IDW has become one of my favorite comic book publishers over the past few years. They first caught my attention with their Transformers series. In the past couple of years they have become Disney Comics number one publishing arm. They put out Disney Comics almost weekly. Most of what they publish are comics from Europe that have never been published in the U.S.
When we first found Disney Afternoon Giant listed on IDW’s solicitations for this year… we may have lost our minds. In the beginning we did not know much about this comic. I have personally wanted a compilation style book that would include rotating stories about our favorite Disney Afternoon franchises. Maybe we get a story about Darkwing Duck, then TaleSpin, followed by Rescue Rangers. Upon first finding Disney Afternoon Giant I thought IDW was answering my pleas.
We later found that the comic would be a reprinting of the DuckTales and Rescue Rangers comics published by Boom! Studios. These comics are considered very controversial by many who read them because of the characterizations of many of the franchises characters and because the license was abruptly pulled without the storylines being resolved.
I have been pretty excited by the prospect of collecting these books re-published by IDW. The stories took place during a time when I was not reading comics, and I missed out on these stories. I have read all of Boom! Studios Darkwing Duck comic when it was re-published in the Definitively Dangerous Edition by Joe Books Publishing.
Issue #1 of Disney Afternoon Giant kicks off the series with two comics bound in one giant-size issue. The stories contained in Issue #1 are DuckTales: Rightful Owners Part 1: Many Happy Returns and Chip ‘n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers: Worlwide Rescue Part 1. Both stories were four-parters so it is safe to say we will be enjoying these stories through issue #4 of DAG.
Of the two, I was most excited to read the Rescue Rangers story. I have read many outstanding reviews of this comic, and it has been on my list of back issues to collect. I had seen samples of the art before, and Leonel Castellani and Jake Myler were a wonderful team on the book.
The first issue was released in October and it truly excited me for the new series. The art of the DuckTales story reminds me of the Italian duck comics and you all know how much I love how expressive that art is. Castellani’s art is great throughout the story, but I do notice the coloring changes from page to page. I’m not sure what the time frame on this comic was, but it appears rushed at times (especially at the end). The differences were not a huge distraction from the story.
As I began reading the story I was surprised that I had read so many negative comments on the story in the past. The setup reminds me of many other Disney Duck comic stories. The characterizations may have been a little updated, but I did not notice the huge departures… Then things began to change. Warren Spector and Ian Brill did portray Webby very differently from the character we knew from the classic DuckTales show. That is not inherently a bad thing. In fact, of all the characters in OG DuckTales Webby is the one who gets on my nerves the most. There are times when she is cute, but she mostly annoyed me.
Another difference that I noticed may have more to do with my recent introduction to the Carl Barks and Don Rosa comics. I really enjoy these master duck writer’s depiction of Scrooge McDuck. Their Scrooge loves his wealth because of it’s connections to memories and experiences of his past. I feel this aspect of Scrooge is missing in this story. Overall, I enjoyed the first issue of the story and looked forward to the second part.
The second story was a Rescue Rangers story. The art, also by Castellani, and colors are gorgeous in this issue! Every page was dynamic and every panel had me drooling. Castellani knows these characters and his style is perfect for the Rangers. The panels are full of action and the story moves very quickly. In fact the pacing may be my only complaint with this issue. The story begins with a flashback and then jumps into the action before going back to a flashback… I’m not a fan of flashbacks in storytelling. I believe they are difficult to effectively utilize without making the story feel… choppy. I love the art and the fact that my favorite team appears to have continued rescuing even though I have not been able to watch their exploits. But I am afraid the story telling in this issue seems jarring.
I know this series has received rave reviews by Disney Afternoon fans, and I look forward to reading the rest of the story. I believe I will need to know all of the story before I can decide if I like how it was told. Overall, I enjoyed the first issue of “Worldwide Rescue” and I can’t wait to continue the story.
Check out IDW’s Description of Disney Afternoon Giant #1:
Disney Afternoon Giant #1—Cover A: James Silvani
Warren Spector, Ian Brill (wr) • Leonel Castellani, Jose Massaroli, Magic Eye Studios (a) • James Silvani (c)
It’s the first issue of a brand-new series featuring stories from your favorite Disney Afternoon shows! It’s a blast from the past in the present as we feature classic DuckTales, Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, and Darkwing Duckstories, all together in one place for the first time!
FC • 48 pages • $5.99
IDW’s solicitation included these bullet points which indicated that the series would be bi-monthly and that it would include stories from the Darkwing Duck series that was published by Boom! Studios. We hope this means the controversial story “Dangerous Currency” may be available in it’s entirety!
Brand-new title featuring your classic Disney Afternoon TV favorites: DuckTales,Darkwing Duck, and Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers!
Bi-monthly issues featuring rotating serialized content that will have you hooked from the start!
Classic tales from beloved characters that will appeal to readers of all ages!
The second issue of Disney Afternoon Giant #2 came out this month, December. It does continue the stories of “Rightful Owners” and “Worldwide Rescue.” Issue #2 of Disney Afternoon Giant switches things up by beginning with “Worldwide Rescue” Part Two instead of DuckTales’s story. The art continues to impress, and I love every panel of this comic. I love the opening scene and it’s obvious callback to the classic Rescue Rangers video game.
My only complaint with the first issue was that the story seemed to jump around in the timeline too much without a good reason. This issue moves away from that form of storytelling. The opening pages are a flashback, but it serves the purpose of introducing new readers to a character they may not know. After the flashback the story continues at a rapid pace, and we learn that this adventure may have real consequences for our small heroes.
I enjoyed the direction that “Rightful Owners” has taken. I do not have a problem with Webby’s characterization, but that may be because she feels like a proto-2017 DuckTales Webby. She is competent, smart, and confident. I enjoy that the story included a globe-trotting adventure, and that *spoiler* was revealed to be the villain after Scrooge’s treasure. This was very fun, and has me very excited about seeing where this story will go.
The abrupt changes in the art in this issue made me double check to see how many artists worked on the book. I was at least relieved to see that there had been multiple artists. I’m not sure how much deadlines hurt this comic, but it seems that the art was rushed. Don’t get me wrong it’s not horrible, but with a little polish I believe the panels could have been something special. The art itself isn’t bad, but the colors go from fully fleshed out to flat colors from panel to panel.
Overall, I am still interested in this story and I look forward to continuing the story in 2019.
You can read IDW’s description of the issue below:
Disney Afternoon Giant #2
Ian Brill and Warren Spector • Leonel Castellani, José Massaroli, and Magic Eye Studio (a) • Leonel Castellani (c)
Our brand-new series continues with two second chapters as we present part two of Chip ’n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers’ “Worldwide Rescue”and part two of DuckTales’ “Rightful Owners!”
FC • 48 pages • $5.99
Oh! And check out those gorgeous covers below!