Uncle Scrooge #345
Quick Rating: Good
Title: King Scrooge the First and other stories
A trip to the past sends Scrooge on another treasure hunt.
Writers: Carl Barks, Terry Laban, Pat & Carol McGreal, Gorm Transgaard, Annette Roman, Paul Halas & Tony Isabella
Art: Tony Strobl, Rodriques, Jose Maria Manrique & Jose Colomer Fonts
Colors: Scott Rockwell, Egmont, Barry Grossman, Michael Kraiger & T. Letterman
Letters: Willie Schubert, Susie Lee & Jon Babcock
Editor: Arnold T. Blumberg
Cover Art: Daniel Branca
Publisher: Gemstone Publishing
Another month, another collection of Uncle Scrooge tales, and as seems to be the case lately, it’s been mostly decent, lighthearted fare. There’s nothing wrong with anything in this issue, but I personally prefer my Scrooge when he gets into high adventure.
First up is “King Scrooge the First,” a reprint of a 1967 tale written by Carl Barks with art by Tony Strobl. An underhanded Swami tricks Scrooge and his nephews into drinking a magic potion that sends them thousands of years in the past, where he hopes they’ll lead him to a magnificent treasure. This is the closest story in the issue to what I really look for in a Scrooge tale, and it comes complete with a really good twist ending. Strobl was a solid artist in his own right, but somehow, Barks drawn by someone other than Barks never quite hits that plateau of greatness.
Terry Laban’s “X-Treme Scrooge” is an example of a more modern Scrooge tale. When the world’s richest duck becomes immersed in the information age, he discovers a young dot-com entrepreneur who threatens to unseat his position at the top of the wealth ladder. Scrooge tries to enter into a partnership, rather than a competition, and winds up being coaxed into a series of “extreme” sports to keep up with him. It’s kind of a long set-up to get to the basic gist of the story – seeing Scrooge take part in ski sailing and upside-down snowboarding competitions, but it comes together okay.
“You’re a Boonehead Now” by Pat and Carol McGreal and art by Jose Maria Manrique casts a spotlight on Scrooge’s longtime foes, the Beagle Boys. Trying to escape the police, the Beagles inadvertently wind up volunteering to be camp counselors for a group of rowdy Boonehead Scouts – and the kids may be more trouble than the cops would have been. It’s your standard “bumbling villains in over their heads” story.
Gorm Transgaard writes “Feed For Greed,” with art by Manrique and English dialogue by Annette Roman. This time out, Scrooge invests in an invention that can make anyone greedy for anything, the perfect sales tool. I’ll be honest, I didn’t like this story at all, because it simply doesn’t ring true to the character. Although there is a passing reference to Scrooge needing to find a legal loophole to allow him to use the invention because he makes his money “square,” in-character Scrooge knows that “legal” and “square” aren’t always the same thing. The Barks creation, who always makes his money honestly, would never stoop to such a level.
Finally there’s “Lost and Found” by Paul Halas and Jose Colomer Fonts, with English dialogue by Tony Isabella. Gyro Gearloose unveils his latest creation, a “find anything machine,” which at first seems like an excellent idea, but which soon proves itself to be as buggy and dangerous as most of Gyro’s creations. It’s a cute story.
The Barks tale is good enough to be balanced out by the bad “Greed” story, brining this issue to just an okay average. Uncle Scrooge has had a string of so-so issues since #342’s knockout issue. Hopefully it’ll pick up again next month.