Uncle Scrooge: Like a Hurricane
In the classic Carl Barks story "Pyramid Scheme" (first published in 1959), Uncle Scrooge discovers a buried Egyptian pyramid when he sits down in the middle of the desert and gets poked in the butt by the top of the hidden stone structure. That's just one of the gags recycled in Uncle Scrooge: Like a Hurricane, an enjoyable though not terribly original mishmash of ideas from old comics and the Duck Tales television show.
The mishmash is evident right from the cover: While the name of this book is Uncle Scrooge: Like a Hurricane, the Duck Tales logo dominates the layout. It's an awkward cover, with too many logos and too many characters, but truthfully, it's the least effective art in the entire graphic novel, so let's not immediately judge this particular book by its cover.
In typical Barksian fashion, the tales in Like a Hurricane involve adventurous quests around the world as Scrooge, Donald Duck, and nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie set off in search of new and fantastical fortunes. They are joined by Duck Tales mainstay Launchpad McQuack, the pilot with a heart of gold and a brain of lead, as well as other recognizable Duck Universe characters, including the villainous Beagle Boys and Flintheart Glomgold.
The tales here are really a loosely connected string of shorter stories created by a laundry list of writers and artists. In the first tale—my favorite in the book—Scrooge and his clan travel to the vaguely Himalayan "Brunjalbhaji Mountains" on a quest for "everlasting coal"—a fuel supply that will burn forever and reduce Scrooge's monthly heating bills. In the second tale, Scrooge and the Beagle Boys compete to find the lost Egyptian tomb of Pharaoh Prak-Ti-Kal Dioker (say it out loud). The third and longest of the stories finds everyone in South America looking for a diamond that is also sought by a cute cat burglar (literally a cat) and a despotic Eastern European ruler named Papa Bruto. It's a tale that's perhaps 50 years out of date, but it's still full of goofy fun.
The book also contains two shorter stories, also vaguely linked, both featuring the "Duck Tales" character GizmoDuck.
Most, if not all, of the stories originally appeared in Europe, so they have been translated into English for this, their first English publication. The translators do a great job, keeping both the characterizations alive and the dialogue brimming with puns and wordplay.
Each of the stories is drawn by a different artist or art team. Xavier Vives Mateu's work on "The Everlasting Coal" is probably the most like similar to Barks or fellow Scrooge artist Don Rosa. Jose Maria Carreras turns in similarly flavored art on the Egyptian tale, while the main tale by Jose Cardona Blasi and inkers "Comicup Studio" features some really wonderful linework. The two shorter GizmoDuck stories, drawn by Roberto Santillo, Cosme Quartieri and Wanda Gattino, feature broader, more modern, more cartoony artwork with bolder lines and more extreme camera angles. This art style doesn't quite match the rest of the book, but it adds some welcome chaos to the stories.
This is solid, enjoyable, funny work that should keep kids entertained, especially if they are already Duck Tales fans.