"The Eternal Knot"
I can't--and indeed I think it's fair to say that I won't--stop.
Hey, as long as IDW keeps printing vintage Italian stories, no one gets hurt. That's the long and short of it. The obscurer the better. Today the Super Barosso Bros are back in a li'l 1962 jaunt. Just our thing. It's in the inducks top 1000, so it's doing okay, but several reviewers accuse it of not making sense. But...it's pretty coherent, really, unless a LOT was changed in translation to salvage it. Maybe a few things around the margins are a bit questionable, and yeah, it's a BIT choppy in a wholly typical way, but nothing serious. Also, it's pretty rich for the country awash in Scarpa to accuse other people's stories of not making sense. WELL ANYWAY.
We start in flashback to Scrooge's prospector days. As you can see, he has gotten himself into a veritable tizzy. It's a good thing one of the examples he gives is this "Aunt Molly" character; otherwise, this would come across as a proto-MRA rant. Please do not try to imagine how he could have an extra aunt in the standard Barks/Rosa genealogy. You will just drive yourself to an early grave.
Here's the deal. It seems somehow appropriate that the conclusion of this, if they all stick to their guns, is nobody getting any money ever. Somebody else can spin out a metaphor from that.
Back in the present day, I like that coloring. The red flames, blue sky, yellow moon, black silhouettes--solid. That is all.
...the inevitable occurs. As several people note on inducks, it seems a bit odd that an Italian story of this vintage doesn't feature Brigitta in some capacity in a plot like this. Presumably, she wasn't quite established enough at the time.
The sums of money that you see in a lot of these Italian stories always seem kind of low. I mean, comparatively speaking. Sure, five hundred million is a lot of money, but for Scrooge, it would be essentially pocket change. Add or subtract it from his fortune; it barely makes a dent either way. But, of course, he's still fixated on it--which may provide us some insight on why you always see him obsess about tiny amounts of money, not being willing to spend a nickel on this or that, whatever. Psychologically, saving a dollar and saving a million dollars is basically the same thing for him.
A part of me wants to object that this objection to breaking the engagement is gibberish, but the more sensible part of me knows that there is little point in making such an objection about a story of this sort. It is what it is. It gets the job done. He CAN'T break off the engagement, and that is that! He just can't! Go away!
ARGH I AM GOING TO KILL MYSELF. But, uh, in a GOOD way! It must be said, though, if we were going to take this story even a little bit seriously, this would make Scrooge into quite the sociopath. You just learn that your friend (or guy you were friendly with, anyway) died horribly, and your first instinct is to make a dopey pun? Man, you might as well be James Bond.
It is rather interesting that characters are apparently allowed to be killed off in stories like this, albeit offstage.
...maybe this is what people are complaining about when they say the story makes no sense? Because no matter how many times I read this, I cannot make head or tails of what it's supposed to be saying. Is Bafflewitz figuratively in a pit, because he died and is now in Hell? Or is he literally living his life in the bottom of a hole that he can't escape from, and therefore (highly dubiously) disqualified? Neither of these seem to make a whole lot of sense, but I'm not sure what the other options are. Also, it's sure hard to parse how Scrooge's facial expressions and body language fit in here.
OH BOY MORE ABSTRACT ART HATRED! But of course, this is only drawn by Scarpa, so the question is, did the Barossos share his opinions, or is this something inserted by David on the basis that it fits in with the general milieu?
Right, so anyway, when Donald and the kids prove unable to tempt the last remaining member of the pact down the mountain, Scrooge sends Gladstone, which is kind of an interesting and unexpected thing to do, but kind of pointless in practice. Also, it must be noted that "luck" seems to have nothing to do with Gladstone's success--Donald could just as easily have brandished that
porn fashion magazine
himself. Sure, you could play it as "oh,
what a lucky break, I just happened to have it
with me!" but the story ne'er goes there.
So what happens is...this. You kind of assume at first that the absence of this Dukehart woman is setting us up for some kind of big reveal, but...no. We just never see her. Chekhov's gun remains unused. It's all a bit unsatisfactory, I must admit.
People who think a lot about duck/dogface miscegenation (that includes all of us, I assume) ought to be fans of this, though. We can't tell from her name which one Dukehart is meant to be, but she's either marrying or was going to marry someone who was whichever one she's not! Yay!
Good plan, good plan!
Ha ha! Screw you, Scrooge! I believe I am on the record as always appreciating it when Don gets one over on his uncle.
But as for this ending...okay, it's true that you won the contest and therefore get the money, and I suppose it's also true that you can stick relevant documents in your scrapbooks. Bully for you. But...I mean, the clear implication here is that, even though it seemed like you were pwned by Donald in the panels above, you're actually getting something over on everyone else that they don't know about! Ha! Cue conspiratorial winking! But...you're not, are you? This is wholly unresponsive to the above, and not in any way any kind of twist. Or maybe it's not meant to be related, in spite of everything? Either way, not great storytelling!
OH WELL WHATEVER. I'm not going to try to claim that this story is some sort of lost classic, but it's fun for what it is, at least if you fetishize this old Italian stuff the way I do. More, please!