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In this issue you'll find a whole 28 pages long Don Rosa story about the Crusader Kings, 14 pages of Daniel Branca/Wanda Gattino goodness, and an enjoyable Barks story stretching over the final 20 pages.
The front cover is drawn by Daniel Branca and coloured by Susan Daigle-Leach.
Uncle Scrooge, "The Crown of the Crusader Kings"
Story & art: Don Rosa
Colour: Egmont & Susan Daigle-Leach
Lettering: Todd Klein
This story contains a lot of similarities to Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code, or vice versa, actually. Don Rosa's story was finished in 2001, so a couple of years before Dan Brown's bestseller was released.
The tale starts with Scrooge sobbing over the loss of his greatest treasures, like the Philosopher's Stone and the Crown of Genghis Khan. One of Donald's nephews suggests that they start searching for Khan's crown's western counterpart: "The ceremonial crown that the kings of Europe tried to send to the great Khan to symbolize their alligiance!" The nephew goes on telling that Colombus was supposed to deliver the crown, but that since America "got in his way", it never came to that. And since the crown was never returned to Spain, it must be somewhere in the west.
The hunt for Colombus' lost log books starts, and as they follow the footsteps of the Knight Templars (the first bankers), Scrooge, Donald and the nephews get in various trouble, for instance with a Haitian Voodoo tribe. This sets for a voodoo doll scene I found pretty amusing. This story also has its villains: The international money council consisting of Monsieur Molay and Maurice Mattressface. They are both very interested in finding the very same crown that Scrooge & co is after.
The story is, as mentioned, 28 pages long, and is packed with lovely Don Rosa details in every panel. Typically Don Rosa there are also a few references to old Carl Barks adventures, for instance where Scrooge is chased by Bombie the Zombie (Gladstone Comics no. 16). It's filled with action and humour, and the episode is a satisfying addendum to Don Rosa's collective work.
I should mention that this story's sequal, The Old Castle's Other Secret or A Letter from Home is printed in Uncle Scrooge #342, so check that one out as well.
Uncle Scrooge, "In Quest of the Green Hope"
Story: Daniel Branca & Wanda Gattino
Dialogue: David Gerstein
Art: Daniel Branca
Colour: Egmont & Scott Rockwell
Lettering: Willie Schubert
This is a telling about Scrooge, Donald and the nephews and their hunt for The Green Hope. The Green Hope was the ship that brought Duckburg's founder, Cornelius Coot, to the city's site. Shortly after Cornelius got off, the ship got shipwrecked in a storm, and nobody had seen it ever since. Each year since the city arranged a "Green Hope search week", and the finder of the ship gets to keep its fabled treasures. This is enough to make Scrooge start dreaming, and after a little research in books from Scrooge's library, the hunt can begin. However, most Scrooge fairy-tales are far from straight on easy. It turns out an old Nemesis of Scrooge is also interested in finding Green Hope and its long lost treasure.
"In Quest of the Green Hope" could remind you of the good old Carl Barks stories, featuring Scrooge, Donald and his nephews adventuring and hunting for lost treasures (albeit I prefer the more exotic locations Barks often used).
Uncle Scrooge, "The Great Wig Mystery"
Story & art: Carl Barks
(US #52, Sept 1964)
Colour: Dummer Hinton
Here's a classic Carl Barks story, not published in a comic book since 1978.
Wigs is the new fashion in Duckburg, the bigger, the better. Everybody loves wigs, all the girls wear wigs, and one person earns fat money on their desire for wigs: Scrooge McDuck. He flies them in from Europe, but one time a wig covers his eyes during landing, and he crashes on the runway. A slick fast-talker named Scalpnick pretends Scrooge crashed his plane onto him, and therefore he sues the poor old interminabillionaire. Donald, the only witness to the crash landing, is hired by the same Mr. Scalpnick to fly to a country called Wiggie Ziggie, but is doesn't seem to exist a country by that name. Evidently Donald's flying job is just a trick from Scalpnick to get him away from the upcoming trial.
Carl Barks presents us this witty and amusing story with great drawings and a large amount of thrills and humour. I hadn't read this story before when I bought the comic, and it certainly was 20 pages of swell reading which gave me a large portion of giggling.
If you get this magazine, I believe you'll be greatly entertained by the long Don Rosa story as well as the nostalgic Carl Barks telling, so this comic book is well recommended.