Scrooge and Donald looking worried at what they're hearing in "Attaaaaaack" by Don Rosa

DRL: “Attaaaaaack!” (2000)

Capsule Summary: Filled with Don Rosa’s famous attention to detail and a laugh-a-minute plot that makes Scrooge a warrior defending his money bin from the onslaught of his enemies, “Attaaaaaack!” is a great short story filled with chuckles and action aplenty. Seriously, Scrooge calls in the army to knock down city blocks to defend his Bin. This is over-the-top greatness.

Attaaaaaack by Don Rosa, opening panel with Scrooge and a cannon

If you were worth as much money as Scrooge McDuck, you’d probably be a bit paranoid, too. He has to constantly wonder when the next time the Beagle Boys or Magica De Spell or someone else is going to attempt one of their usual assaults on his liquid riches. Or, perhaps, what happens when they all show up at the same time!

I guess the Depression made Scrooge lose total faith in the banking system, and that’s why he keeps all his money in a bin? Rosa set these stories in the 1950s, so it’s not like there were digital banks yet. Still, can you imagine Scrooge’s passbook? (I had one of those as a kid, but I’m guessing I’m the last or second to last generation to even know what those are.)

Right now, several Duck scholars with better memories than my own are grinding their teeth and pushing straight through the comments section to explain the Money Bin to me. Honestly, I welcome it. I’m sure I knew the reason once upon a time and have just forgotten it now.

(“Because it looks really friggin’ cool” is a perfectly acceptable answer, by the way.)

Scrooge pushes a Beagle Boy on a ladder away from the Money Bin with a broom

This story capitalizes on that aspect of Scrooge’s personality, starting out with him racing back and forth to deny his enemies any ill-gotten fortune. He comes prepared with every tool you could think of. He has brooms to push ladders away from his high windows and a cannon to attack from afar. He has all sorts of alarms, alerts, and booby traps to keep the bad people — including solicitors and tax agents — away.

Gyro's early warning device records all the sounds

In this story, though, another of Gyro Gearloose’s inventions goes a step too far in its job of listening for attacks on the Money Bin. Scrooge’s paranoia seems to be coming true, and that causes him to throw everything but the kitchen sink at his enemies. He’s a wartime general who’s not afraid of blowing things up to keep unseen enemies away. But — the enemy might not be exactly who he thinks it is.

It’s a lot of fun. Every panel ramps up the action and the insanity. You will believe that Scrooge can blow up half his money bin to protect the important part. You will see him fight fire with fire. You’ll see the fierce and feisty Scrooge McDuck that Rosa handles so well, right alongside the one who looks frantic and desperate in defense of his wealth.

Scrooge attacks with a stick of dynamite while furiously running downhill.

You get to see things blow up but good in the story, including the Money Bin. This kind of escalation reminds me of the Star Trek movies, where it became a cliche in every film to blow up the Enterprise. They had gone so far in all the previous stories that the only way to ramp up the threat would be to entirely destroy the ship. There’s a bit of that here, though Rosa never succumbed to the temptation to blow up the Money Bin in every story to heighten the drama.

A circle of tanks defend the Money Bin, blowing everything up around it

There’s a story that Rosa did just two stories after this one called “The Beagle Boys vs the Money Bin.” He doesn’t need to blow up the bin there, though he does find another way to put a big moment into the story that I’ll talk about in that review. (It’s not written yet. When it is, I’ll link it here!)

I also like the interaction between Scrooge and Donald on the first page. Scrooge is darting back and forth defending the Money Bin while Donald is calmly pouring himself a coffee. The only thing that spurs Donald into action is a promise from Scrooge of a big fat bonus to be paid to the person who could help invent an early warning system. Donald immediately subcontracts Gyro Gearloose to do the job. Gyro does a great job, but Donald stays in character; he ignores all of Gyro’s warnings and pushes things too far.

Since Rosa is throwing everything in but the kitchen sink for this story, we get cameos from Rosa’s most-used baddies here. The Beagle Boys are front and center. Magica De Spell shows up in a cameo. And Rosa’s Black Knight (from a trilogy of stories I’m looking forward to tackling soon for this series) gets a page or so to himself with some hilarious results.

This story is from later in Rosa’s career, being collected in volume 9 of the Don Rosa Library. Skipping around across the years, I can see the extra bit of confidence in his lines and the detail he’s adding in here. It’s the fun of skipping around. You can see the big changes happening, rather than the gradual improvements that happen naturally.

But the Rosa sense of humor persists. It’s something I need to talk more about in a future review. He has a very visual and very dry sense of humor. He can milk a laugh out of a reaction shot better than most comic book artists. His timing is impeccable.

More on that in the future…

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