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CSBG Archive

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

Destroyer Duck 1.jpg

Mix equal parts Steve Gerber and Jack Kirby. Sprinkle with Alfredo Alcala. Stir. Serve with Sergio Aragonés and Jerry Siegel. What do you get? 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.

Destroyer Duck 2.jpgDestroyer Duck 3.jpg

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:

Destroyer Duck 4.JPG
Destroyer Duck 6.JPG

And don’t forget the splashes! (Sorry for the big file size on this one. Oops.)

Destroyer Duck 5.jpg

And don’t even forget the panels!

Destroyer Duck 7.JPG

(Hee hee.)

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.


In case nobody’s mentioned it yet, there better be some goddamn Zoo Crew in this anthropomorphic celebration or I will have to cut a bitch.

Duck week???… Mighty Ducks????
Coincidence.. I think not!

I gotta read this.

Also, you forgot Phooey in your list of ducks.

I feel stupid for mentioning this, but surely Usagi Yojimbo is on this list, right? Also, when will you do a Steve Gerber day?

And the Ducks win the cup!

Are all of those covers cover-homages? I recognize the third one from the original Wolverine miniseries.


June 7, 2007 at 6:25 am

I am the bringer of good tidings… of awesomeness.


Buy it from your LCS in JULY (it was listed in the MAY Previews).

Amazon has it for Pre-Order.

I know I’ll be doing so.




June 7, 2007 at 6:31 am

Oh…COGBURN, the Spineless Wonder…

John Byrne being “byrned” in effigy.

I remember in old E-MAN comics, Byrne being “Companyman” and described as a COG in the Marvel corporate wheel.


Well, be that as it may, when I met the man (many, many years ago) at a Con (my first) he was nothing but the nicest, most professional, and encouraging artists I’ve ever received a critique from.

He may have become a crazed megalomaniac since then.
I dunno.
I’ve no personal experience with him in that regard, so, I really can’t say.


The Kirbydotter

June 7, 2007 at 6:58 am

I agree: you MUST get USAGI YOJIMBO in this week’s series!
He’s been on my pull list since day one! He recently celebrated his 100th issues at Dark Horse. In a business where anthropomorphic characters seem a thing of the past, the ronin rabbit is still going strong!

“Amazon has it for Pre-Order.”

Unfortunately, if you scroll down on that page, there’s a forum post with a link:


Which says the collection has been either cancelled or delayed.

While I always have and always will love The King, the anger and bitterness of this story makes Kirby’s art feel downright grotesque and ugly. Mind you, the anger and bitterness are justified, but it’s honestly unnerving for me to read to read DD, which is probably what Gerber, Kirby, and Co. wanted on some level.

Tangent: Were the identities of the slimy pros featured in the Mark Evanier-penned “True Tales of Comics” (Or whatever they were called) back-ups that ran in a few issues of DD ever revealed?

Actually, John Byrne called HIMSELF a cog. In Comics Scene #2 from March 1982, an article where he takes a clear position against Steve Gerber and Jack Kirby — as well as the likes of Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Frank Miller, and later Alan Moore — Byrne said: “I am a cog in the machine which is Marvel Comics and I rejoice in that.” So that’s what the character in Destroyer Duck is about.

Byrne attempts to clarify what he meant by that here: “For every (imaginary) hit like HOWARD THE DUCK there was an OMEGA THE UNKNOWN. Should the creators get the goodies, but not have to take the financial hit when their work tanked?” Interesting theory. I wouldn’t mind it so much if Byrne had to pay Marvel and DC for some of his bombs…

Hahah. Surely, “Lab Rats” would have killed him.

Pity that the trade is being delayed, hope it’ll still show up sometime this year.

Ha! I just re-read issue 2 the other day. I knew this series had something to do with Gerber and Kirby’s legal troubles with Marvel, but I still somehow didn’t get the fact that Godcorp was supposed to be representing them, or that the spineless bearded guy was supposed to be Byrne. A lot of the satrie in Gerber’s comics goes over my head, but I still love his work.

Because of stuff like Pahkmani the Devourer. Ha!

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