Monday, July 13, 2020

Marvel Immersion Project: Howard the Duck #4-10

Howard the Duck co-creator Steven Ross Gerber was born September 20, 1947 in St. Louis.  As a teenager, he helped launch one of the first comic fanzines, Headline.  After graduating from St. Louis University, he found work as a copywriter in advertising. 
Steve Gerber - Wikipedia
via Wikipedia
Frustrated, he wrote to Roy Thomas, one of his Headline collaborators and by the time of the letter in 1972, Marvel's editor-in-chief.  Thomas brought him on board.  First came Man-Thing, a monster character introduced in Adventure into Fear #11.  Howard was introduced in issue #19 of the same series. 

Gerber died in 2008 of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.  He was posthumously inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2010.

My Recent Reads

Howard the Duck #4
Originally Published July 1, 1976
Writer: Steve Gerber
Artist: Gene Colan
  • Howard and Bev are disturbed by their upstairs neighbor, struggling artist Paul Same.  
Paul Same (Earth-616) | Marvel Database | Fandom
Note: even Winky-Man wears his mask properly.  Via Marvel Database
  • As it turns out, he's a sleepwalker who goes out in the night as a vigilante hero, Winky-Man.

Howard the Duck #5
September 1, 1976
  • Howard and Bev are struggling to pay the bills, Bev's artist modeling work not enough to support them both.  
Gonzo the Clown (Earth-616) | Marvel Database | Fandom
via Marvel Database
  • Howard looks for work, including an ill-fated stint on a children's television show with Gonzo the Clown.
Selma Blotte (Earth-616) | Marvel Database | Fandom
via Marvel Database
  • Also featured: Kidney Lady, her second appearance.  She harasses Howard on the city bus.
  • Fed up with Cleveland, Howard and Bev set out to hitchhike their way to New York.

Howard the Duck #6
November 1, 1976
  • Howard and Bev are stranded in the Poconos.
  • Frustrated with her traveling companion, Bev sets off on her own.  She finds a creepy mansion where she is presumed to be the new governess by
Patsy Dragonsworth (Earth-616) | Marvel Database | Fandom
via Marvel Database
Patsy Dragonworth (last name attached in later stories).

Joon Moon Yuc (Earth-616) | Marvel Database | Fandom
via Marvel Database
  • Howard is discovered by the followers of a religious zealot, Joon Moon Yuc, who sees our hero as an agent of Satan who must be destroyed.  He is undoubtedly based on real-life lunatic Sun Myung Moon.  Unfortunately, the character image promotes Asian stereotypes.
Heathcliff Rochester (Earth-616) | Marvel Database | Fandom
via Marvel Database
  • Howard is rescued by a gallant realtor on horseback, Heathcliff Rochester.
  • References to Wuthering Heights, Frankenstein, Jane Eyre and House of Seven Gables abound. 

Howard the Duck #7
December 1, 1976 (note: upgraded to monthly)
Gingerbread Man (Earth-616) | Marvel Database | Fandom
via Marvel Database
  • Little Patsy brings a Ginger Bread Man to life, Frankenstein-style.
  • Howard and Bev finally make it to New York where they find jobs at the national convention for the All-Night Party.
Dreyfus Gultch (Earth-616) | Marvel Database | Fandom
via Marvel Database
  • Introduced: Dreyfuss Gultch, a country singer who picks them up in the Poconos.
  • Howard saves the presumptive presidential nominee from a bomb by pole vaulting into a multi-tiered, celebratory cake (1976 was an Olympic year, too).
  • Overwhelmed by his heroism, the delegates instead select Howard as their nominee!

Howard the Duck #8
January 1, 1977
Howard the Duck #8: Gerber, Steve (Writer) Gene Colan (Artist ...
via Amazon
  • I love the cover for this issue!  I want a t-shirt.  And a campaign button. 
  • Howard is running for President.  He dodges constant assassination attempts.  He tangles with message wranglers.  Most amazingly, he tells the truth.

Howard the Duck #9
February 1, 1977
Pierre Dentifris (Earth-616) | Marvel Database | Fandom
via Marvel Database
  • In the previous issue, the Presidential campaign was derailed on Election Day by a scandalous, and doctored, photo of Howard and Bev taking a bath together.  The dirty work was done by a bellhop working for Pierre Dentifris, aka Le Beaver. 
Preston Dudley (Earth-616) | Marvel Database | Fandom
via Marvel Database
  • On their Canadian adventure to clear their names, Howard and Bev are helped by a Canadian Mountie, Preston Dudley.

Howard the Duck #10
March 1, 1977
  • Howard has an identity-crisis dream with lots of character cameos, including
Pro-Rata (Earth-616) | Marvel Database | Fandom
via Marvel Database
    • Pro-Rata
Arthur Winslow (Earth-616) | Marvel Database | Fandom
via Marvel Database
    • Turnip-Man 


  1. These days, the GOP wouldn't bat an eyelid at someone in a bath with someone they shouldn't be in a bath with unless that person was a Democrat, then there would be hell to pay.

    I need to read this series at some point.

    1. A lot has changed since 1977. However, this series serves as a powerful reminder, a lot hasn't.