Back in the 1970s, Marvel’s most famous heroes found their popularity rivaled by an unlikely source: a talking duck. Created by writer Steve Gerber and artist Val Mayerik, Howard the Duck first waddled onto the scene in 1973’s “Adventures into Fear” #19, quickly winning fans over with his sly observational humor. Howard soon got his own series, fittingly titled “Howard the Duck,” which quickly gained legendary status for its one-of-a-kind mixture of hilarity and social commentary. Though this original title ended decades ago, Howard has continued to appear in Marvel Comics ever since, as well as in film and on TV
Yet Howard remains somewhat obscure as far as Marvel characters go. More casual fans may not be aware of the behind-the-scenes legal wars surrounding the character, or that his much-maligned movie (which has since gained a devoted following) changed visual effects forever. They might not know about the famous band that cameoed in Howard’s comics, or that Disney has had a longer association with him than any other Marvel character. There’s enough Howard trivia out there to make a duck go “Waaaugh!” Out of fascination, that is, rather than Howard’s usual frustration.