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YMMV / Disney Ducks Comic Universe

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  • Adaptation Displacement: Panchito's horse, Señor Martinez actually comes from old American newspaper strips written in the 40s which, while popular in some countries, were never reprinted in English until after the publication of The Three Caballeros Ride Again
  • Anvilicious: Some of the stories (especially "War of the Wendigo") move into this territory.
  • Awesome Art: A lot of artists fall into this. Artist Fabio Celoni and colorist Mirka Andolfo are especially notable for their absolutely gorgeous artwork in various comics parodying classic literature. Take a look at their versions of Frankenstein and Dracula for some amazing examples.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Scrooge, mainly for his jerkass tendencies. It's particularly for Donald's fans. This is part of the reason behind the creation of Paperinik.
    • Fantomius has become one in later years. While in the beginning the stories revolving about him were interesting, as time passed by he became more and more of a Marty Stu and a Creator's Pet for Marco Gervasio (the main writer and artist behind his stories). The falling point for many is the 2019 story "How Paperinik began", a soft-reboot of Paperinik's origin story that reveals that Fantomius travelled in the future to find a heir to his legacy and deliberately railroaded Donald into doing whatever he wanted, thus removing the whole "Donald Duck takes revenge on Scrooge by himself" point of the original story.
    • Huey, Dewey and Louie are either considered Wise Beyond Their Years and Nice Guys, if a bit mischievous, or brats who often condescend their uncle Donald.
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  • Broken Base: Discussions over whether Don Rosa is Carl Barks' "true" successor or simply one of many writers (albeit a very good one) playing in his sandbox get heated on occasion. Funnily enough, Don Rosa himself considers his stories to be merely "fan art" and "too detailed and complicated" to be compared to the greatness of Carl Barks. Still, there are fans who will say they like his stories even better than Barks'. Opinions are varied, to say the least.
  • Cant Unhear It: Just try reading any of Carl Barks' Scrooge comics without hearing the voices of Alan Young or David Tennant in your head.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: A cheapskate who will read a newspaper from a trash can rather than buying one despite having a net worth of $900 billion is surely funnier than a cheapskate with a net worth of a few million who simply treats others like crap for his own gain.
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  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: A few stories that feature Donald and his nephews are this. While Donald is certainly no saint, being a stubborn Jerkass with a Hair-Trigger Temper and all, Huey, Dewey and Louie sometimes manage to be worse than him, and they're almost always portrayed in the right, allowing them to get off scot-free, even getting rewarded for it (see Designated Hero). All of this often make it hard to laugh at Donald's misfortunes.
  • Designated Hero: Huey, Dewey and Louie sometimes come off as Not So Different than Donald, and yet still take the moral high ground against Donald and win:
    • In "Where There's Smoke", one of the three said he wasn't annoyed by Donald dropping foam on them (because Donald thinks that where there's smoke, there's fire), but because he would get the badge instead of them, seemingly for no reason other than to demonstrate "Give Huey, Dewey and Louie the Jerkass Ball and they can be very bad". It doesn't help that the comic portrays them in the right for their It's All About Me attitude, and they even get rewarded for it instead (they get their badge at the end).
    • However, that's small potatoes compared to "Paperino e i Gamberi in Salmì", where Scrooge's brother Gedeon gives Huey, Dewey and Louie a stand-in of the "Pulitzer" prize, but gives it to Donald to keep it for them until they grow up. Then, seemingly to hammer in the fact that Huey, Dewey and Louie will always be perfect, better and more deserving of things to go their way than Donald, the three are shown running Donald out of town and saying "You're not our uncle... you're a medal snatcher!" just for getting the medal, which he didn't even steal from them. Even worse, they once again get no comeuppance. While Donald mocks them for that, they still come off as worse.
  • Designated Villain: Surprisingly common:
    • Donald is often treated as this in stories that feature Huey, Dewey and Louie. He's really just an ordinary guy trying to raise three brats who aren't even his own children, they're his sister's who shoved them off on him. From the nephews' perspective, Donald is a petty disciplinarian because he wants them to attend school or do the dishes.
    • Quite a few stories have Rockerduck actually being far more benevolent than Scrooge, or simply being completely moral. He still always loses in the end.
    • Gladstone in stories centered on him. In many stories, he competes with Donald, and, despite some struggle (usually "Dear god, I have to work to succeed!"), wins thanks to his luck. In these stories, Donald is usually actually superior in whatever skill they competed in, and far more deserving of winning.
  • Die for Our Ship: Suffice to say, Scrooge/Goldie fans do not care for Brigitta, though this is mitigated somewhat by Scrooge (so far) never having returned Brigitta's feelings, and she's a complete non-existent character in Don Rosa's universe anyhow.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Donald Duck to Mickey Mouse in the old days. After Mickey became much more relaxed and "boring" (an attempt to make him a better role model for the kids who liked him) a character was needed to embody the more negative qualities that made the cartoons fun. Donald's bad temper and amusing speech patterns made him a hit and he is usually at the center of most of the big laughs in the cartoons he is featured (or, as his popularity has grown, starring) in.
    • Scrooge Mc Duck started as a supporting character in Donald's comics, but eventually became popular enough to be spun off into his own series. Scrooge is much more popular than Donald in Finland and France, where the magazine devoted to Carl Barks' universe is called "Picsou Magazine". (Picsou being the French name for Scrooge). DuckTales puts Donald on a boat in the first episode, reducing a character that was always going along with Scrooge on his adventures to a guest character. Considering Scrooge started as nothing more than a caricature of thrift in a propaganda cartoon during World War II, that's one escalation.
    • Goldie. Used only once by her creator Carl Barks and far more often by Romano Scarpa, Don Rosa, and others, not to mention her multiple appearances on DuckTales.
    • See Duck Tales page to relative examples from the show.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • How Ludwig von Drake is related to Donald is quite a mystery. He is apparently Donald's uncle, but this would make him either Scrooge's brother or Grandma's son, neither of which seems likely since he is Austrian. Don Rosa has offered the possible explanation that he is married to Scrooge's sister, Matilda. Some German comics have Daisy calling him "Uncle".
    • Another puzzling relative is Gideon McDuck, a Recurring Character in the Italian comics described as Scrooge's brother. Romano Scarpa's intent when creating him in 1956 was that he'd be simply that: Scrooge's brother, fair and square. However, when Don Rosa wrote his version of Scrooge's youth (which has been accepted as one of the solidest bits of canon out there when it comes to Duck comics), he ignored Gideon, because he did not know about him to begin with. Why Gideon wasn't there at Scrooge's home back in Scotland in his youth remains unknown, but many american fans consider him a half-brother from a brief relationship of Fergus McDuck's after his wife's death. It has sometimes been guessed that Gideon is Scrooge's younger brother, born only after Scrooge left Scotlandnote .
  • Escapist Character: Uncle Scrooge. He's super rich and a Cool Old Guy, things keep going his way despite his cruelty to his nephews, and yet it's entertaining to see him mop the floor with his enemies.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Carl Barks was an ardent supporter of Capitalism and created Scrooge not just as a character to entertain children, but also to demonstrate how extremely high wealth can be a force for good. While this is obviously not an incorrect message, it's one the audience may well look weirdly at post-Great Recession.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Donald is often subject to this with European fandom that prefer to pair him with other girls than Daisy. Notable example are Reginella from her saga, Xadhoom and Lyla in Paperinik New Adventures and Kay-K in Double Duck.
  • Foe Yay:
    • A few of the comics featuring Scrooge McDuck imply Scrooge and Magica De Spell have what appears to be a mutual attraction. Magica might even have better chances than most villains since Don Rosa's Scrooge actually has had hatesex.
    • Scrooge's canonical One True Love, "Glittering" Goldie O'Gilt may not be evil as such, but their relationship is antagonistic more often than not. They originally met in the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s. Goldie drugged Scrooge's coffee, stole his gold, and abandoned his unconscious body in the snow. And Scrooge retaliated by beating up her employees, kidnapping her, and forcing her to work alongside him in his gold mine for a month. Somehow, these experiences resulted in a mutual attraction which lasted for the rest of their lives.
    • A few Italian stories have Magica engaged by her family to an unwanted fiancé called Rosolio Rhododendron. When her family witnesses Magica and Scrooge bickering Like an Old Married Couple (over the topic that Scrooge was not expecting a surprise visit from Magica's folks), some of Magica's relatives get the distinct impression that she has more chemistry with Scrooge. Rosolio seems jealous.
    • Brigitta, Scrooge's other love interest in Italian stories counts as well. In Romano Scarpa's original stories, Brigitta is a rival businesswoman whose business ventures have threatened Scrooge's companies with loss of revenue many times. Scrooge and Brigitta alternatively treat each other as a foe and as a love interest. Though in Scrooge's case, it is mostly because he is jealous whenever any other man tries to romance Brigitta.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Rockerduck seems to appear more frequently in Italian comics than Glomgold ever did in American ones.
    • The Beagle Boys' grandfather appears much more frequently in Italian stories, but that version of the character appears to be solely based on the "Grandpa Beagle" from "The Money Well" and not on Blackheart Beagle from "The Fantastic River Race." Some of the versions make him more kind.
    • Disney comics in general are known to still be hugely popular in Europe, while they have largely faded out of American culture. Duck comics are no exception, and in fact seem to enjoy even more popularity there than Mickey Mouse ever did. This may be related to these comics being quite similar in style to Franco-Belgian Comics.
    • The comics are also very popular in Egypt and India, to the point that the characters have become localized pop culture icons. Parents literally pass down the hobby of reading these comics to their kids. As a result, some people have casually accumulated an incredible collection of the comics over decades.
    • At least according to Don Rosa's commentary, when it was "revealed" in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck that Grandma Duck was not McDuck's sister, it apparently made the front page of some Italian newspapers.
  • Good Bad Translation:
    • Due to the differences in gender pronouns between Arabic and English, when Duck comics were first translated to Egyptian slang, Donald's nephews were erroneously referred to as his nephews from a brother, not his (canonical) sister. This error has gone on for decades that it is unsure sure it can ever be undone. As far as most Egyptian fans of the comics are concerned, Donald has a brother. Somewhere. In the Finnish translation, however it has been slowly corrected throughout the years (they still refer to Donald with the word equivalent of "father's brother", but are themselves referred with gender-neutral or correct pronoun).
    • In the Egyptian translations of the comics, Donald's nephews refer to Gladstone by his first name, or as 'Uncle Gladstone' - the word Uncle being used as a term of respect. The equivalent of the English term 'Cousin Gladstone' is rarely ever used.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In one comic book adaptation called Lost in the Andes! (April, 1949), Donald and his nephews discover a world that is similar to the world of Minecraft well before the video game was invented.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Donald is this because he's a Jerkass character, but all parties have screwed him over at least once, even when he did nothing to deserve it, with even his nephews being against him sometimes (look at Designated Hero above). Given how much of the world is against him, it kinda comes as no surprise that Donald acts out so much.
  • Mainstream Obscurity: Works inspired by Carl Barks' comics are more well-known by the American public than the comics themselves. Amongst comic critics and aficionados, they remain as some of the most acclaimed and beloved non-Superhero comics in the history of the medium.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Arpin Lusene is Scrooge McDuck's most intelligent and competent foe. A charming French millionaire playboy who lives a double life as a Gentleman Thief, Lusene vows to steal Scrooge's entire fortune in front of the whole world before going into retirement. After accidentally coming into the possession of the dangerous Omnisolve, Lusene gets the brilliant idea to coat a stolen suit of armor with the substance, turning himself into an unstoppable Juggernaut of a Black Knight who nearly destroys all of Scrooge's riches to fake having stolen it. After Lusene's defeat, he returns and uses subterfuge to regain his suit of armor, then makes his previous plan fool-proof. Scrooge scuppers his original plan to empty the Money Bin by threatening a media blackout, so Lusene settles for destroying Scrooge's other trophies housed in the Duckburg museum, and nearly dissolves poor Donald after accidentally being trapped with him by Scrooge. Even despite being ultimately bested by Scrooge, Lusene always accepts his defeat gracefully, both regarding the other as a Worthy Opponent.
  • Memetic Mutation
  • Moe: Reginella. Little body, big eyes, nice and adorable personality. Even her woobie status help.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Occasionally, though the fact that most writers follow their own canon rarely makes it stick. Of particular note was in the story A Little Something Special by Don Rosa. At the end of the story, Grandpa Blackheart Beagle attempts to detonate a massive load of explosives underneath Duckburg, only being prevented by Donald deactivating the detonator. Considering that Duckburg is a densely populated east-coast city, this would be an act of terrorism at least as destructive as the 9/11 terrorist attack. And he was doing it out of spite.
  • More Popular Spin Off: The Disney Ducks comic universe is much more renowned and actively followed than that of the Mickey Mouse Comic Universe, even getting two animated adaptions to its name because of it's surprising popularity.
  • The Scrappy: Paperinika (Super Daisy), Daisy's superhero alter-ego. While abandoned for years by Italian authors after a rather bizarre story, Brazilian authors made her in pretty much The Ace who constantly one-upped and humiliated Paperinik. Because Paperinik was introduced as Donald's chance to escape from his regular Butt-Monkey / Chew Toy status, these stories did not go over well with Italian fans. Also, her exaggerated feminist characterization made her particularly unlikeable. She is rescued from this status in Ultraheroes where she got a more balanced personality and became more likable to the readers.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Carl Barks' comic books tend to suffer from this nowadays. For their time, there simply weren't any other Funny Animal or kids comics like them; most of the competition was juvenile hackwork or just banal kids filler in regards to story. Barks was one of the first writers for those kind of books to actually respect the intelligence of his audience and try to have consistent and dynamic characterization, strong plotting and surprisingly witty humor. But come the following decades, and the idea of having this kind of storytelling in comics is not only extremely common but downright necessary in order to hold the attention of of a mainstream audience, making newcomers to his comics wonder just what makes them such a big deal, leaving them unimpressed with the admittedly generic plots and somewhat dated humor of them.
  • Signature Scene: For comics Donald and his personality, the finale of "Vacation Time" by Barks, where Donald using quick thinking, improvisation, and totally motivated parental concern, protects his nephews by MacGyvering stuff from the forest to save them from a forest fire is this.
  • Supreme Chef: In some stories, Donald's cooking skills are only surpassed by Grandma Duck. In an Egyptian issue (#592, 4th June 2015) celebrating his 81st birthday, it is explicitly stated among 24 other character traits that describe him.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • From the classic Paperinik stories, "Love into Oblivion": Daisy saw him change into Paperinik, so, as usual, he fed her a memory-erasing candy... Except it had been damaged, and made Daisy forget of Donald and believe that Paperinik's her fiancee.
    • The entire Donald and Reginella love story that is much a tragic love because every time they are forced to stay away by events of the story. Especially the sixth one, where, to save Reginella's homeworld, they have to erasee their memories of each other and never meet again.
  • Title Confusion: Due to the popularity of the show and similarities in universe and cast, the comics are sometimes labelled Ducktales by fans (helped by the fact that the comics don't really go by a recurring label). Don Rosa in particular resented being called a "Ducktales cartoonist" (he did like the show, but did not consider it a loyal adaptation of the comic universe he and Barks created).
  • Values Dissonance: Even as little as a few decades ago, Daisy had a habit of beating Donald and/or Gladstone if they mistreated her (sometimes for rather petty reasons). Modern readers may not be amused by this, as nowadays it comes off as domestic abuse.
  • The Woobie:
    • Though it's obviously never brought up on panel, there is legitimate horror in Huey, Dewey, and Louie's backstories. They were abandoned by their mother on Donald's doorstep, to be raised by their generally well-meaning but somewhat questionable uncle. And if you throw DuckTales in as canon, Donald himself abandons them. Glimpses of the future suggest he never returns, and he's not mentioned again after the second season premiere. At the very least, one imagines a great deal of therapy in their future.
    • Don Rosa's "The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck" series flirts with this portrayal for Scrooge. By the penultimate chapter, it's hard not to feel bad for a man who let his obsession with wealth chase away his family and friends and turn him into a bitter old Citizen Kane expy. Of course, he's very much the author of his own woe, and the story concludes with his reconnecting with Donald and the nephews, so it doesn't stick, but it's a rather depressing insight into Scrooge's character.
    • Reginella. Every time she appears it looks like she'll be finally able to stay with Donald... And then, right at her happiest, something forces their separation again.
  • Woolseyism: The French translation of those stories replaces the Meaningful Names of most of the cast by various vastly different names (some of them being puns or portmanteau words), which are as meaningful (if not more) as the original ones. For instance:note 
    • Scrooge McDuck becomes Balthazar Picsou ("Balthazar Penny-Thief").
    • Flintheart Glomgold becomes Archibald Gripsou ("Archibald Penny-Pincher").
    • John D. Rockerduck becomes John Flairsou or Crésus Flairsou depending on the translator ("John Penny-Sniffer" / "Croesus Penny-Sniffer").
    • Gyro Gearloose becomes Géo Trouvetou ("Geo Find-Everything" or "Geo Discover-Everything").
    • The Beagle Boys become Les Rapetou ("Those Who Steal Everything").
    • Professor Ludwig Von Drake becomes Professeur Donald Dingue ("Professor Donald Mad").
    • Paperinik becomes Fantomiald (portemanteau of "Fantôme" and Donald; "Fantôme" is French for "Ghost").
    • Magica De Spell becomes Miss Tick.
    • Gladstone Gander becomes Gontran Bonheur ("Gontran Happiness").


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