Gladstone Gander is Donald Duck's cousin, the son of Goosetave and Daphne Gander. Gladstone was created by Carl Barks and first appeared in the story "Wintertime Wager" in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #88 (January, 1948).
Gladstone is a lazy and infuriatingly lucky goose who never fails to upset his first cousin Donald Duck. Gladstone's luck defies probability and provides him with anything he desires, with hardly the need of effort. As popular artist Don Rosa has commented on the character: "Gladstone is unwilling to make the slightest effort to gain something that his luck cannot give him, and, when things go wrong, he resigns immediately, certain that around the next corner a wallet, dropped by a passer-by, will be waiting for him". For all his luck Gladstone has no achievements to be proud of and no true ambitions, as he is incapable of long-term planning. All of this is in stark contrast to his relative Scrooge McDuck, who is also capable of taking advantage of opportunities but works hard to create situations favorable for him, is strongly motivated by his ambitions and takes pride in forming his fortune by his own efforts.
Barks gradually developed Gladstone's personality and at first used him frequently—in 24 stories between 1948 and 1953, the first five years of his existence. Gladstone's luck evolved slowly. In his first three appearances in 1948 ("Wintertime Wager", "Gladstone Returns", "Links Hijinks"), he was portrayed as the mirror image of Donald: an obstinate braggart, perhaps just a little bit more arrogant. In his next two appearances, "Rival Beachcombers" and "The Goldilocks Gambit", Gladstone is portrayed as merely lazy and irritable, and also gullible. The breakthrough of his lucky streak occurs in 1949, within the adventure story "Race to the South Seas". His and Donald's rivalry over Daisy is established in "Donald's Love Letters" (1949), "Wild About Flowers" (1950), and "Knightly Rivals" (1951), and as potential heirs to Scrooge's fortune in "Some Heir Over the Rainbow" (1953). After that, Barks felt unable to develop the character further, finding him basically unsympathetic, and began using him less frequently. But by then, Gladstone had found a steady place in the Duck universe. He was first used by an artist other than Barks in 1951: "Presents For All" by Del Connell and Bob Moore.
Gladstone appeared in several episodes of the animated series DuckTales, where he was voiced by Rob Paulsen, later noted for playing Pinky on the cartoon Pinky and the Brain. In the episode "Dime Enough for Luck", Gladstone is an unwitting stooge for Magica De Spell in one of her attempts to steal Scrooge's Number One Dime. He returns in the episode "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. McDuck", where he accidentally bids on an item that turns out to be valuable. This inspires Scrooge to bid on the next item—a trunk containing Dr. Jekyll's formula—which sets the plot in motion. He appears as a main character in the Big Little Book series book "Luck of the Ducks" (1969). He also makes non-speaking cameo appearances in the episodes "Sweet Duck of Youth" and "Till Nephews Do Us Part", as well in episode of House of Mouse "Goofy For A Day". Gladstone appears in 2000 computer game Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers in his traditional role of Donald's rival for Daisy's affection, and every time a Boss Battle is about to start, Gladstone greets Donald, but always gets hurt, like, becoming squished by a giant bird, getting knocked off a building by a wrecking ball, being sent crashing to the bottom of a haunted mansion, and even gets sent back to Duckburg inside a pipe, and every time he gets hurt, he keeps saying that he's found a nickel.
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