The second collection of the Carl Barks' comic stories that inspired DuckTales episodes was recently released, and as both an interesting examination into adaptations and as a quick primer on classic Carl Barks' stories, the second volume is just as successful as the first.
This second volume contains the six remaining Barks stories that were adapted into an episode of the long-running DuckTales series. The book comes with a foreward by Chris Barat & Joe Torcivia that examines how each story was adapted into an episode, and their thoughts on how well the translation occured. It's quite interesting, from a comic theory standpoint.
The stories themselves, like most Barks Duck stories, are delightful short stories, showing a great deal of action and characterizations, working for a true all-ages audience.
The first story, about giant robots that are taken control of by the Beagle Boys, is a romping action story, but at the heart of it, Barks is making a comment about how the ineffectiveness of government trying to make improvements (with our tax money) that we do not necessarily want or need. In fact, in the end, even though Uncle Scrooge saves his money bin from the Beagle Boys and the robots, he still ends up having to pay for the broken robots. A bittersweet ending.
The second story, "The Golden Fleecing," has such a great name, doesn't it? This is Barks teaching us readers the story of the Golden Fleece, complete with all the minor characters from the story. It's grand fun, especially in the way that the danger never really seems to be all THAT dangerous, so it can be enjoyed more than feared.
"The Horeradish Story" is a classic Barks tale of Scrooge's indominatable spirit, buoyed by the same attitude from his nephews. It also includes a fabulous race against time.
"The Status Seekers" is Barks at his most direct, patently mocking the idea of "status," as Scrooge isn't invited to any parties, because he doesn't have status symbols, causing Scrooge to search for the greatest status symbol that exists. It is just so amusing watching the snobs deal with this bum character, just because he happens to have a status symbol. It's great watching Barks just openly mock High Society. And there's a fun globe-trotting adventure, to boot!!
"The Unsafe Safe" is a fun tale of over-reliance on modern inventions. It's a real hoot.
Finally, "Tralla La" is a classic examination of greed by Barks, as he tells his story with such class that it educates younger readers, while entertains the older ones, who see where Barks is going with the story, but are just as delighted to see it all play out.
Meanwhile, Barks' art on the collection is top-notch. This is a great collection to pick up.