Howard the Duck #8- A+
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Joe Quinones
For many Howard the Duck fans, this issue has been long awaited since issue #1 of the last volume before Secret Wars, all because we see the return of Bev. Beverly Switzler was Howard’s companion back in volume 1 of the series and every volume since except this current incarnation of Howard. So, as the series went on, more and more people wondered where in the duck (sorry, not sorry) is Bev? Well in this issue, we get the answer to that in both a heart wrenching and yet very heartfelt way that is guaranteed to make even the most diehard Howard the Duck hater to have their heartstrings tugged a bit.
After a couple brief flashback scenes to the early days of Howard and Bev (we even saw Howard without pants!!!), we learn what she is up to and why exactly the two split in the first place. We get to see that despite some obvious animosity between the two, the love they have for each other is better than the love almost any two comic characters have. A love that many people had very confusing feelings of when put onto the screen in the Howard film with Lea Thompson. But no matter what kind of relationship Howard and Bev have, it is clear they are meant to be together and the way Chip Zdarsky wrote this issue, it is obvious big things are going to take place from all of this, including many spoilery things that are just not the same unless you read them.
Howard and Bev decided they need to stay apart for a little while longer and make amends before Howard heads back to New York while Bev stays in Maine. Lot of stuff happens between this point and the last – but like I said, HUGE spoilers… But as Howard heads out and Bev gives him a loving kiss, they both relate how much they miss each other and we are left wondering yet again, when will we see Bev? In the mean time Howard falls asleep at his office and get awoken by Aunt May as he has a new client, and a famous one that Aunt May is a fan of at that! As Howard makes himself presentable none other than Lea Thompson, the star of Howard the Duck shows up asking for help on a missing persons case, the person missing? Lea Thompson herself?!?!
The art of this issue was fantastic as always. Joe Quinones is one of the best artists in the biz right now and if the cover art of this issue alone does not prove that to you, you must have worse vision than Mr. Magoo! So with Joe Quinones on art and Chip Zdarsky on writing, this series seems to be in the best hands it has been since Steve Gerber himself was writing it, and in some cases like the Howard the Duck #16, special-once-in-a-lifetime album issue. Despite that issue being a brilliant turn on comics itself, it still felt odd and worse than any issue of Zdarsky’s run which has been some of the best Marvel has going for it at the moment.
Overall, this issue was executed with extreme precision and a deep-seeded feeling of care for the character. I am sure as a life time Howard fan it touched me more than most people reading this series (and I don’t meaning touching as in Chip’s other series Sex Criminals… geez people get your mind out of the gutter. WAUGH!) But this series reached a point during this issue that it hadn’t seen yet despite being so well done, and that point was it seemed perfect on all accounts. I mean we even got a classic Spider-Man joke in a flashback, that Zdarsky is so damn good at doing. I really cannot urge everyone enough to pick up this series if you can, because this is a time where Howard should have his relevancy back and even more. This creative team, seeing Bev, and having Lea Thompson show up are both pretty perfect; more than anything, the fact we saw Howard, as he was meant to be, which hasn’t happened since Steve Gerber passed is the ultimate reward for Howard fans and the entire comic book world in general.