We love all Disney Ducks from all forms of media here at DuckTalks. The comic stories of our duck friends are very important to us. One of our twitter friends is passionate about Donald’s adventures as the Duck Avenger. So I asked her to do a guest blog Character Spotlight article. Enjoy!
This guest blog entry is being brought to you By Dani David (@theduckavenger)
Before Fenton Crackshell became Gizmoduck and before Drake Mallard became the Terror That Flaps in the Night, there was another duck superhero that preceded them by decades. And this superhero was Donald Duck.
Donald Duck aka Duck Avenger (his native Italian name is Paperinik or Pikappa and the name actually varies in different countries, but his official English name is Duck Avenger) is a superhero who started out as a criminal AND anti-hero. It all started in 1969 when Donald accidentally inherits a villa formerly owned by Lord John Lamont Quackett. Quackett has a secret identity, a gentleman thief who goes by the name “Fantomius.” Donald finds Quackett’s journals detailing his adventures as the gentleman thief, gets inspired by it, and becomes Paperinik: the Diabolical Duck Avenger.
Duck Avenger starts his avenging career by stealing his Uncle Scrooge’s money filled mattress and frames Gladstone for the crime. Don’t worry, he gets better. Somewhere along the line, he stops being a criminal out for petty vengeance and actually becomes a crimefighter, stopping bad guys and watching over Duckburg like how Darkwing Duck watches over St. Canard. Sadly, the readers would lose interest in the character over the decades. Until 1996…
1996 sees a major retooling of the Duck Avenger character. The new series, titled “Paperinik New Adventures,” is an alternate universe series, focusing more on sci-fi, action, and fantasy and giving Donald a new set of friends, allies, and even more dangerous enemies. It’s also darker than the Classic Duck Avenger series, focusing on mature themes and topics such as morality, discrimination, doing the right thing vs doing the logical thing, finding yourself, and what it truly means to be a hero. Fortunately, it was a big hit and it revived interest in the character!
Today, the Duck Avenger is still going strong in its native Italy. The Classic series is still being published on a regular basis. “New Adventures”, even though the series itself ended back in the early 2000s, the sequel series (appropriately called “PK New Era”) is still in production, putting out a story or two yearly.
Only time will tell if the Duck Avenger will ever catch on in the United States and elsewhere, but fortunately, IDW has translated the first 6 stories of “Papernik New Adventures” and some Classic Duck Avenger stories! I really hope that the Duck Avenger gets all the love and respect he deserves someday.