So hey! In case you weren’t aware I recently passed my exams! :D Since that means I have a lot of more free time, it means I’ll be able to devote a lot more time to this blog. I’ve also taken up livestreaming! Check it out over on Twitch
With that out of the way, let’s talk about something from my childhood. Yep. It’s Donald Duck. For the unaware (although I’m suprised you don’t know him) Donald Duck is probably Disney’s second most popular character (straight after the Mouse), and in my personal opinion the best character to have ever been produced by Disney. Of course it is true that I’m a little biased about him, since I’ve been reading the comics since I was a kid, but that shouldn’t deter you from reading this post.
Donald Duck, even though he started as a movie character (appearing first in an animated short) is truly a character best defined by the comics. In fact, these comics are what got me into reading comics in the first place. Instead of in the movies, where his anger issues tend to get played up for comedy, the comic version of Donald is a more sat upon everyman, who practically always gets put through the wringer and almost never gets any recongition from his friends and family.
Having said that, there are several subcanons that spawned from the Donald Duck comics. In this short little mini-series I want to talk about three of them. We’re starting today with Superdonald (this is how he is known in the Netherlands. International readers might know him under the name of Paperinik or Duck Avenger or even Fantomius. They are effectively the same character.)
The setup for this subcanon is as follows: Donald Duck at some point gets a mail from the national lottery, which tells him he has won a villa. Included in the mail is the deed to the villa. During the comic it is hinted that Donald wasn’t the original recipient, but rather it was his super-lucky cousin, Gladstone Gander (known in the Netherlands as Guus Geluk, which roughly translates to Guus Lucky). When he arrives at the villa (not before getting some karmic retribution for kicking a puppy earlier) he finds it in disrepair and after locating a diary from the previous owner, the gentleman thief Fantomius (the character would later get characterization as Lord Quackett) he leaves the villa. Later that night he starts reading Fantomius’ diary and realizes that in the chair of Fantomius is a set of gear hidden that the late thief used to steal from the rich of Duckburg (in Dutch Duckburg is called Duckstad, which translates to Duckcity). He then uses the gear (along with some latex masks he took from Gyro Gearloose (Willie Wortel in Dutch, no real translation here)) to steal Scrooge McDucks (known in Dutch as Dagobert Duck, although funnily his ancestors still use the McDuck surname in Dutch) matress. After escaping the subsequent result of his actions he then decides to instead fight evil using the outfit (along with a simple mask he aqcuired along the way).
Interestingly, the original comic portrayed Paperinik as a selfish character, only out to do vengeance for Donald. The character eventually lost these traits, becoming a more generic crime fighter. Although in Italy the comic series was cancelled due to lack of interest in the beginning of the 2000s, the character continues to have adventures in the Dutch pocket comics where he is a mainstay, with a new adventure being published in every issue.
As to my relation… well I discovered Superdonald through these pocket comics, and the are one of the main reasons I keep buying them. The character is (at least in the Netherlands, which follows the original canon, not PKNA’s) a hero, but does not lose the parts that make him… well Donald Duck. He still has anger issues (although they are played down) and he still does have issues with Scrooge McDuck (although for different reasons).
I have never had the chance yet to read PKNA (which seemingly follows a different canon apparently along with a darker tone as opposed to the lighter tone of Superdonalds comics), but the original Superdonald is probably my favorite subcanon out of all of them.
Anyway… that should cover Superdonald. Next time… well, it’s a split between Double Duck or Tamers of Nonhuman Threats. But I’ll make that decision when the time comes. See you guys until then!