Monday, July 1, 2024

Cap's Comics - Uncle Scrooge and the Infinity Dime #1

Uncle Scrooge and the Infinity Dime cover showing scrooge swimming in gold coins.
Alex Ross Cover

Disney is having another comic book moment! Not since the days of Disney Kingdoms have we seen Disney push traditional Disney intellectual property into the hands of American comic book readers. And hopeful this time it sticks!

Uncle Scrooge and the Infinity Dime cover showing a Uncle Scrooge split between good and evil.
Lorenzo Pastrovicchio Variant Cover

“Uncle Scrooge and the Infinity Dime #1” is a one-shot self-contained story featuring Uncle Scrooge in a multiversal adventure. Jason Aaron leads this effort, a well-renowned, experienced comic creator who loves classic Carl Barks and Don Rosa duck comics. Aaron reaches back to Barks’ “Christmas on Bear Mountain” story and asks what could have happened differently and pushed Scrooge away from family connections. This Scrooge McDuck used the power of his Number One Dime to enter other universes and become the richest duck in all universes, primarily stealing from Scrooge variants. Our hero Scrooge attempts to assemble a team to defeat Scrooge-Above-All and return all of the Uncle Scrooges’ riches. Along with Aaron’s original story, the issue reprints Barks’ “Christmas on Bear Mountain.”

Uncle Scrooge and the Infinity Dime cover showing Uncle Scrooge in profile wearing a tuxedo and carrying a money bag.
Elizabeth Torque Variant Cover

I love 90% of what Jason Aaron writes. His Original Sin mini-series, how it reframed Nick Fury, and the impact it had on the Marvel universe is one of my favorite stories. He also tends with most of his best work to be dark, edgy, and not kid-friendly. Yet, as I mentioned, he loves duck stories because he shared them with his son. Aaron is a perfect choice for this story. He weaves the history and tradition of what a reader would expect from duck stories, like images and call-outs to Duck Tales, with Marvel story references. With me being more of a Marvel guy than a duck guy, Aaron gave me several Easter Eggs that made me chuckle, and finding myself a little shocked he went there. I also really love the fact that he choose to not make Uncle Scrooge McDuck prime the villain of this story and used a multiversal version to go all Thanos instead.

Uncle Scrooge and the Infinity Dime cover showing a spacesuited  Uncle Scrooge running through a shower of gold bars
Ron Lim Variant Cover

I don’t know any of the artists. Every chapter has a different artist, and one can tell there are slight art changes. Paolo Mottura, Francesco D’Ippolito penciling with Lucio De Giuseppe inking, Alessandro Pastrovicchio and Vitale Mangiatordi, and finally Giada Perissinotto put Aaron’s words onto the page for each chapter. It makes a lot of sense why these unfamiliar to an American reader names take up the art chores. They are all Italian. And while duck stories fell out of fashion in the United States, duck stories flourished in Italy. And so if Marvel wants to put their best foot forward with this new Marvel Disney mash-up experiment, they have selected the most duck-influenced and experienced artists available. I also don’t think Disney needed a splashy well-known artist as I’m sure that much of the audience they are attempting to attract don’t even know that Jason Aaron is a superstar of the medium. 

Uncle Scrooge and the Infinity Dime cover showing Uncle Scrooge sitting in floating gold coins.
Frank Miller Variant Cover

I hope this experiment leads to more. Disney has committed to two Donald Duck What If? Stories in the next few months. The ads in the comic advertise younger heroes that may be more all-ages or youth-friendly, all with “Perfect for Younger Readers!” stamps. I think a few years ago, the $7.99 price may have kept some prospective new readers away. But with current costs, it really is a fair price for the issue. I was worried when I saw a reprint that I would not feel like I got enough new material for the price. But I was glad that Bear Mountain was reprinted as Aaron made mention of it as his inspiration. So instead of me needing to track down that story, it was given to me and other readers who may not want to take the time to research it. The next two offerings are under $5 which I think will make them more inquisitive friendly. That under $5 perception could make it feel more budget-friendly, but I assume there will be fewer pages. A parent may be more willing at that price to pick it up for their young reader. I just want to see comics in Walt Disney World since Universal Orlando Resort already has them! 

Uncle Scrooge and the Infinity Dime cover showing Uncle Scrooge gripping his hat on a roofop.
John Romita Jr. Variant Cover

“Uncle Scrooge and the Infinity Dime #1” makes me declare, Let’s Go. I really am a Jason Aaron stan so the news of this story instantly caught my attention. Disney and Aaron was a good bet for me. Storywise, it also makes me want to read some of the Barks and Rosa stories, because Aaron makes it clear Uncle Scrooge may be one of the multiverse's greatest adventurers.

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