Uncle Scrooge's Money Rocket, originally printed as Paperino e il Razzo Interplanetario (which would be translated as Donald Duck and the Interplanetary Raid), is a comic story written by Carlo Chendi and Luciano Bottaro and drawn by Bottaro. It features Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck, Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck, the Beagle Boys, Gyro Gearloose, the Little Helper, the Bowtie Mayor, the Mushrooms That Don't Mush, the Worm in the Hole, the Jovian Fisherman, his wife and children, a Bug-Eyed Trunkasaur, a Space-Snail, the J.A.M. Scientists, Proto-Bot, the Donald-Robots, Rebo's Cat, and, of course, Rebo and his two surviving generals. Grandma Duck is also mentioned and Goofy makes a cameo in the crowd; Reba the Repulsive is mentioned in the 2018 American localization, but not the original.
After the Beagle Boys prove especially good at tracking down the new hiding-places Scrooge McDuck has found for his loot, the bedeviled billionaire concocts a scheme to take a large portion of his fortune to the Moon aboard Gyro Gearloose's latest rocket, and shanghais Donald to do the heavy-lifting. But Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck sneak aboard, and the additional weight derails the rocket from its trajectory. As the vagaries of space travel land Donald Duck on Saturn and his uncle and nephew on Jupiter, the Ducks become involved in the intergalactic wars of the “Supreme Leader and Unquestioned General” of Saturn, S.L.U.G. Rebo!
- Since The End of the World (1946), the population of Saturn has dropped to just three surviving Saturnians, one of whom is Rebo.
Behind the scenes
This story was first published in Italy in its original version in Topolino #230. An English version by Joe Torcivia was published in America in 2018's Disney Masters #2, alongside its sequel The Return of Rebo. Rebo, originating in the non-Duck-related Saturn Against the Earth comic which had been printed by Topolino for much of its run, a few decades earlier, went on to become one of Bottaro's most iconic characters, and made many more appearances.
In 1971, a novelization of the story was published, with a new cover by Giovan Battista Carpi and sampling Bottaro's art for illustrations. In 1979, a second novelization was printed in France under the title of Scrooge in Space; the work of Jacques Roque, Scrooge in Space was equally faithful to the source material (with a few minor tweaks), but featured all-new illustrations.
Although it is probably coincidental, the starting point of Scrooge McDuck using a "money rocket" to move his money to the Moon and out of reach of the Beagle Boys had previously been used in the audioplay Donald Duck And His Friends.
Though the story predates the custom of crediting Disney comic authors, Luciano Bottaro sneaked in his initials "L.B." as a constellation towards the story's end.