Mickey Mouse in Death Valley is a 1930 comic story. It features Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, Peg-Leg Pete, Sheriff Bill Goat, and, in their debuts, Sylvester Shyster, Mortimer Mouse, Hank, Dynamite, the Sheriff of Poison Wells, and Algernon.
Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse encounter Sylvester Shyster, who tells them that Minnie's uncle, Mortimer, has just died and that Minnie has inherited his estate. However, Shyster has ulterior motives: he and his hired thug, Peg-Leg Pete, plan to seize the estate for themselves. The high-stakes race to Death Valley is on, but who will triumph? To complicate matters further, who is the mysterious figure known as "the Fox" that seems to be following Mickey and Minnie?
- The first strip of the story refers to Peg-Leg Pete as "Terrible Tom", though he would be referred to by his usual name throughout the rest of the story.
- The characters refer to Death Valley as being in the West, and Mortimer, while in Mickey and Minnie's hometown, mentions leaving to go east. This indicates that Mickey and Minnie's hometown in this story is neither on the East Coast or the West Coast of the United States of America, despite later stories contradicting this notion.
- "The Old Mortimer Mansion" setting is believed to have been based on the titular house from The Haunted House (1929).
- Some reward posters for Mickey refer to him as "Mickey Mouse alias The Cactus Kid." This seems to be a direct reference to The Cactus Kid (1930).
- The first strip of Mr Slicker and the Egg Robbers (1930) references Mickey Mouse in Death Valley as Mickey, after tripping several times, says, "Gee, it sure seems good to get out of those boots and back into the old shoes again!" This is a reference to the boots Mickey wore for a large portion of Mickey Mouse in Death Valley.
- Mr Slicker and the Egg Robbers further references Mickey Mouse in Death Valley, as Minnie states at one point in the story, "When Uncle Mortimer left, he deposited some money in the bank for me!"
- Curiously, Officer Duck also refers to Peg-Leg Pete as Tom, just as the first strip of this story does. In the former he is referred to as "Tiny Tom", while the latter refers to him as "Terrible Tom", albeit only in the first strip of the story, as mentioned above.
Behind the scenes
Mickey Mouse in Death Valley was written temporarily by Walt Disney himself, and later by Floyd Gottfredson and first published in a serialized form in 1930 newspapers. Art for the story was done by Gottfredson, Jack King, and Win Smith, with Smith penciling for the first month of strips, King penciling some of the strips initially released in June of 1930, and Gottfredson penciling the rest. Gottfredson and Smith also inked some of the story's strips.
It is the second serialized story written for the Mickey Mouse comic strip and the first to be (partially) written by Floyd Gottfredson himself.