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Wispy Willie, not to be confused with Willie the Wisp is an "artificial will-o-the-wisp" developed from mold spores.
In 1953, Scrooge McDuck attempted to scare his nephew Donald into selling his house at a low price. To do so, he hired the biologist Doctor Superthink to artificially synthetize a very real will-o-the-wisp, conceived of by Scrooge as a "horrible, slithering creature carrying a lantern".
Through splicing the genes of mold spore, Superthink created an eldritch being resembling Scrooge's description: the one whom Donald Duck and Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck (who, unaware of Scrooge's involvement and scheme, had helped in Willie's creation) christened "Wispy Willie". Despite its bizarre appearance, Willie turned out to be a sweet and friendly thing, who fed on mold and tule roots and could somehow understand English. Since Willie was so nice and they already knew it well, Donald and the triplets utterly failed to be intimidated in the least by Willie's appearance.
Wispy Willie was presumably let loose some time afterwards by the upset Scrooge. Willie took to wearing a bow on its head. At one point, Willie came across Smorgasbord the ogre, whom he unwittingly managed to scare despite offering him an apple as a friendly gesture.
Behind the scenesEdit
Wispy Willie first appeared in November of 1953 in Carl Barks's Wispy Willie. It has never appeared in another story, save for S. Eberhart's 1983 cover for The Barks Collector #27, colloquially known as Two Monsters Meet, wherein it meets Smorgasbord.
Wispy Willie bears little resemblance to actual Will-o-the-wisps as shown in other Disney media, most notably the comic Magica's Hot Plot and the film Brave. This is easily explained by the fact that Willie was an artificial creature synthesized by Doctor Superthink based on Scrooge McDuck's fanciful description, itself solely rooted in a mention of will-o-the-wisps in an encyclopedia of deceit.
Wispy Willie's gender is unclear. Donald Duck and his nephews refer to the creature as male, and name it accordingly, but they were in over their head in the matter and likely couldn't actually tell the newly-created monster's gender. In Two Monsters Meet, S. Eberhart drew Wispy Willie with a Daisy-like bow and long eyelashes, traditionally telltale signs of a female (and even girlish) character in Disney comics. Of course, due to its inhuman nature, and specifically being evolved from molds (which do not possess genders), it is possible Willie doesn't really have a gender at all in human terms, or considers itself nonbinary.