Duckenstein (or Duckenstein di Mary Shelduck / Duckenstein by Mary Shelduck in the original Italian), also known as Frankenstein Starring Donald Duck, is a Great Parodies comic story written by Bruno Enna and drawn by Fabio Celoni. It features, in their debuts, Victor von Duckenstein, Gusbert Walton, his grandmother, Daisy Beth, the Duckenstein Parents, Scrooge von Duck, Gladstone Clerval, Gyrus Magnus, Papercelsus, Wilm, Wolf and Waldo von Duckenstein, Professor Waldrake, Gyrempe, Growl, the Old Illiterate and his hound. Mary Shelduck is also mentioned
In the turn of the 19th century, a slow-witted explorer at the North Pole encounters the young disillusioned scientist and artist Victor von Duckenstein, who soon reveals that he is in pursuit of a dangerous monster he created — a construct of cardboard and paint given life, created through ancient alchemical means combined with modern scientific advances. Victor and the creature, Growl, take turns telling their extraordinary story…
Behind the scenes
This story was first printed in November of 2016 in Topolino #3179 and #3180. It was released in English on August 13th, 2019 by Dark Horse Comics with translation by Tea Orsi. Although the hardcover book itself was entitled Disney's Frankenstein, Starring Donald Duck, the actual first page retained the title of Duckenstein.
It is a Grand Parody of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, sticking closely to the plot points of the book, though with a number of departures to make the story more uplifting and light-hearted and justify the "parody" label. The story does, however, allow itself to borrow elements of the Monster's design from the Universal Monsters adaptation begun with the seminal Boris Karloff film.
Though the story is, much like Bram Topker's Dracula, entitled Duckenstein di Mary Shelduck, implying it is an in-universe work of fiction written by Mary Shelduck, the story does not otherwise stick to this notion, with an ending that makes a world's worth more sense if the comic narrates "real" events in the Disney comics universe. Moreover, frequent mention of a fictional Frankenstein in other stories cast doubt on the idea that Duckenstein could possibly be the in-universe version of the real-life Frankenstein novel. The stance taken by the Wiki for lack of a clearer picture is that the story narrates real events, but ones which inspired Mary Shelduck to write her Frankenstein later on.