Wizards of Mickey: The Dark Prophecy, review of the Disney fantasy

Wizards of Mickey: The Dark Prophecy, review of the Disney fantasy
Within the vast production of Disney cartoons, in addition to traditional stories, parodies have never been lacking, or narrative arcs that have allowed themselves the luxury of taking well-known themes (often also drawing on famous works) and adapting them to the famous characters of Uncle Walt . Over the decades, different narrative strands have been born within the world of Mickey and Donald, which have led to the birth of new necklaces that go in unexpected directions, such as L'Oscura Prophecy, a new volume of Wizards of Mickey, a Disney saga in fantasy key inaugurated in 2006 by the Italian Stefano d'Ambrosio.

In this alternative universe, magic is a constant. In ancient times the diamagic, crystals with immense power that allow you to channel magic, appeared in this era when the world was inhabited by titanic creatures, which suddenly disappeared, leaving these lands forever to explore other planets . After their disappearance, the first dragons made their appearance, discovering the diamagics and their power, beginning what is remembered as the First Age of Magic.

The Dark Prophecy, the new chapter of Wizards of Mickey

The power of the diamagic drove the dragons to fight each other, eager for more and more power and blinded by the tempting promises that magic promised them. But suddenly, another race also discovered how to use the power of diamagics: humans, whom dragons scornfully called the scaleless. This discovery led to the beginning of the Second Age of Magic.

The first volume of a new cycle, L’Oscura Profezia was written by an author who has a certain familiarity with fantasy: Luca Barbieri. Name known to the readers of Dragonero, the fantasy series by Sergio Bonelli Editore, of which he is the curator and writer of novels that personalize the stylistic features of the genre, borrowing them with other themes, as done with Il Re dei Mice or Five Fingers. Dealing with a setting like Wizards of Mickey, Barbieri had to find a balance between the traditional vision of Disney characters and their fantasy reinterpretations, freeing himself from the danger of mere parody.

Find this meeting point between the different souls of this story was a work of completion, in which each element had to be both familiar and yet surprising. Barbieri manages to grasp the nuances of the fantasy of excellence, choosing a story in which the hero is forced to face a reversal of the role, in which the savior becomes the potential threat, giving, as a retaliation, the role of the right villain , of one who instead follows the laws.

An emotional contrast that finds an even deeper relevance precisely because of the familiarity with the Disney characters. If Mickey Mouse becomes the threat that must be contained, in The Dark Prophecy it is up to Gambadilegno to become the one who enforces the law, under the direct order of the highest authorities of this magical land. The concept, with the hero forced to become the enemy, may not be original, having already appeared in other works (fantasy and otherwise), but Barbieri's narrative manages to circumvent this feeling of deja vù by ​​playing wisely with the characteristics inviolables of the protagonists.

Mickey Mouse maintains his morality even if forced to submit and accept a premature sentence, while characters like Donald Duck, after having reiterated the strong points of the peculiar relationship with Scrooge, show their inevitable impetuousness good-natured carelessness. Curiously, the traditionally less intelligent character of the gang, Pippo, is presented to us as the one who motivates Mickey's condition, and the usually fearful Donald becomes the enterprising one who tries to save his friend. It is not a question of forcing or a rewriting of the essence of the characters, because Barbieri manages to find in these apparent novelties the reason for being the protagonists, offering them the opportunity to embark on an adventure that, while wanting to present them under a different light, instead enhances the essential features. In this sense, the intuition of giving Donald a certain difficulty with the management of spells is perfect, a choice that reconfirms his tendency to be a bungler, but also an excellent narrative tool to give life to situations that give rhythm and consistency to a funny plot. and from another profile.

A great fantasy story

Going beyond the perception of a 'simple Disney story', in L'Oscura Profezia Barbieri has included narrative elements that make this story a great fantasy. First of all, the construction of a never banal narrative rhythm, capable of giving an emotional crescendo that culminates with a stupendous cliffhanger, whose only defect is to leave us with bated breath until next February, when the second part of this should come out. Wizards of Mickey story arc. Barbieri must be acknowledged for having put his mastery of the dynamics of fantasy fiction to good use, adapting it to the context of Wizards of Mickey, with a plot that if younger readers will snatch more than a smile, adults will not miss it. to convey the satisfaction of a modern plot aware of the new narrative dynamics of other media that have welcomed fantasy as a first level genre, not least television productions such as Games of Throne or The Witcher.

To give support to Barbieri for the realization of L'Oscura Profezia we have the artistic couple made up of the Pastrovicchio brothers, Lorenzo (drawings) and Alessandro (chine). Being a Disney production, Wizards of Mickey cannot take on a tone too different from the Disney tradition, a detail that is respected in The Dark Prophecy, but which does not prevent the artistic team from creating detailed tables that fully convey the fantasy atmosphere of the setting. In particular, the Great Forges of Monte di Fuoco are made with an incredible wealth of details and an impeccable color management, created by Edizioni BD.

The edition of L'Oscura Profezia created by Panini Comics is more which is suitable to enhance the excellent work of the artistic team. The generous dimensions are perfect for allowing us to appreciate the work of the Pastrovicchio brothers, while the package, rigid and thin, is embellished by the wonderful cover by Lorenzo Pastrovicchio, colored by Mario Perrotta.

The next chapter of this saga, The Weight of Truth, will be released on February 4, 2021.

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