It seems that Paperinik, Donald Duck’s nocturnal alter ego, was born fifty years ago from the pressing request of the readers of baby mouse, tired of seeing the duck succumb to all the harassment and abuse. The light came on when Elisa Penna, editor-in-chief of Mickey Mouse, saw Dorellik on television, the character of Johnny Dorelli, a parody of Diabolik, which was brought to the cinema in 1967 by Castellano and Pipolo directed by Steno. Others narrate that the “diabolical avenger” was simply born, in the mind of the screenwriter Guido Martina, directly from the success of Diabolik, the legendary comic strip by Angela Giussani.
Landing at the newsstand
The fact is that on 8 June 1969, baby mouse landed on newsstands with a two-part story destined to make history, where Donald Duck appeared disguised in the night with the express purpose of punishing his many detractors, big and small, from his grandchildren Qui, Quo and Qua to the unbearable Gastone. The background is this: by mistake the grumpy duck wins the old Villa Rosa in the lottery, a castle all with mold and cobwebs, where Fantomallard’s secret diary is hidden under the cushion of an armchair. Having fallen into Donald’s paws, the precious document reveals to him some fundamentals for retaliating against those, especially the rich, who despise slackers: it is the right opportunity for personal revenge to be taken against the wrongs inflicted on Donald himself by the “disgusting ostentation of self-assured plutocrat» (this is the ingenious insult that Donald Duck addresses to his uncle). The indispensable paraphernalia consists of an ad hoc outfit, a magic lantern and a mobile wagon equipped with special devices: equipment that only Archimedes the Pythagorean can build to apply them to Donald Duck’s 313.
Persecuted (as Fantomallard)
Feeling persecuted like Fantomallard, one evening Donald prodigiously turns into Paperinik. And this is how for the first time we see him flying out of the window wearing a black-blue cape and spring boots (due to a misunderstanding the mask was not designed for him). The second episode is, of course, entitled «Paperinik to the rescue» and the third «Paperinik strikes again». Equipped with corrosive water sprays, purifying filters, retro-rockets, fog cannons, every undertaking for Donald Duck turns out to be “as easy as drinking a glass of water”, a personal redemption against the cheeky nephews and arrogant Uncle Scrooge.
The improvised superhero will have a long life even if he will gradually change missions and identity: over time, especially with Giorgio Pezzin’s screenplay, the revenge-hungry criminal will become an executioner and champion of Duckburg, from Diabolik’s emulator evolving into a sort of Batman or More politically correct Zorro, complete with a hideout accessed via a closet-lift. And even after being hired by the tion as an anti-Dachshund vigilante, he will wage furious battles in defense of the environment and the good common cause. A sympathetic, spotless and fearless knight. His motto remains: «The impossible is my daily bread».
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July 17, 2019 (change July 17, 2019 | 22:34)
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED
The 50th anniversary of Paperinik and that origin attributed to a parody by Dorelli