365 Reasons to Love Comics #157
Our third and final duck rears his ugly bill (who isn’t me, this time) during Anthropomorphism Week! When two mad (in more ways than one) creators get together, they create bizarre brilliance. In this case, it’s a Marauding Mallard of Vengeance born from a lawsuit! Hold onto your hats, ’cause here comes– the link to the archive! Haha. Gotcha. Click on through the fold.
(For more awesome ducks, peruse my list of favorite ducks and tell me which ones I may have forgotten.)
157. Destroyer Duck
When the frightening geniuses Steve Gerber and Jack Kirby got together, we got one hell of a comic. Alright, so here’s the backstory: on Monday, I talked about Steve Gerber’s creator’s rights woes with Howard the Duck. He filed a lawsuit against Marvel for ownership of the character, and to raise some funds, the Destroyer Duck comic was produced. Gerber got together with Jack Kirby, who had also gone through some creator’s rights woes, and they produced the lead feature for five issues (Buzz Dixon and Gary Kato did the last two). Inks were by Alfredo Alcala. The book also featured back-up strips, including the first appearance of Sergio Aragones’ Groo the Wanderer, as well as Jerry Siegel (another dude with ownership issues!) and Val Mayerik’s The Starling, and a few other strips. The series was published by Eclipse over the course of a couple years.
So who exactly is Destroyer Duck? He’s really Duke Duck, a fellow whose best pal, a little duck who looked a lot like Howard, disappeared from his home universe and returned, dying, a victim of the horrible Godcorp (a.k.a. Marvel Comics). It later turned out this was just a clone who died, and the real
Howard Little Guy was still held captive by the corporation. “Destroyer” hopped over to Godcorp’s universe and started raising hell.
Because it was by Gerber and Kirby, it was filled with bizarre, satiric ideas and storylines. For instance: Woblina Strangelegs, a freaky ventriloquist-dummy-lady; Vulpa Packer, the Battle-Ax, who looks like DeSaad and Granny Goodness had a kid; Holmes the lawyer, who looks like Matt Murdock but wears a sillier costume– and that’s when he’s lawyerin’!; Cherries Jubilee, a tough broad with a red orb for a helmet; Brad Cogburn and his army of clones; and more. Hell, those were just some of the characters! The whole thing’s filled with delicious madness.
And my God, the spreads. The spreads:
And don’t forget the splashes! (Sorry for the big file size on this one. Oops.)
And don’t even forget the panels!
Mind-numbing work. Your brain will explode out the back of your head. That’s why he’s called Destroyer Duck.
The character returned to the forefront years later in Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck, in which Duke succeeded and rescued his pal, Howa– er, Leonard the Duck, “Whirled in a trap he never made!” Also, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Spider-Man (yes, as part of a stealth crossover) were there. In the end, “Leonard” joins the Witness Protection program with his girlfriend. Also, the evil Dr. Brainard answers the door to meet a gnome with a gun. Yes. Not an Elf with a Gun. No sir. (Mr. Gerber– you rock.)
That, my friends, is Destroyer Duck in a nutshell. It will probably never be collected, as the film was destroyed and the original art is all over the place– so pick up the issues if you stumble across them.
Tomorrow: different animal. Same amount of awesome.