Mighty Mouse #1
Marvel (October, 1990)“The Dark Might Returns” WRITER: Michael Gallagher PENCILER: Ernie Colón INKER: Marie Severin COLORIST: Brad Vancata LETTERER: Rick Parker ASSISTANT EDITOR: Evan Skolnick EDITOR: Fabian Nicieza
Sometime after the events of the Ralph Bakshi produced Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures (for CBS), the Hand kidnapped Scrappy and Mighty Mouse failed to stop him. Failing so badly, the mouse of tomorrow went into retirement and Mouseville went downhill. After losing her factory Pearl Pureheart started a TV station in the hopes of rallying the citizen to fix their city in Mighty Mouse’s absence, bringing along her best worker from the factory, Mike Mouse (secretly Mighty Mouse) on as co-anchor. However, an old foe of our heroes, Oil Can Harry, decides to return, forcing Mighty Mouse to come back to action to rescue Pearl. In the end, Harry and his “Oilsmobile” are sunk into the sea (this will be important in a later issue) and Mighty Mouse decides to stay un-retired.
What they got right: While I wasn’t a fan of Bakshi’s take on Mighty Mouse it does make sense to use that continuity. The old Terrytoons (where Bakshi got his start) shorts and the Filmation series didn’t maintain any real continuity and only had two recurring threats, Oil Can Harry (who happily makes a return to the franchise after years of absence) and Filmation’s sidekick for him, Swifty. The Bakshi series not only gave Mighty Mouse a secret identity as factory worker Mike Mouse but a larger rogues gallery for Gallagher (who mentions being a huge Mighty Mouse fan as a kid in the next issue) to play with. But he also adjusts what I didn’t like in Bakshi’s run. The character models are closer to the classic style, but Pearl is a 90s woman. The original “Supermouse” shorts were intended to be Superman parodies, later changed to Mighty Mouse over rights concerns. So now it’s closer to being a proper Superman parody, and I don’t mind the Batman nods either. (Mighty Mouse has a trophy room called the Ratcave which includes a pair of Scrappy’s overalls ala Jason Todd’s memorial.) And this was more fun for me to read than that show was to watch. (I’m just not a fan of Bakshi’s style in general.)
What they got wrong: But I could have done without the Mutabbys flunkies. I don’t know what’s “mutant” or “futuristic” (as Harry claims at one point) about them. They have this annoying rhyme bit they do where they rhyme each other’s short comments and it’s annoying. I would be happy to not see them again. Maybe bring back Swifty if Harry needs a flunky.
Recommendation: A good start to this series, which I recommend picking up, especially for Mighty Mouse fans.