"Mighty but Miserable"
I tell you, it's a grim day, because it's the day that I try to write something about "Mighty but Miserable." Easier said than done. And let's face it: you're busy folks. You don't have time to dick around. You've got places to go and people to be. You don't WANT to hear me reiterate bullshit I've already said. Sure, I could say "hey, Lockman has some decent dialogue in this story!" but you have HEARD IT ALL BEFORE. This is not, I think, a story that warrants hugely in-depth discussion--or at least, given all I've previously written, such discussion would be redundant. So let's have a stripped-down entry where we strive to make only points we haven't made before.
For instance: did Lockman invent the concept of the Beagles as an ill-defined corporation rather than just a plain ol' family? It is possible. The thing is, I'm not sure at what point the Italians started doing this, so I don't know whether they could have been influenced by Lockman, or whether it's just a case of convergent evolution. But anyway, the genesis of a not-so-great idea: it either happened here, or it didn't. That's the kind of incisive commentary you've come to expect from this blog.
Less said about this plot, the better. I'd swear I've seen this exact story used in some story or other by the McGreals or someone like that. At least we can marvel at Gyro's incongruous facial contortions throughout.
The idea is that, to protect himself from vengeful Beagles, he invents a thing to make him stronger, only now he maims everyone he touches. Seems like a shaky idea, but hey--as far as I know, nobody in the real world is ever actually in a situation where they literally go from weak to massively strong instantaneously. So we may never know the truth.
But the most notable thing in the story is this, which, intentionally or not, has the trappings of Greek tragedy about it: Gyro was gifted with this super-inventing power, but thanks to said power, he is compelled to make an invention that causes him to inadvertently kill the only thing he's ever loved. Whee. 'Course, the pathos is instantly undercut, to the extent where you could easily just skip over it without pondering such things. Still, there it is.
And so it ends. While it's true that you can point to specific Barksian precedent for the idea that Gyro is physically weak, d'ja think maybe Lockman is pushing it a bit here? As I believe was noted in comments recently, not one for subtle gradations of character, is he. The business with Donald, Scrooge, and Daisy also seems a bit off, somehow. But anyway, there it: "Mighty But Miserable." A painfully generic title for a largely uninteresting story.