More Duck Comics! – Mysterious Stone Ray and Hall of the Mermaid Queen

Okay, I know I should really be reading pulps and reviewing those, and I KNOW I need to review Matt Spencer’s The Trail of the Beast [which is an absolutely fantastic book], but I have been so busy going through the new Wild Stars manuscript and the manuscript for the Misha Burnett book we will be officially announcing soon, comics are all I have time to read!

Look, I’ve talked about what a weak cover game early silver age Duck comics have. I mean look at this! Oh, look, Scrooge McDuck is ice skating!

Uncle Scrooge #8 - The Mysterious Stone Ray (Issue)

You would never guess that inside was a nutso south seas scifi adventure!

Uncle Scrooge is feeling sick and doesn’t know why. His doctor is shocked that he has gold dust clogging his pores… [‘do you roll around in money or something?!’] [Brick #1]

He’s instructed to take some time, have a vacation, some nice ocean air will help unclog his pores. Not long after he gets this advice, his nephews find a message in a bottle from someone on a deserted island pleading to be rescued.

Rather than do something responsible, like call the navy, Scrooge figures there might be treasure on the island, so he and Donald and the boys set out themselves.It’ll be fine, because no one has seen hide nor hair of the beagle boys for months, so his money is safe in Duckberg [Brick #2]. Being a cheapskate, Scrooge only brings along cabbage to eat [Brick #3].

They get to the island, and are shocked to find lots of things petrified. The castaway unsuccessfully tries to steal the boat but is captured by the boys–turns out he’s the lone surviving Beagle boy! The others have been turned to stone by a petrifying ray! [Brick 2 lands] Anyone hit by the ray is turned to stone… anyone but Uncle Scrooge for some reason! Scrooge takes advantage of his resistance to rescue Donald and the boys when they’re hit and gets to the bottom of the mystery of the island.

A mad scientist has been using a petrification ray to protect his research.

His research? How to grow cabbages that don’t stink but still taste like cabbage.

‘But you have a petrification ray?! You could get rich with that!’ ‘Yeah, but I like cabbages…’

Scrooge befriends the mad scientist with his supply of cabbages [Brick 3 lands], and it’s revealed that he was unaffected by the ray because of the gold dust clogging his pores [Brick 1 lands].

Hall of the Mermaid Queen has a bit stronger cover game.

Image

Scrooge’s money bin develops a sink-hole, and a portion of his fortune washes down into limestone caverns and eventually to the sea bottom. At first, Scrooge is like “This is fine, my money is safe down there, no one can get it.”

He slowly gears up a recovery operation only to find out that merfolk have been taking his coins and using them for clothing. Needless to say, shit really hits the fan when he tries to use his coin vacuum on the mermaid queen.

The mermaid queen is kind of a psycho, but nowhere nearly as crazy as Daisy [who has hair in this, which looks really weird].

Image

The incredibly vain mermaid queen is finally mollified by some beauty products and tips that will ‘make her look as lovely as Daisy’; and Scrooge is more than happy to supply the beauty products at a tidy profit.

Great stuff!

Please be sure to check out the Summer issue, out in just a couple of weeks!

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