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How Disney's DuckTales Reboot Changed Flintheart Glomgold

In his decades of adventuring beloved by readers and viewers across the globe, Scrooge McDuck has made many formidable enemies. Naturally, a good many of those are his fellow squibillionaires. But to fans of DuckTales, his greatest rival is the second-richest duck in the world, the villainous Flintheart Glomgold.

Created by comics icon Carl Barks, Flintheart debuted in 1956, in Uncle Scrooge #15, where he was depicted as Scrooge's cracked reflection. Like Scrooge, he keeps a money bin where he makes his home in the Limpopo Valley in South Africa. But while they're both greedy penny-pinchers, Scrooge is kind, charitable and upright. Glomgold, by contrast, is a ruthless miser who has no problem breaking the law or hurting others in pursuit of his goals. Barks only used the character three times, and in final appearance in 1966, Glomgold attempted to murder Scrooge and his family.

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Used sporadically after Barks' retirement, and not really made a major villain until the 1987 debut of Barks' artistic heir, Don Rosa, Glomgold probably would've remained obscure if not for the original DuckTales. There, he was Scrooge's arch-rival, and changes were made to underscore that.

Instead of a South African accent, Glomgold's voice actor Hal Smith gave him, if not a distinct Scottish accent, something closer to Scrooge's own. Further, Glomgold was no longer South African, but instead a native Duckburgian. Although there paths never really previously crossed, on the animated series Glomgold was also shown employing the Beagle Boys.

Of all the major changes the 2017 DuckTales reboot made to the original, Glomgold is probably the most significant. Now shorter and basically a source of comic relief (and voiced with great bluster by Keith Ferguson), Glomgold was the new show's first antagonist, and has made no short work of trying to destroy Scrooge, even at the cost of his own life.

A blundering fool rather than a cackling schemer, Glomgold was dragged into the water by his shadow during the events of DuckTales' Season 1 finale. Absent at the start of the second season, his company replaced him as CEO with the vastly more competent Zan Owlson (Natasha Rothwell). But Louie (Bobby Moynihan) and Webby (Kate Micucci) eventually found Glomgold, without his typical Scottish clothing and with a South African accent, working as a fisherman under the name of Duke Baloney.

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Eventually hit on the head while attempting to rescue the kids during a storm, Glomgold recalled his memory and his past: His real name actually was Duke Baloney. As a boy in South Africa, he aspired to become the richest duck in the world while laboring as a shoeshine boy. Having a younger Scrooge as a client one day, he relayed this dream. Seeing something of himself in the young duck, Scrooge did what had been done to him and paid Baloney with an American dime in the hopes of imparting the same lesson about self-reliance he'd been taught in the same instance.

Instead, the boy felt cheated and insulted; Scrooge, after trying to explain, left in a huff. Unbeknown to Scrooge, Duke had stolen his money clip. Using his newfound fortune, he created the "Flintheart Glomgold" persona and eventually moved to Duckburg to best Scrooge at his own game.

Since that revelation, Glomgold has been his old bumbling self. But no matter what direction the show goes in, fans can be rest assured he'll always be scheming and failing somewhere in Duckburg.

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