The Golden Helmet is a comic story written and drawn by Carl Barks. It features Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck, and, in their debuts, Azure Blue, Sharky, Mr Billups and Olaf the Blue. Eric the Red and Charlemagne are mentioned; the names of the Headless Horseman and Lady Godiva appear in the background, as does the possibly-nonexistent “God of Gab”, and what appears to be a wax figure of Napoléon Bonaparte can be glimpsed.
Working as a guard at the Duckburg Museum, Donald Duck unwittingly beats the nefarious Azure Blue to the discovery of an ancient Viking scroll concealed in the hull of a Drakkar. The document reveals not only that a band of Vikings set foot in the Americas as early as 900 C.E., but also that they left a fabulous Golden Helmet buried there. It soon transpires that a legal loophole will grant whosoever can claim the helmet full ownership of the very continent of North America. A race across the freezing seas begins between a Museum-funded expedition staffed with Donald, the triplets and the Duckburg Museum's Head Curator, and the vessel of Azure Blue and his wily, corrupt lawyer and associate, Sharky.
- The Duckburg Museum contains an East Wing and a Library among other rooms. Some of the artifacts contained within it are:
- A statue of a “prehistoric cow”,
- A statue of the God of Gab,
- The Headless Horseman's Toupee (kept under a glass case),
- A statue of a forlorn man entitled “Joy”,
- A formless abstract statue entitled “The Fight”,
- A Butterfly Collection;
- A stuffed giraffe;
- Crocheted doilies and a “lace and tatter collection”;
- A Dinosaur egg;
- Embroidered lampshades.
- Also among the Museum's artifact is the Old Viking Ship, claimed to have been retrieved from Herring, Norway where it had been buried by Vikins circa 920 C.E. The log reveals that it was sailed by Olaf the Blue first to Iceland in 900 C.E. (years before Eric the Red reached the same location) and then, the next year, to the American coast of Labrador, where he buried the Golden Helmet.
- In 792 C.E., during the Reign of Charlemagne, the rulers of all European nations gathered in Rome and drafted the Code of Discovery, a law according to which, if a man discovers new land across the seas, it shall belong to him unless he claims it for his King, a right passed on down the bloodline.
- Donald Duck already worked in the Duckburg Museum in Lost in the Andes! (1949).
- This story reuses the Old Viking Ship and the valuable documents it conceals about Vikings' early settlement of America as plot devices, after Barks introduced them in Luck of the North (1949), though the circumstances of the Drakkar and the parchment at the beginning of the 1952 story are somewhat difficult to reconcile with the ending of Luck of the North.
- The Ship was again depicted among the Duckburg Museum's artifacts in The Duck Who Never Was (1994) and The Black Knight Glorps Again (2004).
- The resurfacing of the Golden Helmet after the events of The Golden Helmet is the subject of many sequels or pseudosequels, including The Golden Helmet Revisited (1989), The Lost Charts of Columbus (1995) and Mickey Mouse and the Emperor of America (2001).
- Events involving the Helmet not matching any of the four stories in question are also referred to in Rightful Owners (2011). The story, which gives a prominent role to Mr Billups, returns to explorations of his perhaps not impeccable moral character which, while front and center in The Golden Helmet, had been downplayed in later appearances of the character.
- Who's Donald Duck? (2016) and Anniversary Duck Album (2017) contain flashbacks to the events of The Golden Helmet.
Behind the scenesEdit
This story was first printed in Four Color Comics #408. One of Carl Barks's greatest classics, it was reprinted in The Best of Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge #1, Best Comic Series #1, Dynabrite Comics #52, Best Comics #178, Gladstone Comic Album #13, Donald Duck Adventures #33, The Barks/Rosa Collection #3 and Donald Duck In… #3, as well as in the Australian Giant #11, Donald Duck #38 and Donald Duck #157, and, of course, in the various versions of the Carl Barks Library.