Friday, April 06, 2007

James T. Quack

Today's lesson, class: Uncle Scrooge McDuck equals James T. Kirk.

What's that I hear at the back of the classroom? Consternation? Uproar? Disbelief? Snickering? I heard snickering, didn't I? Let me explain it in visual terms, then:
Scrooge Equals Kirk


I hear you gasp in amazement and declare what? Is black now white? Is up down? Are dogs cats? Is Aquaman Sub-Mariner? What the Sam Scratch is goin' on here? Patience, comics and SF fans...all will be made clear in warp speed/two shakes of a duck's tail.

Top Comics: Uncle Scrooge #1Let's flip open Top Comics: Uncle Scrooge #1 (Ah ha! You knew it was going to come back to those dang Top Comics, didn't you?) and thrill to the sheer joy of the story within, Carl Barks's high adventure "The Doom Diamond." This isn't one of Unca Carl's most famous classics; it's at the tail end of his prestigious run on Uncle Scrooge. When I was collecting the big series of Gladstone's Complete Uncle Scrooge I kept waiting for this story to pop up, and it wasn't reprinted until the very last book...definitely one of Barks's final Scrooge tales. The magic and excitement is still there, however, and if it's not prime Barks, it's still tail and feathers above most other funny animal comics. In it, Scrooge, Donald, Huey, Dewey, and Louie board Scrooge's custom-designed souped-up pirate-proof super-ship to sail with ten million in gold bullion across the sea to buy a cursed diamond. Fast on their tails, er, trails, are Scrooge's perennial nemeses The Beagle Boys, who have built a super-sub of their own designed to thwart every one of Scrooge's defenses. Oh no! Is this the end of Scrooge McDuck? Will our dollar-hungry duck meet his end on the high seas?

Well, no. Scrooge makes mistakes, but he's a captain of bravery, creativity, ingenuity, and sneakiness. Sound like anyone we know? A certain starship captain renowned for his agile combat mind and his unparalleled bluffing skills? Why, it sures does sound exactly like James Tiberius Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. And even though Kirk's mission is to explore strange new alien females worlds and Scrooge's is to load up his money bin with more lovely moolah, Carl Barks has, in "The Doom Diamond," predicted the greatest Star Trek space battle of them all, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. For best results, cue up your Star Trek II CD to the track "Kirk's Explosive Reply" and then let's go to the play-by-play, shall we?:

(All film frames are from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; all comic panels are from "The Doom Diamond", written and drawn by Carl Barks.)

Kirk/Scrooge's ship is approached by an enemy vessel!:

Star Trek II
Uncle Scrooge panel


Kirk/Scrooge calls the red alert!:

Star Trek II
Uncle Scrooge panel


The enemy attacks!:

Star Trek II
Uncle Scrooge panel


Expert advice from the trained crew:

Star Trek II
Uncle Scrooge panel


Khan/The Beagle Boys demand: unconditional surrender!:

Star Trek II
Uncle Scrooge panel


But both valiant captains are hiding a secret weapon!:

Star Trek II
Uncle Scrooge panel


FIRE!:

Star Trek II
Uncle Scrooge panel


Point blank attack...the enemy is crippled!:

Star Trek II
Uncle Scrooge panel


On board the shattered enemy ship, accusations are leveled!:

Star Trek II
Uncle Scrooge panel


And Kirk/Scrooge sails away, crippled but still alive after their close call:

Star Trek II
Uncle Scrooge panel


So, when somebody says, "Oh, Nicholas Meyer saved the Star Trek franchise," don't forget to grab them by the lapels, shake them angrily, and shout in their face: "And Carl Barks, too!" Really, they'll thank you for the correction!

Why, just about all that's missing from "The Doom Diamond" to complete the Kirk/Scrooge analogy is a scene where our hero howls the name of his nemesis in despair. Don't worry, duckfans, I created one here for you to go with Kirk yelling Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!:
Star Trek II
Uncle Scrooge panel


In the end, you can't deny that both Kirk and Scrooge are heroic characters of the same high caliber. Sure, one may be a miserly talking waterfowl and the other one now shills for Priceline.com, but never forget that in the end both James T. Kirk and Scrooge McDuck live each one of their high-adventure days by the same credo...:

"I don't believe in the no-win scenario...
I don't like to lose."

Star Trek II
Uncle Scrooge panel



11 comments:

1000Words said...

You are a genius! Have you tried playing Dark Side of the Moon while reading this to see if they sync up?

Sleestak said...

Someone OD'd on awesome pills!

FoldedSoup said...

Holy Crap, that's an awesome post!

Can you follow up with the Spock / Dewey death scene?

"The good of the many outweighs the good of the few. Or the one. Duckling."

Hat's off!

jtobin said...

Bully, your site is an absolute joy. Imagine, a comic blogger who not only loves comics, but revels in that love no matter where it leads him. Wonderful job, keep up the fine fine work.

David C said...

Bully, you're the greatest!

I did, indeed, read this post with "Kirk's Explosive Reply" cued up on ITunes, and highly recommend this.

Siskoid said...

Siskoid says: Blogs Oughta Be Fun

And this one always is. Thanks Bully.

googum said...

David C's on the right track: I've had the James Horner soundtrack CD for years and years, and it may very well be my favorite forever.

Great stuff this week, Bully, and thanks!

Brian Hughes said...

So Donald is the cranky, irascible Doctor McCoy, and the nephews, in toto, are the calm, logical Spock? Great stuff, Bull.

coverallfan said...

God bless Duckburg.

Steven Altis said...

I originally wrote something suitably praiseful, but then I saw that my word verification was 'mducnab' and now I can't decide if that's cool or creepy.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely and totally sweet. My hat is off to you, sir. Many laughs, much delight.