You won't need a crystal ball to see that you will enjoy MICKEY MOUSE # 3 (Legacy Numbering # 312) from IDW!
In it, you’ll find "The Mysterious Crystal Ball", a three-part Mickey Mouse serial reprinted from WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES # 164-166 (1954), written by veteran comics scribe Carl Fallberg and drawn by classic Mickey artist Paul Murry.
Carl Fallberg and Paul Murry, who very likely never met face to face, collaborated on the Mickey Mouse serials (a staple of the back of each issue of WDC&S) from the 1950s into the 1970s!
Fallberg is known for a straightforward, no-nonsense mystery / adventure style that well suited the post-war and Silver Age Mickey Mouse, but may also be somewhat responsible for the oft-heard charge from fandom that Mickey "...had no personality".
Murry became known for the quintessential "Mickey Mouse Comic Book Look", over the 30-some-odd year period in which he toiled for both Western Publishing (Dell and Gold Key Comics) and the Disney Studio Program, which provided comic book material to foreign publishers.
I feel that "quintessential look" came a bit later than "The Mysterious Crystal Ball", and was more typical of the comics appearing in the later 1950s thru the early 1970s.
The earlier style seen in MICKEY MOUSE # 3 is generally deemed "livelier" by fans than what came later (and there's no denying that), but I feel Murry was still "getting his Mouse act together" at this time, as exemplified by characters' HEADS that seem way too large for their bodies...
...And a kinda scrunched-face look for Chief O'Hara.
Opinions tend to be divided on the team of Fallberg and Murry, but I see it this way...
They may not be as dynamic as more modern Mouse masters like Casty and Giorgio Cavazzano (now appearing in IDW's MICKEY MOUSE comics, like THIS ONE and THIS ONE)...
To our story in particular: Two carnival con-men, part of a larger group of criminals, convince Mickey that he can foresee future criminal activity.
To what end will this ruse take us?
|I like how Mickey has to STAND ON A CHAIR to see into the Crystal Ball!|
Notable is the guest appearance of a "super-detective" by the name of "Shamrock Bones".
This is NOT the Shamrock Bones character of previous and future Mickey stories, pictured below - and whose appearances can be tracked at THIS LINK...
|From WDC&S # 362 (1970), Art by Paul Murry.|
...But an uber-confident and uber-competent sleuth who actually steals the show from Mickey.
Finally, before moving on from "The Mysterious Crystal Ball", can there be a better contrast between "classic and modern styles" than the story itself and the new cover by the great Jonathan Gray?
The balance of the issue consists of two Mickey Mouse Sunday newspaper strips by Bill Walsh and Manuel Gonzalez (from 1953 and 1950), featuring "Ellsworth" the wise-guy mynah bird.
Unlike previous issues, these strips are not relegated to the back of the book, but are positioned BETWEEN the chapters of "The Mysterious Crystal Ball" to serve as breaks from the detective action! Nicely done!
But the good times don't stop there, folks...
"Reform and Void", a rare comic book publication of a Mickey Mouse daily comic strip continuity from 1994, brings Mickey's 1932-33 Floyd Gottfredson era villains, Professors Ecks and Doublex back to plague out hero - this time with misguided "good intentions"!
This story, drawn by Rick Hoover of Disney Comics' MICKEY MOUSE ADVENTURES (1990-91) fame...
...was originally thought to have been written by the great Floyd Norman, but research revealed the author to be the heretofore unknown Colette Bezio - who did a magnificent job with Mickey and the Professors, under what was doubtless a far more restrictive situation -- in both format and content -- than anything afforded Floyd Gottfredson in the 1930s.
|Gottfredson vs. Bezio and Hoover. Interesting contrast.|
Finally, an innovative layout supports a two-page 1938 British Goofy gag, by creator Wilfred Haughton. Click on these to enlarge and read.
Nice touch to add the Gold Key "The End" logo!
I like this gag a lot - and have since I first saw it as a Bugs Bunny gag, reprinted from a Dell Comic in GOLD KEY'S BUGS BUNNY # 104 (Cover Date: March, 1966)! Only applied to a snowshovel, rather than a lawn mower.
|Click to enlarge.|
So, make sure you "see IDW's MICKEY MOUSE # 3 (Legacy Numbering # 312) in YOUR future"!
Make sure YOU "get it" too!
As always, once you’ve read the issue, please come back and join the discussion in our Comments Section!
Just remember, I do not speak for IDW, or anyone in its employ. I speak strictly for myself as both a long-time fan and as a dialogue creator – and those opinions are strictly my own.
|Though NONE of those opinions have anything to do with Mickey being a criminal!|
Hopefully, those pesky professors won't show up!