One of Carl Barks' most memorable primary characters from his Duck universe was certainly the bewitching sorceress Magica de Spell. Although her character was quite short-lived (after just 5 years and 9 stories she completely vanished from Barks' stories!), she had a tremendous impact and everybody who has seen her is not likely to ever forget her! In fact, she is still around in American comic books and TV-series, and she has grown to be a cult figure in Italy! But her role in Barks' stories was fairly limited; except for two of the stories her existence circled around her manic fascination of Scrooge's Number One Dime. She explained it in one of the stories: I've got to have that dime! I've figured out a new formula for making its powers turn me into a rich billionairess!
This sole purpose of trying to steal Scrooge's first dime and melt it down to a powerful amulet was, no doubt, a major contributing reason for Barks to stop making stories with her, because one can only do so much with such a limited main plot. All the Magica stories are presented below in chronological order.

 

 

 

   

U$36 The Midas Touch - 1961

Synopsis:
Magica succeeds in getting Scrooge's first dime and now she hurries home to melt it down into an amulet. But Scrooge is after her...

Comments:
In this first story Magica calmly walks up to Scrooge's office and introduces herself as Magica de Spell, Sorceress. She then adds that she would like to buy one of Scrooge's dimes for a dollar!!! The old miser chuckles, the deal is made, and Magica wanders off. Too late, Scrooge realizes that he has, coincidentally, given her his special dime. The chase is on to get it back and the search for Magica goes on to end right at the boiling crater of Italian Mount Vesuvius, where she also has her home.

Powers, Abilities, Characteristics:
Feminine persuasion - Blinding bombs - Disguises - Immobilizing bombs - Garlic and onions (traditional witchcraft remedies) - Ruthless kidnapping - Sign next to her house reading: Spells cast, Hexes hexed, Evil eyes refueled, Ogres for rent - Supernatural sensing and hearing - Bad temper...

 

   

WDCS258 Ten-cent Valentine - 1962

Synopsis:
Again, Magica tries to steal Scrooge's special dime so he gives his Number One Dime to Donald. When she realizes a switch has been made she goes after Donald...

Comments:
Again, Magica tries to pull an inside job in Scrooge's office, when she acts as a secretary in order to get hold of the desirable dime. The chase is on for Donald who is knocked unconscious, but the dime is not among his belongings. The story ends in Donald's kitchen, where Magica, seemingly, witnesses the destruction of the coin in a meat grinder. Furiously, she wanders off, whereupon the dime miraculously materializes from a special cake made for the desolated Scrooge. The nephews have saved the day using a clever conjurer's trick.

Powers, Abilities, Characteristics:
Alluring Valentine's card - Disguises - Spying gadget - Knock down ability - Blinding bombs - Immobilizing perfume - Bad temper...

 

   

WDCS265 Raven Mad - 1962

Synopsis:
Scrooge is exhibiting his Number One Dime in the park. A trained raven helps Magica get it...

Comments:
The dime is displayed at a bazaar in an open glass case, and Scrooge hopes to earn a nickel from anyone who wants to admire it. Magica arrives and offers a whole dollar just to see it, but Scrooge refuses. A raven, which the nephews have played with, is hypnotized to steal the coin from the exhibition, but Donald manages to de-hypnotize the bird, and Magica faces defeat once more.

Powers, Abilities, Characteristics:
Fishpole trick - Blinding bombs - Hypnosis - Malicious pleasure - Bad temper...

 

   

U$38 The Unsafe Safe - 1962

Synopsis:
Scrooge's technicians have invented unbreakable glass but what can it be used for? Well, the Money Bin could be encased in it...

Comments:
Magica enters the story at a fairly late point of time (the first half is used to demonstrate the Beagle Boys' inability to open the reinforced Bin), but when she does it is with a vengeance! She has invented a stun ray powered by batteries, and she quickly tracks Scrooge down - he has taken a vacation around the world - and stuns him into revealing the secret access code for his safe where his most precious belonging, the Number One Dime, sits. Unfortunately for her, she runs out of stun power so that Scrooge can reclaim his possession.

Powers, Abilities, Characteristics:
Stun ray - Sign next to her house reading: Spells cast, Hexes hexed, Evil eyes refueled, Black cats for rent - Musical noise - Persuasion ray - Deduction abilities - Transportation whiz - Bad temper...

 

   

U$40 Oddball Odyssey - 1963

Synopsis:
Magica lures Scrooge to her hide-out in order to steal the Number One Dime but luckily Donald and the nephews are standing by...

Comments:
Scrooge and the Ducks arrive at the Greek mythological enchantress Circe's island, where Magica in disguise tries to barter the dime for worthless junk. When she is not succeeding she happens to find Circe's ancient wand that can transform living beings into anything she likes. With neither hesitation nor conscience Magica transforms Scrooge into a mule, the nephews into pigs, and Donald into a goat and, next, a turtle in order to force Scrooge to part with his special dime.

Powers, Abilities, Characteristics:
Can (al)lure persons using perfumed letters - Disguise - Immobilizing bombs - Circe's wand - Reckless transformation of the Ducks and refusal to reverse the actions - Bad temper...

 

   

U$43 For Old Dime's Sake - 1963

Synopsis:
Magica uses the forces of nature to open Scrooge's Money Bin where the first dime is stored...

Comments:
This time Magica really means business! Using Circe's powerful wand she tries to bring Scrooge to his knees, but he is able to withstand her dastardly attacks. Her pitch black and ruthless nature is presented in this story as well as her preferences in ominous-looking pets; not surprisingly her sorcery shop is filled with a black raven, a black cat, and several scary bats.

Powers, Abilities, Characteristics:
Magical recipes for cooking up ghastly gales from Zeus' temple - Arsenal of heinous herbs from Circe's island - Summons nature's most destructive forces using Circe's wand; lightning, cyclones, comets, and meteors - Scares the leaves off a potted plant by hissing at it - Disguises by clothes and by transformations - Bad temper...

 

   

U$45 Isle of the Golden Geese - 1963

Synopsis:
Scrooge finds a golden goose egg in a regular egg carton. He decides to find the supplier of such interesting eggs...

Comments:
For once, Magica is not at all interested in Scrooge's special dime, although she has moved from Mount Vesuvius to live in a house in Duckburg in order to spy on Scrooge. The spying is done by her raven, Ratface, who finds out that Scrooge is after golden eggs and golden feathers. She follows him along.

Powers, Abilities, Characteristics:
Concocts a new potion - Stores ominous medicaments in her Duckburg home - Ratface is sent out to spy on Scrooge - Potion Number 6 gives her power over the creatures of the deep - Potion Number 7 gives her power over the creatures of the air - Throws lightning bolts at her helpers, the Beagle Boys - Bad temper...

 

   

U$48 The Many Faces of Magica de Spell - 1964

Synopsis:
Magica discovers a brew which changes people's faces. Will Scrooge give up his Number One Dime for the antidote?

Comments:
This time the dime is in so much peril, because of Magica's dastardly concoction, that Scrooge decides to hide on a faraway nameless island inside a complicated system of caves deep in a hidden valley, where only the faceless people live. But through her's and Ratface's world-ranging bird telegraph, she soon tracks Scrooge down.

Powers, Abilities, Characteristics:
In her house at Mount Vesuvius she has numerous jars and pots containing Spells, Hoo-doos, Seven-year plagues, Dream dust, Gloom drops, D.D. Tea, and Doom dust - Makes a potion (from a formula found in Circe's cave) that changes the total appearance of people's faces - Sign next to her house reading: Spells cast, Ogres summoned, Potions brewed - Cons two of Scrooge's detectives into thinking that Ratface is Magica - Disguise - Uses Ratface, who is a talking bird which appears to be highly intelligent, because it is capable of speaking and making decisions, to summon all birds in the world - Immobilizing bombs - Tries to brew a concoction that reverses the effects of her first potion - Bad temper...

 

   

U$50 Rug Riders in the Sky - 1964

Synopsis:
Scrooge buys a flying carpet at a bazaar in Bagdad but only Magica knows how to use it!

Comments:
This is the second story, where Magica is not after Scrooge's dime. Now she has her eyes set on a flying carpet, which - according to some ancient scrolls - can lead the way to fabulous riches in Aladdin's cave! But when she finally gets there Scrooge and the Ducks are already emptying the cave. Magica wanders off never to be seen again...

Powers, Abilities, Characteristics:
Able to decipher Persian from ancient scrolls - Too stingy to just buy the carpet - Unable to control and steer the flying carpet once she has stolen it - Transforms into two different giant birds - Immobilizing bombs - VERY bad temper...

 

 


http://www.cbarks.dk/THEMAGICASTORIES.htm   Date 2008-10-10