Review: Walt Disney’s Donald Duck and Friends: Double Duck, Vols. 1 & 2
When the world’s most secret agency needs an important dossier recovered, there’s only one duck for the job: Donald Duck, AKA Double Duck, the most secret spy of all. Donald Duck’s such a secret spy, even he never knew he was one! Can he relearn his training, save the day, and keep Daisy from finding out he’s a secret agent?
Written by Fausto Vitaliano and Marco Bosco; Illustrated by Alessandro Freccero, Vitale Mangiatordi, Marco Mazzarello, and Francesco D’Ippolito
Grades 3-up. Ages 10+
Published by Boom! Studios’ Boom! Kids imprint, May 2010 (Vol. 1) and July 2010 (Vol. 2)
Vol. 1 Hardback: ISBN 978-1-60886-545-1, 112 pages, $24.99
Vol. 1 Paperback: ISBN 978-1-60886-545-1, 112 pages, $9.99
Vol. 2 Paperback: 9781608865901, 124 pages, $9.99
Prior to Boom! Studios’ acquisition of the Disney Comics brand, kids may have been more familiar with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and all the rest of the gang thanks to the young ages animated Disney Channel show Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Now we’re seeing a grand revival of the Disney brand in the world of comics since the days of Gemstone, and Donald Duck and Friends: Double Duck, Vols. 1 and 2 is a shining example of how to take a familiar property, turn it on it’s head with a heaping spoonful of beloved Disney characters, and a pinch of adventure, and create a new and refreshingly fun look at Donald Duck.
Reprinted from the recent Italian-published line of Disney comics and translated into English, the series is a real treat. The writing is by Fausto Vitaliano and Marco Bosco is fast-paced and features many of the cliches of the James Bond-like plots, but with a fun and light-hearted Disney flair. The artwork by the team of Alessandro Freccero, Vitale Mangiatordi, Marco Mazzarello & Francesco D’Ippolito is wonderful and features crisp classic Disney character art but with updated color palettes that doesn’t verge from the classic look of Disney comics but help enhance the story.
The story itself is refreshing since it takes a staple and turns it on it’s head. Donald, while on a date with his girlfriend Daisy, can’t stay awake while watching a spy movie. With Daisy miffed at him, he receives a notice by the police for an unpaid parking ticket for a place he’s never been too and he can’t figure out where he’s been for the last three days. Enter Kay K, a spy who works for the super-secret organization that’s so secret, it’s only called “The Agency” where Donald discovers that he was recruited by the Agency three days ago where we was known as the secret agent known as Double Duck, but had his memory wiped after he saved the day. Now Donald needs to relearn his training with the help of Kay K and many other agents so a precious dossier doesn’t fall into the wrong hands all while trying to keep Daisy from finding out his secret career.
Akin to a Disney animated show such as the 1990’s Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers (remember that one?), it takes familiar and beloved characters out of their preconceived roles and puts them in a new situation and the results are just a joy to read. Classic Donald Duck secondary characters like Gladstone Gander, Daisy Duck, and Uncle Scrooge make cameos to remind the readers we’re still in Duckburg, but it’s the introduction of newer characters in Donald’s spy Agency that help make the spy adventure engrossing. With the introduction of the beautiful brunette superspy Kay K, Donald’s got a partner at the Agency who gives Daisy a run for the money in the affection department and can also show Donald a thing or two about the spy game.
It’s an exciting and fun series for fans of Disney’s stories and also for fans of humor and spy adventures. Welcome back, Agent Double Duck.
About Mike Pawuk
Mike Pawuk has been a teen services public librarian for the Cuyahoga County Public Library for over 15 years. A lifelong fan of comic books and graphic novels, he was chair for the 2002 YALSA all-day preconference on graphic novels, served as a judge for the Will Eisner Awards in 2009, as well as helped to create the Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection committee for YALSA. He is the author of Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More, and co-author of the follow-up book Graphic Book II both published by Libraries Unlimited/ABC-CLIO Publishing.
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