Saturday, June 27, 2015

Howard The Duck #4 - A Review

The good news is that Howard The Duck recovered the necklace he'd been hired to retrieve. The bad news is that his client turned out to be a Skrull and he stiffed Howard on his bill. The printed statement regarding payment for services rendered kind of bill.  Not the duck-bill kind of bill.

But the worse news is that the necklace contained something called an Abundant Gem that could give its barer reasonable cosmic power.  Looks like Howard needs a Doctor. And since that British guy isn't published by Marvel UK anymore, that means Doctor Strange!

Howard The Duck has quickly become one of my favorite titles and this issue is a good example of why. This issue revels in the inherent silliness of classic Marvel Comics, depicting a vapid Johnny Storm who can't be bothered with worrying about having lost a cosmic artifact 10 years earlier and a Doctor Strange who plays poker with cosmic entities. And through it all Howard plays the straight-man to everyone else's insanity.

Chip Zdarsky's scripts are a riot and after this issue I want to see him writing a Doctor Strange series.  Joe Quinones' artwork is brilliant and he does a fine job of parodying Steve Ditko's style in the sequence where Howard steps between worlds. And the colors by Rico Renzi and Rachelle Rosenberg are perfectly chosen.

As usual, the back-up story is also an enjoyable treat. The plot centers on Howard being recruited to steal the secrets of Pym Particles for The White Rabbit. It is to Chip Zdarsky's credit that he managed to get through this story without making a Trix joke. And the artwork by Katie Cook and Heather Breckel is adorably hilarious.

For my money, there's no funnier, finer book to spend your four bucks American on.  And best of all, it's one of the few Marvel titles out right now that isn't part of a crossover!  So if you haven't given Howard The Duck a shot yet, do so!

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