First it was Rescue Rangers, then Darkwing Duck, now Boom Studios has revived another mainstay of our childhoods and brought back Ducktales as a comic. Even better, the comic is written by the legendary Warren Spector. But does this comic solve a mystery, or perhaps rewrite history? Well… no. But it is worth checking out.
The last time I reviewed Boom Studio’s Disney comics, I praised Darkwing Duck Annual #1 for its mix of old-school Disney cartoon goofiness with a gritty story. Though I don’t think these revival comics need to take the content in a new direction, it was really neat to see that. On the other hand, Ducktales #1 may as well have been still frames from an episode of the show. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not; they are two different things. Darkwing Duck was written for the original fan in mind: adults who loved the series as a kid, and are ready to see Darkwing tackle tough issues, albeit with some slapstick thrown in. Ducktales, on the other hand, is definitely written for children. Once again, this is not a bad thing at all, but you do have to take that into account when you read it.
The plot centers around Scrooge McDuck’s new museum exhibit in which he shows off his collection of oddities and treasures from his years of traveling. Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webbigail start to have a crisis of conscience as they realize that many of Scrooge’s treasures were obtained through less than honest means. They eventually convince him to return some of the more controversial items to their rightful owners, but there’s trouble afoot as someone looks to snag the treasures in transit.
Speaking of the writing, the author is none other than Warren Spector, whose resume includes Wing Commander, System Shock, Deus Ex, and the Thief series. Coming off his latest work, Epic Mickey, it’s clear that Spector intended this to be a kid’s comic, and it works. The writing is simple, but I can totally see this being an episode of Ducktales, and that’s what works.
The only gripe I have with this comic, and it is a small one, is that the comic spends most of the time setting up the story for this arc. The action doesn’t really kick in until the very end. Now, most first issues are going to be this way, so it’s not a big deal, but be forewarned that the first 75% is mainly dialogue and setup. Granted, it’s well written for the subject matter and demographic, but it is mostly setup.
For an SRP of 4 dollars, I’d say that Ducktales #1 is worth adding to your collection if you are a fan of the series, or have kids that would be. The mix of adventure with a moral lesson is, as I remember, what the cartoon was all about, and it’s what makes this comic an excellent addition to the Ducktales franchise.