Sunday, March 22, 2015

Howard The Duck #1 - A Review

Trapped in a world he never made, Howard The Duck didn't think his life could get much worse. The public is alternatively scared and/or distrustful of him. The police think he's a trouble-maker. And the superhuman community don't have much use for him either. He can't even afford a real secretary! Still, the duck detective finally has a case he can sink his bill into. Now, if he could only get a clue...

Newcomers to Howard The Duck (i.e. everyone who only knows Howard from his cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy and that other movie we do not speak of) will be relieved that there is no cumbersome backstory to be made aware of in this first issue.  Howard is a talking duck. He's trapped on Earth. He's not happy about it. Neither are any of the stupid hairless apes who make Howard's life even more difficult. That's all you need know. A quick reference is made to there being a woman in Howard's past but the matter is quickly dropped as Howard is in no mood to discuss it.

Thankfully, for us old-timers, there are a number of references to Howard's past adventures even though this book gives him a fresh start. For instance, Howard is sharing an office building with She Hulk - an arrangement neither of them is particularly happy about, save when Howard needs someone to bail him out of jail. These nods to the past add to the humor of the issue, of which there is a considerable amount. And of course there's an obligatory first issue cameo by Spider-Man. And a training montage!

Chip Zdarsky's hilarious script is well met by the artwork of Joe Quinones and Rico Renzi.  Quinnones's style is reminiscent of Mike Allred's with simple character designs and a dynamic sense of motion between panels. His design for Howard himself is notable, being a nice compromise between Howard's film appearances and his original appearance in the comics. Ironic really, now that they don't have to worry about a Disney lawsuit...

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