them except as obstacles for the ducks.

Next is “Love Trouble Part Two,” the middle segment of a classic Mickey Mouse newspaper strip story by Gottfredson, De Maris and Wright, originally printed in 1941. Minnie has spurned Mickey for a new boyfriend, Montmorency Rodent. To get back at her, Mickey picks up a new girlfriend of his own, and the two couples clash. This is a cute segment, but being the middle section of a run of newspaper strips, it has no real identity of its own as a story, even a serialized one. It also suffers from some of the usual problems when any newspaper strip story is transformed into a comic – frequent recaps and a pattern of a punchline every few panels. It’s not as problematic with more flat-out humor strips like PVP, but Mickey’s strip tended to have more expansive stories that made it a bit repetitive.

“Heat Wave Wolf” by Plijnaar and Matena with English dialogue by Gerstein is up next. In the midst of a heatwave, Zeke Wolf is looking for ways to keep cool. Meanwhile, his son is having fun with his new hobby and helping B’rer Bear keep his flock of sheep cool. This is basically an extended gag strip, bringing the two storylines together for a pretty amusing punchline.

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” – written by the McGreals with art by Peinado — is one of the two really good stories this issue. When Daisy wants to take her nieces to a tea party for their birthday, the girls trick Huey, Dewey and Louie into switching places with them for the day. The boys get stuck at the tea party, but it’s no party for April, May and June either when Donald catches them and sends them off to work on the boys’ chores. This is definitely one of the funnier stories this issue, with some of the strongest art as well.

Carl Buettner’s Bucky Bug story, “Way Out West” from 1945 is up next. When a visiting countess is kidnapped by a pair of bug bandits, it’s up to Bucky to save her. Frankly, the Bucky Bug series has always been among my least favorite Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories series. The entire story is told in rhyme and it gets pretty tedious pretty quickly

Finally, we have “Final Refuel,” the last chapter in the “Formula One” serial Hedman and Andersen (with English dialogue by Pat McGreal). Scrooge and Flintheart Glomgold have raced in tracks around the world and are neck-and-neck going into the final race on the Formula One circuit — in Japan. As Daisy and the boys make friends among the locals, Scrooge, Donald and Gyro guard their car to prevent sabotage. But Flintheart’s plan has nothing to do with busting Scrooge’s car – he’s out to soup up his own. This has been a really entertaining storyline from the first chapter. Each installment has stood on its own as a fun comic book tale, and combined they make for an excellent long-form adventure tale.

This book is definitely worth getting to complete the “Formula One” story, and for “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” The rest of the stories I can take or leave.

Rating: 7/10

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