Monday, March 28, 2016

Retro Marvel: Howard the Duck #22 and 23

Howard the Duck is an interesting Marvel character.  Played for laughs by his creator, Steve Gerber, Howard the Duck is an anthropomorphic duck who becomes trapped on Earth and has adventures that satire politics and society.  Visually, the character has a striking resemblance to Disney's Donald Duck and even has Donald's grumpy disposition.

Howard the Duck #22 and 23 contain a 2-part story which parodies elements from Star Wars.

Howard the Duck #22a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (March 1978)
Howard the Duck #23a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (April 1978)
The extent of the Star Wars references on the cover to Howard the Duck #22 is the blurb May the Farce Be With You!  The cover for Howard the Duck #23 is more recognizable as a spoof of the Star Wars movie poster by Tom Jung and later the Hildebrandt brothers.  Howard is dressed like Luke Skywalker and at his feet is Jennifer Kale in Princess Leia's pose.  Korek the Barbarian is Han Solo and the Man-Thing is Chewbacca.  The two droids are NAAC-3PO and 2-2-2-2, or Tutu for short.  Behind the two droids is Dakimh the Enchanter and the helmeted villain is one of the Dearth Vapor henchmen of Bzzk'Joh.  The blurb reads: Right this very minute in a galaxy too close for comfort... Star Waaugh!

As you can imagine, much of the humor inside these two issues is dated and I found it a chore to read this story.  Even so, I'm happy to add these relics from the 1970s to my Star Wars comic collection.

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