Whenever I’m sitting down to review a comic, I ask myself a couple of basic questions. Is this piece something new? Am I enjoying my time with it? Does the artwork complement the writing and vise versa? And, assuming the piece is some form of adaptation or spin off, how true does it stay to the source material? That last part is especially important when it comes to Disney Afternoon Giant #1.
Disney Afternoon Giant #1 is, as the name implies, a collection of stories based off the iconic Disney Afternoon television block from the 1990s. This block contained some of Disney’s most beloved shows: DuckTales, Goof Troop, Chip ‘n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers, and Darkwing Duck, just to name a few. This first issue in the Disney Afternoon Giant series focuses on two stories: “DuckTales: Rightful Owners Part 1: Many Happy Returns” and “Chip ‘n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers: Worldwide Rescue Part 1.”
“ Rightful Owners” focuses on the opening of a museum featuring all of the artifacts collected by everyone’s favorite billionaire, Scrooge McDuck. A rival of Scrooge, John D. Rockerduck, tricks Scrooge into agreeing to return his various treasures to their rightful homes around the world. Scrooge and his family begin a journey around the world while various criminal organizations look to steal the treasures for their own.
“Worldwide Rescue,” on the other hand, features the Rescue Rangers – Chip, Dale, Gadget, Zipper, and Monterey Jack – as they attempt to recover the key to a powerful weapon known as the A.R.S. Monterey’s first adventure was to hide the pieces of the key around the world, but now someone has obtained the A.R.S. and their only chance of stopping the criminal is to rebuild the key.
Both stories are a little different from the usual Disney comic. They’re ambitious, with both preferring to set up a larger narrative rather than serve as a self-contained story. “Rightful Owners,” in particular, ends on a cliffhanger revolving on a secret plan Scrooge has to stop the criminal element. Despite that, I found both to be engaging, fast reads. As I said at the beginning of this review, staying true to the source material is important when it comes to adaptations of shows like this. Luckily, especially in the first story, all of the characters feel just like the TV counterparts, so much so that I found myself reading the dialogue in their respective voices. The attention to detail and references to other stories the characters appeared in really made these stories feel like a part of a larger world which seemed to be the intention. The Dungeons and Dragons reference was also a fun surprise for a fan of the game.
From cover to cover, the artwork of this collection is exuberant. Vibrant, but simple, colors give the book that perfect cartoon vibe, and the character designs stay very true to the original shows. I do wish there were a few more scenic long shots. The few that are there are beautiful, but, otherwise, a lot of the comics are made up of similar closeups of Chip, Dale, and McScrooge.
Disney Afternoon Giants #1 is all about laying the foundations for what will come next. The continuations of these stories and the introductions of new ones will keep the series thriving. Needless to say, if you aren’t familiar with the Disney Afternoon cartoons, you’re not likely to get much out of this book, but if you long for the days of ’90s Disney, I’d recommend picking up Disney Afternoon Giant #1 and visiting some classic cartoons.
Creative Team: Warren Spector (Writer), Ian Brill (Writer), Leonel Castellani (Artist), Braden Lamb (Colorist), Jake Myler (Colorist), Deron Benett (Letterer), Jason Arthur (Letterer)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
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