Howard The Duck #2- A+
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Veronica Fish
With a Gwenpool/Howard story by
Writer: Christopher Hastings
Artist: Danilo S. Beyruth
In an issue of Howard the Duck without any Howard the Duck, it sure entertained me more than I ever thought it could! Even without Howard, Chip Zdarksy brought us an absolutely heart-wrenching story of a young duck, raccoon, and their adopted father that is bound to change life as we know for both Howard and Rocket Raccoon. Veronica Fish’s art makes the story even better as she makes these new characters of Linda the Duck and Shocket the Raccoon so adorable you wish YOU were their adopted father. Well, at least until the end of the story, but we’ll get to that.
We start when the previous issue left off, learning where and how the mysterious female versions of Howard and Rocket we saw in the last panel came to be. It appears that in the last series of Howard the Duck, when The Collector had both Howard and Rocket, that he got their DNA and used it to create females of their race to try and preserve them in the universe since they both seem to be the only beings like themselves around. However, knowing how both Howard and Rocket are emotional towards friends and the rest of the world, they bond instantly with their caretaker and hate just about everything else.
As time goes on we learn of darker means of why The Collector has Linda and Shocket and how he plans to freeze them until he recaptures Howard and Rocket. Obviously, as this unfolds, Linda and Shocket are not too pleased and they retaliate, escaping the facility with help from their caretaker, D-3X. The trio travel around the galaxy for months trying to evade The Collectors grasp until they find a place where time travel could be possible. As they get ready to board the ship to do so, one of The Collector’s men shows up, but they end up escaping right in time.
Now we jump with them from where they were in time to 25 years into the past. As they drift through space, they happen to encounter none other than Silver Surfer, who is drawn spectacularly by Veronica Fish, and he senses an anomaly with their ship. As D-3X explains to him why they are there, Silver Surfer has none of it and basically storms off like a little space baby after being threatened by Shocket.
This leads into another jump in time, which takes us to five years into the past where they are trying to sell uru zirconia figures of Silver Surfer to a gang – the results are not good. One of the gang members recognizes D-3X from his days of working for The Collector and shoots him down right as they were about to leave. Linda drags D-3X back onto the ship and they fly off, but D-3X was mortally wounded and he dies incredibly sadly as his adopted kids cry their eyes out – only slightly more than me.
We almost immediately go into another time jump that has us at 8 months ago where we see Shocket and Linda finding their way into the Nexus of All Realities which brings us to where we left off in he first issue, at least time wise that is. But we see that The Collector has found Howard, Shocket and Linda right where we left them in Florida and is sending out forces to capture them.
This story in general jumped around a lot and left us completely heartbroken for Linda and Shocket, but also not really knowing their motive for what comes next. But the writing of it was executed beautifully; Chip Zdarksy always does with his writing. His humor and writing style are very specific to me, and knowing he writes for Howard and Jughead kind of explains his writing as a whole as there are few existing characters in comics that his writing fits into so perfectly. This issue was made even better with guest artist Veronica Fisher’s art that comes across as a very detail version of watercolors. This form makes most of the panels very colorful and each one a picture hat would look beautiful framed and on the wall. I hope to see her back for more in the future, but also look forward to Joe Quinones’ return next issue. Now I’ve gone and spoiled the whole book for you, because, well, I cosplay as Howard and may have incorporated too much of his mean spirited character into my real life. WAUGH!
Since my hairless ape of a self went and spoiled things worse than a rotten egg, I will leave the Gwenpool story in the back of this issue a mystery to enjoy. I will say it is highly enjoyable for me even being a person who does not quite understand the sudden Gwen Stacy madness, especially her as
Deadpool Gwenpool. With it being part 2 of 3, it certainly leaves a lot of action for the last part coming next month. Christopher Hastings does a good job with writing, despite the story being so short and having to move quite fast compared to the larger Howard story this month. What am I saying, though, is… this issue spanned over 25 years, so yeah, it moved quite fast as well. The number one thing I look forward to, though, is what comes next, because Howard sure seems ready for action, and that’s a rare occurrence for him.