Howard the Duck (Vol. 4) #2 (Story 1)

Background

In the first issue of this Volume 4 reboot, detective-for-hire Howard T. Duck robbed Black Cat's apartment to recover a necklace, before finding himself a guest/prisoner/exhibit on first "The Collector's" space ship, and then Collector's home planet named "Collecton".

That's where we pick up in issue #2.

Story Details

  Howard the Duck (Vol. 4) #2 (Story 1)
Summary: Spider-Man Appears (and Aunt May)
Editor: Will Moss
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Joe Quinones
Cover Art: Joe Quinones
Colorist: Rico Renzi

Howard is sharing a cell with Rocket Raccoon. The two of them get taken away for DNA sampling so that the Collector's "Gatherers" (his robotic servants) can create compatible mates for them in captivity. Well, that's a nice touch. I've stayed at five-star hotels that don't even provide that service.

But Rocket has something else in mind. Using a hidden acid vial, he frees himself (and Howard) from capture so that the two of them can go hunting for the "Celestial's Heart". This is the McGuffin which Rocket Raccoon is specifically tasked with finding, having deliberately allowed himself to be "collected" for that very purpose.

Raccoon hacks the computer system and steals some weapons before the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive to assist – because this comic is from 2015 and the G's.o.t.G were absolutely everywhere back then. Without much fuss, the Guardians (with Howard) escape successfully with the object of their mission, as well as taking with them as many of the other prisoners as will fit in their space-ship.

Howard gets dropped back off at the roof-top from whence he was kidnapped, and where Spider-Man is still (two or three days later) sleeping in a scruffy and unshaven state. Spidey wakes, but doesn't manage to assemble any complete sentences during his three-panel cameo.

Finally, Howard drops in to see his new friend Tara at her tattoo studio, which is currently being robbed by a pistol-toting Aunt May.

General Comments

Remind me again, what is this comic about? What is it for?

More than anything, it reminds me of those annoying teens who like making weird, non sequiturial statements out-of-the-blue, then laughing at their own joke and saying "I can't help it... I'm just so random!"

Look! Aunt May has a gun! Star-Lord named his space-ship C.I.T.T! The Collector's collecting room is shaped like a person! Spider-Man is a pathetic loser! LOLZ! So random!

Overall Rating

This comic is trying so hard to be funny, flailing in every direction trying to be weird and fresh.

But it's not. Once upon a time, Howard the Duck "worked" because of sheer novelty value. But the world has moved on since then, and resurrecting HtD for a FOURTH series is no longer interesting in-and-of-itself.

If you're going to bring back Howard, you have to have a reason for it. A purpose.

But there is no purpose to this comic: It's not funny. It's not insightful. It doesn't tell a story worth reading. It doesn't develop characters. It doesn't provide a visual spectacle or propose new ideas or even pull you along with dialog.

It does not do any of the things that a piece of writing needs to do in order to succeed. And so it fails.

One Web.

Footnote

And where is the Collector himself at this juncture? He is away at "CosmoCon" – a trade show for unique cosmic items, such as "The Cosmic Rubix Cube".

The three-page back-up story features Howard "Hero For Hire" the Duck defending his advertising in court against the original trade-marked Heroes For Hire, Iron Man and Power Fist. Howard's lawyer wears a Spider-Man costume clearly visible under his suit – apparently all the cool lawyers are doing it, after Daredevil was outed as a super-hero.