The third in Fantagraphics reprint series, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers: The Count Roquefort Case and Other Stories: The Disney Afternoon Adventures contains several stories based on the Disney TV shows that made up the Disney Afternoon.
The title story is a Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers adventure, “The Count Roquefort Case.” In it, cheese-obsessed mouse tough guy Monterey Jack runs into his Aunt Marie, who’s been searching for him. His uncle Bastian is missing! The uncle has long been obsessed with finding Count Roquefort’s lost familial treasure. Roquefort, Bastian (and Monty’s) distant ancestor, was the last of an order of knights who came back from the battles with a treasure that apparently had the power of quelling any of his enemies. Perennial Rescue Rangers villain Fat Cat is after that treasure and has kidnapped Bastian to get to it.
It’s one of 11 stories contained in this collection, which like the previous two volumes carries stories from the whole line-up of the Disney Afternoon. Besides Rescue Rangers, there’s Talespin, Gummi Bears, Goof Troop, Bonkers, Ducktales, and my favorite Darkwing Duck. Some are shorts or even just quick gags. Others are full length comic stories, ranging from 16 to over 40 pages.
I went over the background for the Disney Afternoon and the magazine it spawned in my earlier review for the Talespin-themed collection. One thing I did not mention is that each of these collections has included some stories that were originally published in Europe. I do not know if this is their first publication in English, but they’re a welcome addition to the other stories, most of which were from the Disney Adventures magazine. In this collection, both the title story and the Ducktales story “The Curse of Flabbergé” were originally French. They have a different flavor than the American stories. “Roquefort” doesn’t say it takes place outside of the Rangers usual haunt of an unnamed American city. However, the action starts at a “quaint, French style manor just outside of town” and every setting looks a lot more European than a standard Rangers story. There’s also a long historical interlude with Crusade-style battles between mice armies. “The Curse of Flabbergé” moves all over the place, starting in the Shamazon Forest, and moving to Paris with interludes at an opera house and in the enormous sewers under the city. All of the stories are basically adventure stories, but these two European outings have a welcome sense of cosmopolitan scope to them.
The two Darkwing Duck comics include a brief essay by their writer, Doug Gray. They feature a new-to-the-comic villain for Darkwing to face: the intelligence enhanced housecat, Fluffy. Gray explains why he chose to go outside of Darkwing’s rogue gallery and how he came about with the new villain.
The previous Disney Adventures collections have included good stories for kids in a deluxe hardcover format, and this Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers cover volume is no different. The stories are uniformly rather good with the Talespin story “Contractual Desperation” and the aforementioned Ducktales story being my picks for the best in this volume.