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Friday, 7 July 2017

DC Special 23 - the Three Musketeers go to Spain

The Three Musketeers continue in DC Special 23 (Aug/Sept 76), with two Robin Hood reprints as back-ups, once again one from Brave and the Bold, and one from Robin Hood Tales.

Bob Haney and Lee Elias handle the lead story in this issue. While I do not care for Elias' work as much as Moliterni's, I have to credit Haney with crafting a story that feels far more like a Three Musketeers adventure. Bragging Porthos winds up insisting that he could pluck the hairs from the beard of the King of Spain, which results in Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan choosing to accompany him. All for one and all that.

Meanwhile Cardinal Richelieu plots to use their absence to his advantage, the King of Spain wants to capture them, and a French noble, Corbeau, intends to have the King of France assassinated and take his place. All the plot threads will converge before the story is out. This kind of plotting and scheming the core of the Musketeers' novel, so the story feels far more on track.

The Musketeers become aware of the various plots and schemes, but still carry on in their brazen and jovial way. They succeed at getting hair from the King of Spain's beard, and then have to make it safely back to France.

A smuggled letter implicating Corbeau becomes critical, and the Musketeers get plucked off one by one on the way back. This also echoes events in the novel, and in the film. And at the last minute they triumph, exposing Corbeau, while Richelieu manipulates the situation to make himself seem innocent and above it all.

I wish I liked the art better on this story, because otherwise it's works very well.

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