The peeps making new school Duck Tales really don’t like the tech industry. It’s cool, I’m right there with them.
When Gyro popped up a few episodes ago, he was framed as that “I’m smarter than anyone, and therefore am above judgement” sort of tech dude. He continues to create robots that gain sentience and turn into killers, but it’s not his fault. He’s just misunderstood and unappreciated. He’s that programmer that thinks being able to churn out code is the pinnacle of human achievement– that because our current technology and commerce depends on it, he’s better than all of us.
Now we’ve seen another type of asshole tech dude with Mark Beaks. He’s a Mark Zuckerburg/Steve Jobs type– all bluster and showmanship and post-industrial snake oil salesmanship. He isn’t here to pitch you an idea that’ll help you, make the world better, or even be of interest to a certain type of person, he’s here to pitch you the concept of giving him money for the next big thing, and if you don’t then you’re antiquated, obsolete, and replaceable. It’s the Cult of Personality and the Cult of the New that shapes so-called innovation in Silicon Valley– re-creating juicers and vending machines and rebranding them so as to make you think it’s a revolution instead of just the same old shit you can get through an infomercial at 3:30 in the morning.
And yet they manage to make Mark Beaks her even worse than that, but in a way that makes me thing “yeah, I bet these assholes would go this far even in real life without animal peeps.” His new thing doesn’t even exist. He creates a project, keeps it secret, hires an industrial saboteur to “steal” it, then reveals that it never existed in the first place. It was all a scam to become a billionaire through the publicity of creating the next big thing, only to have it stolen at the last-minute, thus generating even more publicity and money.
It’s far more evil than when Glomgold tries to murder Scrooge every chance he gets, because at least Glomgold isn’t living a lie. He’s a murdering bastard with no moral compass, but you know where he stands. Beaks doesn’t stand anywhere, because he’s that new age apathetic techie who probably sees himself as supremely logical and above it all. And the fact that Dewey sees himself in this dude, up until he sees he’s being pitted against Huey in their competition for the titular Infernal Internship (the title of the episode is The Infernal Internship of Mark Beaks, which is awesome), says a lot about him. I kinda pinned Dewey as “the jock” of the group, and that goes to show how that archetype has shifted away from the meathead sports guy (although we still see some of that too) towards more nerdy pursuits. That sort of user jerk no longer always sees “the path” as being into sports and then, like, getting a business degree and falling somewhere between used car salesman and stock broker. He gets some computer-related degree and bilks you out of your money through promising a brighter future he doesn’t think you actually deserve. Louie may be the Satanic Figure of the bunch, but Dewey’s the one who is closer to going down “the path.” Some cool characterization there.
Also, Huey gets to be the good little boy that he is, until he totally breaks and goes berserk. Gotta watch out for those tightly wound ones too.
Yeah, all three nephews are destined for a life of villainy.
And getting back to Glomgold, he and Scrooge have a cool thing going here. They despise one another, but this episode frames it in that sort of “he’s too much like me” sort of way that I love. They’re united in their hate for Beaks, who butts in on their two-man billionaire club, and work to find a way to take him down a notch. Of course, Glomgold’s plan is an elaborate scheme involving a cruise ship, custom ordered sharks (he “has a guy”), and a volcano. It also involves betraying Scrooge and tossing him into the volcano as well. Two birds, one stone. And despite Scrooge being horrified by the idea of outright killing Beaks, and despite finding out about the plot to betray him, he’ll see Glomgold again tomorrow at the same billionaire’s club. It’s awesome stuff.
Also: Huey and Dewey dump a briefcase filled with, like, 20 million bucks all over the place and it’s no big whup. They don’t even try to pick it up. They’ve adjusted to the Swimming in Gold lifestyle pretty well if they can just shrug that off.