Hidden Potential is an unofficial comic story written and drawn by Sarah Jolley. It features Gladstone Gander, Magica De Spell, Ratface, Sier, and, in their debuts, Meridith Barksure and Dean Petunia. Mila Alexeev makes a brief cameo. Daisy Duck is spoken to over the phone but does not physically appear. Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck, Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, Gyro Gearloose and Apollo are also mentioned.
Invited to the Annual Aluminati Alumni Ball, Magica De Spell considers attending said gathering for the first time since she left the witchcraft school in question, as she has also received a direct message from her old friend (college staff member Sier) bidding her to come. However, she needs a date for the ball, and wouldn't mind having luck on her side, either… Thus is Gladstone Gander (reluctantly posing as the warlock Gladalf the Green) whisked off to, where an ancient mystery involving gods and curses soon begins to unravel!
- Magica De Spell is shown to not have known how to waltz before the events of the story.
- The Aluminati Charm School, which Magica attended for a time when pursuing her magical education, is located in Salem, hidden behind a magical “visual deterrence field” to “stop the locals getting excited”. It has supposedly existed for “eons”.
- Magica also indicates that she studied at Starvard University after leaving the Salem school in undisclosed circumstances.
- The Wiccanical Waltz is the traditional opening dance of the Annual Aluminati Alumni Ball.
- The Amphora of Apollo combined with the Staff of Authority combined to grant their user the power to absorb the magical powers of others. This has the side-effect of turning the victims to stone, which is reversible if the Amphora is shattered to release the stolen magic.
- While in the catacombs, Gladstone worries about running into “ghosts, a lich or a vengeful hoard of the undead,” upon which Magica accuses him of “reading too many comics”.
- Magica gifts Gladstone a Two-Way Mirror.
- The "Matilda" running gag used throughout Sarah Jolley's oeuvre, being an extended continuity reference to A Gal For Gladstone (2004), is once again referenced.
- Magica showing up to invite Gladstone Gander to a ball after his own plans fell through is explicitly pointed out by the characters to resemble the famous Fairy Godmother scene in Cinderella (1950), whose dialogue is briefly (mis)quoted.
- The fact that, being infused with a hex, Gladstone Gander can act as a substitute Magic Wand is mentioned again; this is pointed out by a caption box as a continuity reference to A Kind of Magic (2017).
- Magica is established in dialogue to have had “no inherited magic”, for which the other students derided her, referencing the same magical prejudice against non-inborn mages taken to greater extremes by another wizarding school towards Magica in Temping Trouble (2015).
- Aluminati Charm School was first mentioned as simply “the Charm School” in The Cat Came Back (2018). Mila Alexeev, Magica's former classmate introduced in that story, makes a cameo in Hidden Potential as one of the alumni at the Ball.
Behind the scenes
This story is the 27th of a series of unofficial homages to the characters written and drawn by Sarah Jolley (author of the acclaimed comic The Property of Hate). It was released in 2020 for free on the Internet.
As confirmed on her blog by Jolley shortly after the release of the story, Hidden Potential also notably contains hints toward the bisexuality Jolley ascribes both to Gladstone and to Magica. In his listing of unavailable dance partners in the opening, Gladstone mentions Gyro as well as Daisy and Clarabelle, and later on, when Meridith Barksure is astonished by Magica's apparent love affair with “Gladalf the Green,” Dean Petunia teases her by accusing her of just being bitter because she believed Magica was “only” into women.