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The Beagle Boys

A band of criminals who are after Scrooge's fortune.


They were created by Carl Barks and debuted in WDC 134.

Just how many Beagle Boys are there?


The Barks panel with the highest number of Beagles in it is probably in the Gyro story Mighty But Miserable where 13 Beagles can be seen at once in a bus (some of them are only seen as silhouettes, though).

That story is not written by Barks, though, just drawn. In The Paul Bunyan Machine 12 Beagles can be seen at once, and that story is both written and drawn by Barks.

In Hawaiian Hideaway Scrooge complains about having to wash the dishes for 30 Beagles.

In most later stories there seemed to be about seven Beagles, and that's why Don Rosa uses that number of them whenever he uses them in his stories. As he restricts himself to the most common six Beagle numbers (with 1, 6, 7) he never shows the numbers of all the Beagles in one panel though.

But even when it seems like there's only about seven Beagles in a story there may actually be more of them. In the next section lots of Beagles appearing in The Seven Cities of Cibola are listed -- still we never see more than six seen at once there.

What numbers do they have?

The Beagles wear their prison numbers and refer to each other by them. Most of the time we only see number plates starting with 176- and ending with those numbers in some order, so those six permutations are the most common Beagle numbers. But lots of other Beagles exist as well, and noone has gone through all Barks's work to note exactly which Beagles ever appear. (Some such data is collected in its own page here.) In their debut in WDC 134 they have no prison numbers, but they appear for the first time in their second appearance, in WDC 135. There we can se 176-82, 176-83, and 176-84. Later on the six 176 numbers became common. In The Seven Cities of Cibola those six can be seen, as well as 176-001, 176-301, 176-331, 176-360, 176-602, 176-616, and 176-711(?). On page 16 panel 6 there is a Beagle with no number plate!

Also in the Whitman comics there were often Beagle numbers consisting not only of ones, sixes and sevens. In the story Time Off For Good Behavior for instance, the lead trio was 176-300, 176-301, and 176-302. Sometimes they even had numbers that began with "761-" or something unorthodox like that!

Do they have different personalities?

Normally they had no discernable characteristics in Barks's stories, except that in some stories it's implied that 176-167 is especially fond of prunes. That was first mentioned in The Mysterious Unfinished Invention (1954), and then referred to again in The Giant Robot Robbers (1964). (Barks also referred to prunes in Horsing Around with History (1994), but there it doesn't seem to a quirk of just one of the Beagles. According to Huey (or whoever it is...): The Beagle Boys are fond of prunes, remember?)

Now Egmont has a personality guide for the three leading Beagle Boys stating that

is the smarter and generally tougher leader of the band,
is the dumber one who often tends to foul up the plans, and
is the epicure of the gang with a special liking for prunes.
Note that the prune aficionado is not the same as according to Barks!

In Whitman comics, for example by Vic Lockman, there were often special members of the gang with special names like Einstein Beagle, Supersensitive-176 etc. with individual personalities. They have strange oddities and hobbies and most of them appear in only one story, flaunt their specialty, and are never used again. One of those who did appear more than once was Intellectual-176 who appeared for instance in Abner the Actor (first appearance?), where he is shown as the most intelligent Beagle. In The Fantastic Favor he is shown as having lost all his mental ability from a horrible disaster which is left to the reader's imagination. He has regained his old status by the time of Beagle Bug-Off (1995), however.

Beagles in DuckTales

[From Jonathan Markoff:]

In DuckTales, there were seven leading Beagles, all with different looks and personalities: Babyface Beagle, Baggy Beagle, Bankjob Beagle (176-671), Bigtime Beagle (176-167), Bouncer Beagle, Bugle Beagle, Burger Beagle (176-761), plus their mother Ma Beagle (no number). Usually either Ma, Bigtime, or Bankjob was the leader. Burger's main character trait was a large appetite, although it was for any food, not just prunes. In comics, the DuckTales Beagles appear in S-coded DuckTales stories from the late 1980s and early 1990s. In some stories, for example S 88054, they look as they did on the TV show; in others they are called by their TV names even though they all look the same.

Grandpa Beagle and other older Beagles

[From Jonathan Markoff:]

Blackheart Beagle and his three sons (apparently the grandfather and fathers of the current Beagle Boys, according to Don Rosa) appeared in Carl Barks's The Fantastic River Race, a story set in the past. In Carl Barks's The Money Well (set in the present) was Grandpa Beagle (convict number 186-802). In Rosa's Life and Times of $crooge McDuck, Blackheart Beagle and Grandpa Beagle are the same person.

Vic Lockman also featured a Grandpa Beagle (G-176) in some 1970s comics. Some examples are:

In Save That Tree, he has prison number 1.

In the story Passing the Buck, set in a flashback to the Beagles' childhood, the Beagles' Grandma was seen. A Granny Beagle is also seen in some stories set in the present.

The Beagle Brats

In the Whitman comics the Beagles sometimes had three nephews: the Beagle Brats. They either had no number plates at all, or the numbers 1, 2, and 3.

Some stories with them are

Other sources

Rich Bellacera's HooZoo page.

[Facts from David Gerstein and Jonathan Markoff.]

Find the names in other languages for: Beagle Boys

Last updated April 30, 1999.

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