Comic Name: Howard the Duck (Volume 2)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Joe Quinones
# of Issues: 5
Release Date: 2015
Reprints Howard the Duck (2) #1-5 (May 2015-October 2015). Howard is a duck and now he’s a dick…a private eye. When he’s hired to find a necklace by an enigmatic client, the assignment is much harder than he ever thought it would be. Howard is about to get in an adventure that spans the galaxy and could threaten the Earth, the universe, and the very fabrics of the reality!
Written by Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones, Howard the Duck Volume 0: What the Duck is a satirical comic. The volume is listed as 0 due to the relaunch of the series by Marvel as a result of Secret Wars which relaunched all of their titles.
Howard the Duck is one of my favorite Marvel characters, but he is also one of the most difficult characters to write. Writers can’t simply make him a joke and he can’t be placed in an action story for irony. Each Howard the Duck story kind of has to be crafted for the character…and Zdarsky seems to get this better than others have in the past.
Howard has always been tied to the Nexus of Reality from his onset…in fact he was created as a joke, but the joke stuck. This series takes Howard back to his roots and explores them a bit more. In addition, it becomes a means to joke about the Marvel Universe which has become so convoluted (and in my opinion) not very enjoyable in the last five to ten years.
Zdarsky also remembers that Howard is a parody and satire. Things like the Abundant Glove are so close to the original Howard the Duck writings where villains were superhuman turnips and accountants and kidney obsessed women (and actually She-Hulk’s second series which came close to capturing Gerber’s style so it is nice to see her here as well). I like the superhero crossovers (Gerber did that as well), but I’d also like to see the return of some of Howard’s classic villains like Doctor Bong and the Beaver.
Joe Quinones isn’t quite what I had in mind for Howard, but he is close. I can’t get past my love for the original Howard art which was at the peak of classic Marvel. Quinones is modernized art and stylized…which is something that the original series probably would have been if it had arose today.
Howard the Duck 0: What the Duck shows a lot of promise. In today’s comic market (especially involving the big two of Marvel & DC), it is hard to “get close” to a comic because you seem to always be hurt by them…either the company doesn’t support the title and cancels it or the creative team leaves. It is a painful reality of the comic market today. Howard the Duck might just be too creative to survive. Howard the Duck 0: What the Duck is followed by Howard the Duck 1: Duck Hunt.