howard the duck (1986)

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Howard the duck-1986

Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, Tim Robbins

So this is one of my favorites of all time, as a kid, a teen, and now a groucho young adult. This is the shit because A. Lea Thompson looks so fucking hot in her pajamas, B. Duck titties (never seen that before) C. This is one of the best marvel comic ever imho. 

So howard is sitting there in his universe, gets sucked through a portal winds up in our time and gets to kick it with hot ass Lea Thompson. He is a duck so of course there are the obstacles of being a walking talking duck in our universe. He has to find a way back home.

So let's talk about Howard the Duck

Before everyone freaks out, let me explain you a thing about Howard the Duck. First let’s get the facts straight. 

  1. No, he is not Peter Quill’s father. This is my post about Peter Quill’s father. Howard the Duck is not that person. 
  2. He’s not a bad guy. He’s a talking duck for goodness sakes. I know they made Rocket awesome but no.
  3. Yes, most fans are taking this as an inside joke. So let me take you inside. 

Howard the Duck was created by Steve Gerber and Val Mayerick in 1973 and it only ran for a few years. It was actually a super intense comic, with the first issue showing Howard contemplating suicide, and it did pretty well for a few years. In 1986, Howard the Duck actually became Marvel’s first live-action film, produced by our very own George Lucas. It was a terrible movie, but it accumulated its own fans (much like the modern-day Sharknado). No one’s ever really tried to bring Howard back to the comics or movies since then, although Steve Gerber called him “too weird to live, too rare to die.” Anyway, the general consensus is that Howard being in the bonus scene was:

  1. A shout-out to Disney’s acquiring of Lucas Studios and the fact that now they have the rights to Howard, and
  2. A joke on Disney, as Disney originally threatened to sue Marvel because Howard the Duck looked too much like Donald Duck of the Disney cartoons. 

Anyway, that’s about all on Howard. No one really thinks they’re going to bring him back, but it was a fun shout-out to the super-fans and a nice little inside joke for Marvel/Disney/Lucas.

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Howard the Duck #1

Howard the Duck #1 released today with anticipation.  When most hear this title, they think of the 1986 Lucasfilm movie of the same name. Thanks to this film, Howard has had a difficult time getting back on his webbed feet. If it was not for the popularity of Guardians of the Galaxy and its end-credits scene, this wise cracking duck may have never returned to the comic page.

Chip Zdarsky (zdarsky​) , famous Image’s Sex Criminals, helms this book by bringing Howard into 2015 and making him a private detective. Being issue #1, the story is somewhat shallow: Howard, as a private investigator, takes a job to find a stolen necklace. While this “go-out-and-find” quest does seem mundane, Zdarsky sprinkles in cameos from several of Marvel’s heavy hitters. For example, Howard’s office is shared with Jennifer Walters, a.k.a. She-Hulk, with whom he annoys on a seemingly consistent basis. Spider-Man and Rocket Raccoon are there as well, but the banter between Jennifer and Howard is charming and fits with the characters.

Joe Quinones’ (joequinones)  art steals the show. He takes the titular character and adds life to this anthropomorphic waterfowl. The panels are simple, yet complex, filled with easter-eggs and detail, while not detracting from the overall flow. Even his design for Howard channels the traditional look while making him disgustingly cute.

I never thought I would be writing these words, but Howard the Duck #1 is excellent. I laughed, I cried, and I was thankful that this was not another 1986 film.

[Read Howard The Duck #1 on comiXology]

Dane Cypel is a digital editor at comiXology and freelance illustrator based in Manhattan.