Comic Review: Duck Tales #1

My son loves the new Duck Tales on Disney XD. He loves the art style, he loves the characters, he loves how kick ass Webby has become. Of course when I say "my son," I am in fact referencing myself. My 4 year old loves it too... but not as much as I do.

That fact became evident upon the initial reading of Duck Tales #1 by IDW. If you are familiar with Donald Duck comics of old, which are still rather popular in Europe (huge in Scandinavia for some reason), you understand that some of the stories are much like the old Disney cartoon show-runners... short and has no continuity of events... and sometimes characters. My son wanted to know where this show fell in the timeline of the show (he's four and already trained to think in super linear fashion). I explained it didn't really matter to the stories, but he looked at me skeptically. 


What also doesn't matter is the character motivation. Donald, Huey, Dewey, and Louie might behave consistent with their new persona's (Huey's the smart one, Dewey the adventurous, Louie the lazy and money loving), but their choices don't often reflect this. Donald is portrayed as the over protective authoritarian who bumbles his way to success and then runs from that responsibility (which is counter to his over-protective nature).

Now, typing all that out makes me sound like I'm holding a children's Disney comic to a high standard like it's some-kind of Greek Tetralogy; but when my son keeps asking "Why did he do that?" on almost every page, the source in question has lost it's key demographic.


Which is sad. My son didn't make it to the second story in a 22 page book... which was better story... but only marginally so.* I wont get in to the details of the stories, because they are obviously throw away stories, but I will say that some of the jokes where smirk educing. My son, however, didn't laugh once. That is a huge problem for a comic that is supposed to be funny and targeted at kids. 

Another sad thing is the art. Now the new television show's art is much simpler than that of the original show. Cleaner lines, brighter colors, and less gradients... much like another popular cartoon show Teen Titans Go. This format actually allows for greater expressiveness from the shows characters without making animates run screaming for the hills. It's great for running animation, but looses some of it's luster in comic panels. It's still charming, but less evocative. 

So, much to my regret, I will have to say to the reader: don't spend money on this comic. Let your kid look at it in the store to see if it's worth a pick up. It's not terrible, but there are allot of "not terrible" books that my son has more interest in that doesn't require me using a Donald Duck speech impediment.

Rating: 5.5/10 Tale Feathers


*Also, as a slight aside, I'm tired of cartoons portraying any and all metal as magnetic. Iron, Cobalt, and Nickle. An Aluminum soda can is not magnetic. I told my son to try it out when he didn't believe me.