John D. Rockerduck, usually simply referred to as Rockerduck, is one of Scrooge McDuck's main business rivals. His name is a play on that of John D. Rockefeller, the American capitalist and philanthropist. Altough the character is originally an American creation, Rockerduck is an example of a character who has become notable in the foreign market, particularly in stories produced for the Italian market.
As of yet, Rockerduck has never made an animated appearance.
Character history Edit
Rockerduck was created by Carl Barks, who used him in his comic Boat Buster (first published in1961). In this story, Rockerduck is portrayed as an oil tycoon who argues with Scrooge McDuck over which one of them makes the best gasoline. To settle this, Scrooge and John agree each one to enter a boat at an upcoming race. Scrooge is so confident of his victory he says he could win regardless of who is driving his boat. Trying to prove his point, Scrooge randomly picks somebody from the crowd watching their argument but completely loses confidence when that somebody happens to be his unlucky nephew Donald Duck. To increase his chances of victory, Scrooge sees to it that all other boats in the race were powered by his gasoline. Near the end, several boats (Donald's included) have crashed and a loose motor push Donald into the finish line in the first place. Scrooge claims victory, but Rockerduck points out they first must find out whose gasoline was powering that motor. Despite the odds being for Scrooge, the motor happens to be the one powered by John Rockerduck's gasoline.
The character has rarely appeared in American stories but appears regularly in Brazilian and European stories, and especially in Italian ones. He also appeared in stories produced by the now defunct Disney Studio Program. His first appearance in an Italian story was Zio Paperone e il kiwi volante, first published on March 1, 1963. After this, the Disney Studio Program developed the character, and since then the Italian creators have further developed Rockerduck and explored various aspects of his relationship with Scrooge.
In the Uncle Scrooge comic comic Zio Paperone e l'oro del Klondike ("Unce Scrooge and the Gold of the Klondike"), drawn by Romano Scarpa, we learn more about Rockerduck's family. This story is the eleventh chapter of the Italian comic book series Storia e gloria della dinastia dei paperi, which shows the history of the McDucks (and their rivalry with the Rockerducks) from the ancient Egyptians to the present date. In the story, Rockerduck's rich and unmarried father moves to the Klondike to have revenge on Scrooge McDuck's father for an incident between their fathers that happened years before. After a dogsled chase on the slippery hills of Alaska, both rivals end up in the hospital, where Rockerduck falls in love with his golddigger nurse, with whom he has a baby: John D. Rockerduck. Rockerduck's parents reappeared years later in the The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck comic series, in which Rockerduck's father's full name was revealed to be Howard Rockerduck.
Rockerduck's little nephew Arsène Rockerduck appeared in the 1972 comic Paperino e l'isola col singhiozzo while George, Patrick and Simeon, Rockerduck's triplet nephews, made their comic debut in Castles in the Sand (first published in 1984). Rockerduck was also shown to have a nephew called Ricky Rockerduck in a later Uncle Scrooge comic.
As revealed in the Uncle Scrooge comic Most Helpful Aunt Eider, Rockerduck and Scrooge have a common relative: their old and near-sighted aunt Eider. Aunt Eider became a recurring character afterwards.
One distinctive character trait is a habit of eating his hat whenever he is defeated by Scrooge. This has led in some stories to Rockerduck eating an entire truckload of hats because of an especially abject defeat.
Like his rival he is a shrewd businessman and has managed to organize a worldwide financial empire that can easily rival those of Scrooge and Flintheart Glomgold. Unlike them, he is not a tightwad but much more a liberal spender (but by no means a squanderer). He seems to maintain that "you have to spend money to make money"; this trait makes his a natural antagonist to Scrooge, who is capable of going to absurd lengths to spare even trivial sums of money. Rockerduck has a taste for luxury, and likes to show off his wealth. Besides his secretary, advisor and right-hand man Jeeves, he does not seem to have any close confidants.
Like Scrooge and Flintheart, Rockerduck is extremely competitive. He is rivaling them in the wealth department and has occasionally claimed the titles of "The Richest Duck in the World" and "The Second Richest Duck in the World". He is an influential member of the Billionaires' Club of Duckburg, of which Scrooge and Flintheart are also members. Only three stories feature him and Flintheart both, though: Zio Paperone e il bisbilione ("Uncle Scrooge earns a billion"), Whatever Happened to Scrooge McDuck? (where Rockerduck and Glomgold both make a cameo in a future vision that shows both of them having been made bankrupt by Donald's Duck charity company) and the 126 page counting comic storyZio Paperone e l'ultima avventura ("Uncle Scrooge and the Last Adventure", first published in 2013), Rockerduck and Flintheart Glomgold finally decide to combine their powers and work together against Scrooge (alongside the Beagle Boys and Magica).
Another possible distinction between Scrooge and Rockerduck is their country of residence and where their investments lie. In contrast to the Scottish birth of Scrooge, Rockerduck claims to be hailing from England, where he is sometimes depicted to be living, and shown to be the more active in Europe than in America, with some stories having Scrooge having to buy land from him or compete with him to be able to expand his businesses on the European markets. This is often ignored in other stories to be able to have the rivals meet on a daily basis as in the case of Scrooge's other rival, Flintheart Glomgold (who in the Barks stories lives in South Africa) with John primarily managing his activities from a large business building he owns in Duckburg, and the three characters sitting at the same table in the Billionaires' Club of the city.
Rockerduck also has a passion for collecting. Besides his valuable coins and stamp collection, he is also the owner of an extensive art collection, including artifacts created from antiquity through to the 20th century. Since Scrooge also has collections of the same theme and similar value, many of their confrontations center on them trying to obtain a new addition to their collections.
On a more personal level, Scrooge and Rockerduck seem to bicker constantly, criticizing each other's ways of life and personal faults. Although his confrontations with Scrooge have often found him defeated or even humiliated, he has commented on at least enjoying the challenge that Scrooge presents to him. At times the two find each other co-operating to achieve common goals. If they are worthy rivals to each other, they also seem to make effective partners—but only on a temporary basis. Some stories portray Rockerduck in a more positive light and portray him as friendly towards Scrooge's associates like Brigitta McBridge and Donald Duck, as he has nothing personal against them. When relaxed he can even be a pleasant companion for them or Scrooge. In all these traits, he differs from Flintheart Glomgold.
Classic Comics Edit
Many of the stories presenting him, especially during the 1970s and the 1980s, compare and contrast his and Scrooge's methods of organizing their business in order to gain profit. Some of those methods include researching new products for their industries, ways of refining and improving the existing ones, and the study of new producing methods. Also ways of improving their marketing techniques and public relations, in order to increase sales, or even trying to improve the ratings of their TV stations and the sales of their newspapers, in order to have more clients paying for advertisements in them. Both he and Scrooge try to predict each other's moves in order to act accordingly. In his efforts, Rockerduck often resorts to industrial espionage or sabotage. Although less often, Scrooge occasionally uses the same methods. Sometimes Rockerduck's plans against Scrooge involve more severe actions like abduction, hijacking his planes or blackmailing him. On these occasions he usually lets his right-hand man Jeeves do the dirty work, but he also hires the Beagle Boys to do his dirty work for him from time to time.
Modern Comics Edit
In a 2007 issue of Uncle Scrooge which was clearly a nod to the Earth-A of Marvel Comics, Scrooge is convinced to take a holiday on "Earth-D" by his counterpart "Scrooge-B". In this alternate reality a discouraged Scrooge is heavily in debt to several creditors; one being Rockerduck. The alternate Rockerduck has no visible businesses save for a greengrocery which he manages, and says that he made a mistake investing in the failing McDuck stock. When "Scrooge-A" works to get his counterpart's business back on track, he retires the debt to Rockerduck, and also buys the produce store, keeping John D. Rockerduck on board as proprietor. Rockerduck admits that although it was odd to be part of McDuck's recovering business empire, he also says "it makes me feel almost like the free-spending tycoon I used to be!"
DuckTales comics Edit
In 2011, Boom! Studios released a short-lived DuckTales comic book that had an intertwining story with their already successful Darkwing Duck comic. In the first story arc, Rightful Owners, Rockerduck appeared as a main antagonist who attempts to trick Scrooge into returning all of his priceless artifacts and longtime of rival of Scrooge's as in his other comic appearances. This is in spite of him never having appeared in the animated series, his antagonistic role largely having been given to Flintheart Glomgold.
Other Comics Edit
In Il Papero Rosso (May 1987), Rockerduck was appear as a flight pilot along with Donald Duck, Gladstone Gander, the Beagle Boys and Donald Duck.
In Paperolimpiadi (July 1988), Rockerduck was appear in the olympic games 1988 along was compete first.
In Scrooge's TV (September 1990), Rockerduck was appear as superhero overcomes a the Duck Avenger's fame.
In Lucca Comics Story (February 1991), Rockerduck appears as traver to Lucca and space-time dive and the parody of Star Wars in the issue La spedizione dei 1000 secondi.
- Walt Disney's Comics and Stories (Dell) - Boat Buster (1961)
- Almanacco Topolino (Mondadori) - Paperon de' Paperoni e la Superbenzina (1962)
- Topolino (Mondadori) - Zio Paperone e il coniglio ranista (1964)
- Zé Carioca (Abril) - O Gorila De Cabeça Vermelha (1966)
- Uncle Scrooge (Gold Key) - Poolside Party (1971)
- Kalle Ankas Pocket (Egmont Comics) - och de sällsynta metallerna (1972)
- The Beagle Boys (Gold Key) - Scrooge for a Day (1975)
- Donald Duck Fun Library (Purnell Books) - The rain dance (1978)
- Musse Pigg & Co. (Egmont Comics) - En säker vinnare (1980)
- Le Journal de Mickey (Hachette Comics) - Picsou va en prison (1983)
- Mega Almanacco (Mondadori) - Zio Paperone e il mistero degli androidi - Un'avventura ai caraibi (1985)
- Seleção Disney (Abril) - Bruxa Ecolójika (1989)
- Margarida (Abril) - Corrida Econômica (1990)
- Urtigão (Abril) - A Beijação (1991)
- Paperino Mese (Walt Disney Company Italia) - Paperone e la squadra antisgraffigno (1991)
- O Pato Donald (Abril) - Inimigos Do Espaço (1993)
- Minni & Company (Walt Disney Company Italia) - Paperina e il cucciolo imprintato (1993)
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Donald Duck • Scrooge McDuck • DuckTales Villains: Flintheart Glomgold, Magica De Spell, The Beagle Boys, Grandpa Beagle, Ma Beagle, Granny Beagle, Emil Eagle, Argus McSwine, Cinnamon Teal, Lawyer Sharky, Azure Blue, Ben Buzzard, John D. Rockerduck, Spectrus, Merlock, Ottoperotto, The Beagle Babes, Beagle Brats, Volcano's Head, Mark Beaks