Saturday, July 22, 2006

Ultimate McDuck

Scrooge McDuck may seem like a tiny bundle of feathers held together by overweening cupidity and a short temper, but my friends, that little fowl is one bad-ass mofo. He definitely belongs with this esteemed group of luminaries, or this one. F*@% yeah!

In the graphical novel The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck, by Don Rosa, we see Scrooge thwart Jesse James and his gang using only a pair of dentures; intimidate Wyatt Earp by swinging a dime on a string; survive a riverboat explosion; face down and use to his advantage lions, bears, wolves, rhinos and other wild animals; engage in a swordfight in full plate armor; destroy a casino with his bare (feathered?) hands while in a berserker rage; and basically beat on everyone who tries to thwart him (click images to embiggen them):

You know a good strategy when single-handedly beating back dozens of toughs? Tossing a wooden chest in somebody's face. You know an even better strategy? Kicking a wheeled wagon filled with copper ore into somebody's solar plexus. You know the best strategy of all? Taking hold of one of the guy's ankles and swinging him around so he and his shovel mow your opponents down like grass.

So just how bad-ass is Scrooge McDuck? It's pretty clear that he could kick Ultimate Captain America's ass. How do I know? Well, Cap doesn't use a parachute (and has a pretty school-yard misogynistic attitude about it, too):

Well, buddy, neither does the duck. He doesn't even use airplanes! (Airplanes are for chicks --- haw!) He just hitches rides on an eagle and falls to the earth wherever he damn well pleases.

Now that's one tough bird! And amidst all this animal husbandry, BASE jumping, vigilantism, destruction and brawling, Scrooge keeps his mind on the only thing that matters: money.

Seriously, this Eisner-award winning book is terrific. It's chock-full of sly wit, real adventure, throwaway visual gags (there's as much happening in these panels as in Sergio Aragones' hyper-busy stuff), and genuine affection for the comic masters of the past. A fun book, definitely not just for kids.

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