Disney LongBox Reviews: Disney Giant Halloween Hex #1

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IDW Publishing have released a special bumper Halloween comic book called Giant Halloween Hex.

THE GREAT ROCK OF POWER PLUS

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN TOPOLINO #2043 (1995)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: ITALY

FIRST TIME PUBLISHED IN NORTH AMERICA 

 

In this giant story featuring one of Disney’s spookiest witches, Magica DeSpell is once again after Scrooge’s famed Number One Dime. She has summoned a spell book that could help her locate a legendary stone called the Pantarba Stone to attract the dime to her so she can melt it to conquer the financial world.

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Magica sends Ratface, her raven sidekick (In the DuckTales continuity, Magica’s “raven” was Poe, Magica’s brother transformed by an irreversible spell; the comics, like this one, have always  featured Magica owning a genuine raven familiar named Ratface instead) to retrieve a book used to summon the all powerful stone. Magica, with the Alamanac of the Three Secrets in her diabolical hands can finally retrieve it from within the depths of Naples. What could possibly go wrong ?

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While Magica celebrates, causing a mess when her books fall over a drawer, Ratface finds a picture of her family as Magica is mortified at the sight of it as it reminds her of some not so fond memories  as she notices the date on the calendar.

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It’s the inevitable family reunion as several members of her family barge inside Magica’s lair. This includes her grandmother, her niece and her old school sweetheart. Magica is digusted by their presence since it could signal the end of her plans. On top of getting Scrooge’s dime, she now has to endure comedic relief during her journey to Naples. How will she cope with all of this spooky hi-jinks ? Read the rest of the story with your own copy now available in stores. I’m not going to spoil it after all.

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FINAL THOUGHTS: 

Francessco Artibani does it again, after this year’s earlier Scrooge’s Last Adventure, it’s nice to see one of his earlier stories being published stateside. His work alongside fellow writer Lello Arena shows off a side of Magica’s life we had never seen before. This adventure did not disappoint.

As a Magica fan since watching her animated appearances in Duck Tales as a wee lad, I always wanted to know more of Magica’s backstory or if she had additional family members that was in the wizarding business. After seeing the antics of her family, I wish to see more of them in particular her little niece. She has that Wendy the Good Little Witch vibe going with a little more spice.

Giorgio Cavazzano’s artwork once again shows why he is amongst the most respected modern Disney artists in the comics industry. His detail backgrounds and shading adds an extra dimension to the artwork. Plus his work on Struffolino the Gnome marks some of his best squash and stretch artwork amongst his many stories.

PERILOUS PORTRAIT 

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN DONALD DUCK #27 (2015)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: NETHERLANDS

FIRST TIME PUBLISHED IN NORTH AMERICA

In this short story, Scrooge has bought himself a new painting but notices something odd when he sees it with a closer mindset and throws it out, turns out it was Magica all this time with some teleportation magic and miscalculated her pose when returning in the painting. He throws it out the window in disgust of his lack of taste for modern art.

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FINAL THOUGHTS:

This was a nice little story that shows Scrooge’s distaste for art rather indulging in the pleasure of money. A nice filler between two bigger stories.

HALLOWEEN HAUNTING

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES #291 (1964)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA 

In this unique tale, we see Witch Hazel ( The Disney version from 1952’s Trick or Treat, not the more well known green skinned mistress of evil from a certain studio with a long eared rabbit and black duck) receiving news that her little nephew Witchis Witch is coming over for a visit ( It’s Disney, expect lots of characters to have nephews and nieces).

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Her broom runs away scared as Hazel tells him he won’t be here for another seven days until the little brat breaks through the door with a new fangled broom that lets him travel much faster than Hazel could. She comforts him when he scares himself later that night by the very monsters he drew on the wall.

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But this was just a ruse to sneak out of bed to cause mischief in the nearby town.The broom gets wind of this and alerts Hazel. It is now up to her to teach her nephew a lesson about scaring folks on Halloween.

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FINAL THOUGHTS: 

It’s nice to see a story featuring some of the lesser known Disney characters, for this instance this one little witch that  inspired famed director Chuck Jones to create his version of the character for Warner Bros. Both witches were voiced by legendary voice actress June Foray. ( Except the first WB short where she was voiced by Flintstones actress Bea Benedet).

In this story, she has a nephew character like so many other Disney characters but he oddly reminds me of Ward Kimball’s work on Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in terms of facial construction. This was a good story to publish in a Halloween annual. I would like to see more of Witch Hazel’s adventures later on in the future. Maybe even some Madam Mim comics. I did hear some interesting ones were lurking about from the 1960s.

CONCLUSION:

Disney’s Halloween Giant Hex #1 is the perfect all-ages treat to give to your little ones this Halloween. The book stars some of Disney’s most well known witches in some hair rising, ghoulishly delightful stories full of colourful art and snappy writing from throughout the years.

CREDITS: 

WRITERS: FRANCESSCO ARTIBANI AND LELLO ARENA ( STORY 1) CARLO GENTINA ( STORY 2) WRITER UNKNOWN  ( STORY 3)

ARTISTS: GIORGIO CAVAZZANO ( STORY 1)CARLO GENTINA ( STORY 2) TONY STROBL ( STORY 3)

EDITOR: SARAH GAYDOS

ARCHIVAL EDITOR: DAVID GERSTEIN

PUBLISHER: IDW PUBLISHING

 

 

 

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