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Comic Book / DuckTales

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A series of comics based on the DuckTales (1987) animated series (itself based on the Disney Ducks Comic Universe). The stories had a similar plot to the original cartoon, with Scrooge and nephews embarking on adventures or causing trouble in Duckburg, along with the rest of the McDuck household: Launchpad, Gyro Gearloose, Mrs Beakley and the butler, Duckworth.

There were three series of comic books made by three publishers; the first was Gladstone Publishing, from 1988 to 1990 (when the show was still on air), which contained some adaptations of episodes such as "Armstrong" and "Jungle Duck".

The second comics book was published by Disney Comics, from 1990 to 1991, and contained several multi-part stories such as "Scrooge's Quest", "The Gold Odyssey" and "A Dime in Time". The title was cancelled in October 1991, due to Disney Comics implosion, but Disney continued to publish DuckTales stories in Disney Adventures issues from then through November 1994.

The third and last DuckTales comic book was published by Boom!Studios, when said publisher was reprinting some old DuckTales stories in its Uncle Scrooge issue. The title contained a four-part saga, Rightful Owners, and an unauthorized story that crossed over with the Darkwing Duck comics, which runs under Canon Discontinuity.

Tropes from the Disney Comics series:

  • Accidental Hero: In "Arcadian Urn", Donald and Launchpad are sent to defeat the dragon so Scrooge can have the Arcadian treasure, and the former is not too thrilled to fight such a creature, but as he tries to climb to his safety, he drops a huge rock on the monster's head, knocking him into a river, which not only nulifies its fire breath but helps it settle down with a female dragon and retire its days of burning the Arcadian lands.
  • Agony of the Feet: Overjoyed at seeing Scrooge and the boys alive and well after apparently seeing their ghosts, Launchpad forgets to be careful when trying to demonstrate how he could pass his hand right through them and pokes Scrooge hard in the stomach. A few minutes later, Scrooge says, "Well, I assure you, I'm all here now!" and drives his heel into Launchpad's instep, causing him a lot of pain (which was probably intentional).
  • All Part of the Show: In the Flabbergé egg story, Felina is kidnapped by two of Bruto's men as she's about to begin her acrobatic act, and Scrooge, Launchpad, and the boys cross the stage to follow them. The audience thinks it's just a postmodern performance of some sort.
  • Ankle Drag: Huey grabs hold of Launchpad's ankle when he's climbing out of Laird's lair. Launchpad thinks a troll has grabbed him and is dragging him down.
  • Apologetic Attacker: During part of the "Once and Future Warlock" arc, Launchpad gets cornered by Laird and Doofus. Despite only bowling them over rather than doing any major damage, Launchpad still finds it necessary to apologize to his Brainwashed and Crazy number one fan.
  • Ash Face: During "The Once and Future Warlock", Doofus mixes together a number of Laird's potion ingredients to make "a loud noise" so he and Huey can be rescued. The mixture explodes, messing up the room and leaving Doofus with a face full of ash.
  • Beak Attack: During "Double Indemnity", Launchpad, who has been turned into a non-anthro bird, saves Scrooge and the boys from a camel stampede by attacking the camels and driving them away with repeated pecking.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: In The Gold Odyssey, Doofus was brainwashed by Evil Sorcerer Laird, who wanted to use his (accidental) invention of a way to make gold out of lead. Under this brainwashing (and Laird's tutelage in magic), he briefly became much more sinister, even trying to kill the other members of the party.
  • Bullet Sparks: Launchpad is shocked at the foolishness of the bandits shooting at Scrooge's party while they're in an everlasting coal mine, as one bullet spark could catch the whole place on fire.
  • Capture and Replicate: Magica creates a clone of Launchpad using a potion, a piece of hair, and a button, and lures the real version to an abandoned building to trap him so she can sneak the clone in and finally get Scrooge's #1 Dime.
  • Catch Your Death of Cold: As Scrooge wanders around Duckburg while trying to figure out what happenednote , he gets caught out in some weather and begins sneezing. He hates this, most notably because cold medicine is so expensive. Later, the cold turns into a fever.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Overlaps with Death by Materialism; in the "Curse of Flabbergé" story, Scrooge loudly protests Launchpad grabbing him away from a diamond he was hunting even though the area was becoming dangerously electrified.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover of issue #15 depicts the Beagle Boys using shovels (or a spoon, in Burger's case) to dig their way under the Money Bin, but in the actual story, they're using a digging machine they stole from Gyro.
  • Crisis Catch And Carry: In more than one comic, Launchpad picks Scrooge up and runs away with him when the situation gets too dangerous, often when his boss would be too stubborn to do so.
  • Damsel in Distress: Webby spends a lot of "Scrooge's Quest" getting in trouble, whether it's getting kidnapped by Magica or falling in a river.
  • Disney Villain Death: Subverted in the "Flabbergé Egg" story. While gloating before he forces Tsaverena Felina to jump off the clock tower, Papa Bluto is startled by the clock going off and falls to his apparent death. However, a few panels later, it's revealed that he got snagged on a flagpole halfway down. What happened afterward is never clarified.
  • Don't Ask, Just Run: During a segment of Scrooge's Quest, the others have tracked Scrooge to an abandoned island after he fell overboard. They've just gotten there when Scrooge tears past them, stopping just long enough to grab Webby. Launchpad wonders what caused this reaction — and quickly realizes it was a stupid thing to ask when the gorilla that Scrooge was running from shows up.
  • The Evil Prince: Prince Baklava, in "The Arcadian Urn". After Donald and Launchpad defeat the dragon he wanted to slay first, he decides to take revenge by putting sleepy powder on his father's cup and claiming it's poisoned when it knocks down a plant and frames Donald by planting the bottle in his pocket. After the party escapes, he still tries to take them down with the same giant crossbow he intended to slay the dragon with!
  • Gale-Force Sound: When Scrooge keeps struggling and loudly protesting leaving behind a diamond, Launchpad tries to settle him down but then abruptly shifts to yelling, which blows Scrooge's hat off his head.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Some stories, such as "The Arcadian Urn", have Donald join the expeditions.
  • Got Me Doing It: Scrooge responds to the clone's continual manglings of his nickname by saying that it's "McDee", much to his frustration once he realizes what he said.
  • Human Popsicle: "Belt of Time" shows Scrooge hunting a mysterious rare creature frozen in the ice. Despite Flintheart's attempts to grab it first, he succeeds in claiming it...only to find that it's Launchpad, who he had sent back in time on a reconnaissance mission and who ended up taking The Slow Path back.
  • "I Can't Look!" Gesture:
    • Scrooge covers his eyes and Launchpad turns his back when the Beagle Boys set off an electrical trap during the "Flabbergé" story.
    • In an early segment of The Gold Odyssey, one of the nephews covers his eyes when a group of poachers throw Launchpad out of an airplane.
  • Karma Houdini: Prince Baklava from "Arcadian Urn" receives no comeauppance for framing Donald and co out of spite, and is never exposed to the other Arcadians, who probably still assume he's an innocent, heroic royal.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • In one story, Flintheart Glomgold wins first pickings at a golden hill and a million dollars from Scrooge by dosing the native king to whom it belongs and Launchpad with a pollen that causes sneezing for weeks. It turns out that the golden color of the hill comes from the flowers that grow on it. Flintheart starts sneezing and Scrooge gleefully plans on selling the remainder of the anti-sneezing medication back to him.
    • In one part of the Scrooge's Quest arc, the poachers the ducks are pursuing throw Launchpad out of an airplane in midflight. They realize too late that Launchpad had grabbed their loot and they just threw it out as well.
  • Living Crashpad: Launchpad landing on Scrooge by accident (much to the older duck's irritation) happens more than once during the "Scrooge's Quest" arc.
  • Look Behind You: One of Launchpad's near-death flashbacks shows him distracting a firing squad by saying there's a sun-dress-clad woman who wants to tell him goodbye. The soldiers look for the woman while their superior yells at them for falling for the oldest trick in the book.
  • Magic Pants: When Launchpad returns to normal in "Double Indemnity", he is fully clothed, despite his clothes having disappeared during the transformation.
  • Mangled Catch Phrase: Magica's Launchpad clone continually mangles the pilot's Affectionate Nickname for his boss.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: In a one-shot story, all of Scrooge's efforts to get first pickings at a hill of gold in a native king's territory come to naught as Flintheart manages to get it instead...but it turns out there is no gold on the hill; it's a hill covered with golden flowers which make any would-be plunderer sneeze for months.
  • "Open!" Says Me: While trying to rescue Flintheart during the "Everlasting Coal" story, the ducks encounter a door and realize none of them have a lock-pick. Launchpad just kicks it in.
  • Paranoia Gambit: "Scrooge's Quest". After Flintheart Glomgold buys out all of Scrooge's businesses and takes over Duckburg, Scrooge pulls this on Glomgold in the final chapter, "All That Glitters is Not Glomgold". By the end of the story, Glomgold is driven so far up the wall thinking Scrooge is out to sabotage him, that he decides victory isn't all it's cracked up to be and willingly tears up his ownership contract of the city.
  • Parasol Parachute: During the first segment of Scrooge's Quest, Scrooge uses his umbrella as a parachute while he's chasing his hat (and the money he tucked inside the band). Later, when he falls off an ice bridge at the North Pole, he uses it again, although he admits that it's not going to be able to save him here. Luckily, it doesn't have to, as the boys call Launchpad, who catches him with the plane.
  • Punny Name: In the backstory of "The Flabbergé Egg", Felina's ancestor was called Alexpanther.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The end of "The Belt of Time"; Scrooge succeeds in claiming the mysterious frozen thing in the cave, despite Flintheart's attempts to nab it, but rather than the rare creature he was expecting, it turns out to be Launchpad.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: In "Double Indemnity", Magica's clone of Launchpad forces the boys and Scrooge out of the plane into a sandstorm, and then Magica starts a camel stampede to get them trampled. They survive (of course) and Scrooge quickly gets back to declare that the assassination attempts failed.
  • Save the Villain: During the "everlasting coal" story, Flintheart sabotages Launchpad's plane and flies to the area himself in an attempt to get to the everlasting coal before Scrooge. Later, he gets captured by brigands. The heroes decide to save him, although Scrooge gets temporarily sidetracked when he sees the coal.
  • Shed Armor, Gain Speed: Launchpad winds up in a duel. Initially he wears the armor the Arcadians gave him, but eventually he decides to ditch it as it's more hindrance than help — and quickly beats his opponent.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In "Double Indemnity", after he and Launchpad destroy a clone, Dewey says, "He's melting! What a world!"
    • In "Down But Not Out in Duckburg", Scrooge tries to go into a place called "Alice's Restaurant", which shares its name with a protest song by Arlo Guthrie.
    • In "Terror at the Top of the World", Launchpad calls, "All aboard for the the polar pooch express!"
    • The "Gold Odyssey" segment "The Once and Future Warlock" is probably named after The Once and Future King.
    • In the Flabbergé story, it comes up as a brief gag that the Hill Valley clock tower is mentioned in the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook.
    • Also from the Flabbergé story, Scrooge, upset over a burglar escaping with a clue, says, "The Lady Vanishes, with our only egg clue."
    • "The Belt of Time":
      • When they see Flintheart at the mercy of a Giant Spider, one of the heroes exclaims, "Shades of Shelob!"
      • As the time belt activates and yanks Launchpad away again, Scrooge quotes the closing lines from Quantum Leap's opening narration.
    • In "The Arcadian Urn". Launchpad calls his humongous opponent "Magilla" and tells the dragon to sit on Tokyo.
    • One of the treasures Scrooge is after at an auction is called the Wrathakhan diamond.
    • In "A Switch in Time", Launchpad gets knocked over and wonders if he can right himself by saying, "Go, go Gizmo-wheel."
    • In one comic where Scrooge's moon rock cufflinks lead to the group being stranded on the moon and out of fuel for the rocket (long story), Launchpad mentions that the cufflinks, actually a cheaply synthesized artificial gem, can be picked up for a nickel in St. Canard. He then adds that he knows this "screwy duck and his daughter" over there.
    • In general, Launchpad makes a lot of references to his adventures in St. Canard.
  • Slasher Smile: Magica's Launchpad clone makes a very evil grin as he pulls a gun on Scrooge.
  • Sniping the Cockpit: A non-lethal variation; Launchpad stops the machine the Beagle Boys are using in their latest attempt to rob the Money Bin by throwing a money bag at the driver's head and knocking him out.
  • Stable Time Loop: In "The Belt of Time", Scrooge sends Launchpad back in time to help secure a mysterious beast that is frozen in ice in the present. When Scrooge finally succeeds in claiming it, he thaws it out to discover Launchpad, who got frozen in ice while time-traveling and took The Slow Path to the present.
  • Stumbling Upon the Lost Wizard: During the "Gold Odyssey" arc, the heroes encounter a Really 700 Years Old sorceror called Laird, who serves as the antagonist for that part of the story.
  • Swapped Roles: The story "A Switch in Time" shows Launchpad and Fenton changing jobs briefly. Chaos ensues, given that Launchpad is inexperienced with the GizmoDuck suit and Fenton has no inkling of how to fly a plane.
  • That Was Not a Dream: At the opening of one of the Scrooge's Quest comics, Scrooge wakes up from a nightmare of Webby being captured by Magica and begging him to save her. Upon waking up, he assumes that this means Webby isn't missing and furthermore, Magica didn't steal his Number One Dime, causing him to wake the triplets up to celebrate. Unfortunately, they have to tell him that while he was having a nightmare, Webby and the dime are still missing.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Webby in "Arcadian Urn" is consistently more competent, taking a big part during the adventure accompanying the team during the voyage to Arcadia, helping break the heroes out of prison when they are framed by The Evil Prince.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: "The Gold Odyssey" saga features the "covers always spoil" variation. This is especially notorious in issues 9 and 10, whose covers end as the very first scenes of issues 10 and 11 respectively.
  • Triple Shifter: Implied. Launchpad continually drops references to his other life in St. Canard while he's with Scrooge and his family, which seemingly indicates that the pilot skips back and forth between the two cities to keep up with both of his "families." How he manages to do this without collapsing in exhaustion (or being absent very often from either Duckburg or St. Canard) is never explained.
  • Undying Loyalty: In "Down But Not Out in Duckburg", Scrooge comes home to discover that Glomgold has gotten control of all his businesses and even the city in his absence. Despite the fact that he's now just a poor old man, the others stick with him until he finds a way to restore the status quo.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: After her broom gets destroyed and she crashes during another attempt to steal Scrooge's Number One Dime, Magica hexes the power steering on the bus Scrooge is driving as a parting shot. The bus drives itself into a lake, with Scrooge, Huey, and Louie just barely escaping in time.
  • Villains Want Mercy: After he falls off the clock tower trying to kill Felina, Papa Bruto is seen in a later panel begging for someone to get him down from the flagpole on which his uniform caught.
  • While You Were in Diapers: During Scrooge's Quest, Scrooge tells one of the Beagle Boys, "I learned to fence while you were still crawling in diapers!"
  • Wrong Assumption:
    • Launchpad assumes that Laird's influence on Doofus won't cause the young duck to make any moves against him, given that Doofus is a friend and fan of his. This nearly gets him zapped.
    • In the same story, Scrooge and the boys assume that Laird's brainwashing has completely wiped away Doofus' real personality. They're wrong, and the real Doofus is ultimately saved.
  • You Just Had to Say It: At the end of "The Littlest Gizmoduck", Fenton picks up a piece of the makeshift Gizmosuit the nephews and Webby made and asks who's going to wear it for an upcoming school event. The last panel shows Webby putting the Gizmosuit on Fenton, who laments, "When will I learn to keep my big beak shut?"

Tropes in the Boom! version

  • Battle-Interrupting Shout: Scrooge brings back King Fulla Cola as the natives, the Beagle Boys, and the members of the McDuck household are engaged in a battle. It's played somewhat more realistically than normal, as Fulla Cola's first shout does not quite get through the noise. However, then he bellows, "STOP!" and everyone stops in their tracks.
  • Big Bad: John D. Rockerduck in the first arc.
  • Canon Discontinuity: At the very least, Dangerous Currency has been rendered such due to the Darkwing Duck omnibus published by Joe Books omitting the last two issues of the original comic and making an entirely new story in its place, as well as a new DW comic ignoring its events. It's been stated by some correspondences with Aaron Sparrow that, to begin with, the story was published without Disney's approval, and that a new crossover might be written later, but only time will tell.
  • Canon Welding: The use of Rockerduck in the first arc is an attempt to blend together all Duck stories, including the Duck Tales cartoon and the comics by Carl Barks, Don Rosa, etc.
  • Crossover: With Darkwing Duck in the second and final arc, which now falls under Canon Discontinuity.
  • Enlightened Self-Interest: John D. Rockerduck announces his intention to give back some of the artifacts he possesses, saying that sometimes one has to do the right thing even at personal expense. Launchpad points out to Scrooge that he'll get a lot of good publicity from that, and Scrooge finishes the thought by noting that good publicity helps business.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: In the "Rightful Owners" arc, the ducks are followed around by a gigantic jellyfish. Webby reveals she named it "Jelly Belly" due to its sweet tooth. The jellyfish is actually friendly (at least towards them), but it looks intimidating.
  • George Lucas Altered Version: The trade paperback edition of the Rightful Owners arc redid some of the artwork for the third issue, which was infamous for being rather poorly done.
  • Harmless Freezing: While trying to return the Lost Crown of Genghis Khan, Scrooge and company are met by a large white figure making mostly incomprehensible noises. They think it's a yeti, causing a mass panic. However, when the "yeti" shakes itself off, it turns out to be Launchpad, covered in ice from a rough landing...and utterly unharmed by it.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Webby asks Scrooge why he's taking a boat instead of a submarine like last time. Scrooge answers that his competitor most likely expects he'll be going in a submarine, so he's going in a boat instead.
  • Keep Away: Scrooge, the kids, and Launchpad toss the candy-striped ruby back and forth to keep it out of the hands of the bad guys trying to steal it.
  • Lucky Rabbit's Foot: Rockerduck has Cinnamon Teal hypnotize Gladstone Gander so that he'll join Scrooge's mission, thinking that given that Gladstone is under the control of one of his operatives, his luck is also and he will sabotage Scrooge. Gladstone tells him it doesn't work that way and advises he try a rabbit's foot next time.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In the first issue, when Scrooge McDuck shows Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby his collected treasures, he says that he will show them his "life and times", which is a reference to the comic saga The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.
    • Daisy and Fethry, two characters who appear in the Disney Duck Comics universe, appear as reporters when Scrooge and Rockerduck start their bet.
  • Neck Lift: When King Fulla Cola manages to stop the battle between his people, the McDuck household, and the Beagle Boys in its tracks, Launchpad freezes in position holding one of the Beagle Boys off the ground by the neck.
  • Pun: Scrooge calls Webby "a chick off the old block."
  • Put Their Heads Together: During the "Rightful Owners" arc, Launchpad is discovered by two natives who have been tricked into helping the Beagle Boys. He grabs them and bangs their heads together, knocking them out, and steals one of their wigs and leaf skirts as a disguise before going off to deal with the Beagle Boys.
  • Recurring Character: John D. Rockerduck hires Cinnamon Teal to hypnotize Gladstone Gander in order to take advantage of his luck. Both characters had appeared before in the series.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: Among the Mercenaries John D. Rockerduck hired is Darkwing Duck 's enemies Camille Chameleon and Moliarity. Launchpad lampshades this as he barely remembers Camille when she mentions St. Canard.
  • Series Continuity Error: The authors' attempts to tie the Disney Ducks Comic Universe and the DuckTales continuities together didn't always go so well, often thanks to the Adaptational Alternate Endings of the episodes. For instance, in the opening, Webby has to be told how Scrooge got the dinosaur in his zoo; in the episode that covered this, Scrooge didn't take the dinosaur home and Webby was along on the adventure, which would have removed the need to explain to her.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Triple Shifter: Lampshaded; Webby asks Launchpad how he's here in Duckburg instead of in St. Canard, questioning, "You can't be in two places at once, can you?" Launchpad says, "Of course not; that's just silly!"
  • You No Take Candle: The natives of Rippan Taro speak broken English, although well enough to converse with the non-natives (unless they use figures of speech.)