Howard the Duck 2: Good Night, and Good Duck

howard the duck volume 2 good night and good duck cover trade paperback tpb
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Zdarsky gets Howard, Beverly's return

Wish the series ran longer

Comic Info

Comic Name: Howard the Duck (Volume 3)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Chip Zdarsky

Artist:  Kevin Maguire/Joe Quinones

# of Issues: 5

Release Date: 2016

howard the duck #8 cover beverly

Howard the Duck (3) #8

Reprints Howard the Duck (3) #7-11 (July 2016-December 2016).  Someone is manipulating Howard, and Howard would like to know who that is.  After a trip to the Savage Land, Howard finds himself reunited with his friend Beverly Switzler and learns what Beverly has been up to since his life turned upside down again.  The mystery of who is manipulating Howard deepens with the arrival of Lea Thompson…whose missing memory blocks might hold the key to Howard’s recent bad turn of events!

Written by Chip Zdarsky, Howard the Duck Volume 2:  Good Night, and Good Duck is the final volume in the Marvel Comics Howard the Duck relaunch series.  Following Howard the Duck Volume 1:  Duck Hunt, the collection features art by Kevin Maguire and Joe Quinones.

I love Howard the Duck.  The original series was original, edgy, and something that most mainstream comic books never reached…then Howard the Duck (who was created as a joke) became a real joke with the Howard the Duck movie.  With the return of Howard in Guardians of the Galaxy, Howard has some hope…and Zdarsky manages to recapture some of that original Howard the Duck inane style.

howard the duck #9 cover variant lea thompson

Howard the Duck (3) #9 Variant

The series manages to both be kind of canon and a farce at the same time.  You have extreme versions of characters like Spider-Man (who bemoans his failures all the time) and you have Howard going up against real villains…but they are villains that mostly fit the context of the character.  The original series created a number of villains for Howard to fight, but characters like Mojo and She-Hulk work in a comic like this just because of the tone of Howard’s comic.

The issues that are the most fun in this collection revolve around Beverly Switzler.  Though I don’t mind Tara, Beverly is Howard’s girl.  In the 1970s, Beverly was ditsy and an unfocused dingbat…something rather un-PC now.  The “fixing” of Beverly in the movie version of the film is part of the reason the film was wrecked.  Zdarsky does a good job bridging the gap between the original Beverly and the Lea Thompson Beverly by giving Beverly a real goal and depth.  The inclusion of Lea Thompson does poke fun at the movie and gives the series the weird reflexive-ness it needs to rise above a simple parody of superhero comics.

Howard the Duck was a fun Marvel title while it lasted.  Howard is notoriously difficult to write because of the tone, but Zdarsky gets it right (or as close to right as possible).  I wish the series could have had a long life, but at least the story wraps up and has some logical closure instead of a completely rushed ending…I’m sure Howard will “fly” again someday.

Related Links:

Howard the Duck 0:  What the Duck

Howard the Duck 1:  Duck Hunt

Howard the Duck (1986)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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