Writer Mark Waid
Artist Evan “Doc” Shaner
Color Artist Matthew Wilson
Letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna
I’m one of those who stuck with ABC’s Agents of SHIELD, even when all the signs that the show will never bounce back were clear. But bounce back it did, but those early episodes are pretty rough to watch. They really took the opportunity to retool, with their Winter Finale that was also a Captain America : Winter Soldier tie-in. So I’m a fan and been waiting for a chance to pick up this series. I haven’t read a Mark Waid title, in forever.
I do wonder what the actors’ contracts are like, that they are now having their images portrayed in comic form.
This issue features, Howard the Duck! Also in this issue, Leo Fitz and fellow SHIELD agent – Jeremiah Warrick – an expert on all things mystic (but has a head of an owl). If they could get Warrick on the show, that would be outstanding! Phil Coulson will be making an appearance as well.
I guess we don’t really need to know what has happened in previous issues, as the Past Mission paragraph is spent on introducing these agents. I do know that Invisible Woman, has appeared in this series.
This issue opens with Fitz and Warrick, running towards the person they are meant to meet.
I just read on Marvel Database , that Warrick’s first appearance is in issue six of this series and this issue, here. He was in charge of Doctor Strange’s records and now has the body of a man and a man size owl’s head, for a head.
They are clearly talking about Howard the Duck, who we see is in front of, Duck Bucket, a restaurant. It clearly a SHIELD front, as they don’t even offer any duck related dishes.
We are introduced to Alphonse de Manger Beaucoup Ducanard, we will learn his full name later. He speaks only in French, so we get some great translation boxes. Ducanard tries to stab Howard but he uses his duck-fu and Fitz gets Howard out of the situation. I like how Fitz says “psst! Howard!” and how how Howard gives him shit for it. Now that Howard has a SHIELD official’s attention, he confronts Fitz about the duck restaurant, as a meeting place. Fitz asks the chef to make a duck dish and the chef doesn’t know what Fitz is going on about.
I like how SHIELD is dealing with fallout from Spider-Verse, even though that was from a while ago. The mutli-verse is in jeopardy. Fitz reveals that Jemma Simmons and Phil Coulson are tacking the problem on a different front.
Howard the Duck, who has seen practically everything, is startled by a man with an owl’s head, for a head. Warrick gives Howard a crystal ball. Warrick gives Howard an item that will restore the omniversal zipper. Only Howard can fix the cosmic zipper. As Howard is being cynical with Fitz, Warrick waves a wand and causes the other two to disappear.
Fitz and Howard find a dying alternate Howard the Duci. Howard does not like watching a version of himself die.
They teleport again. Another Howard the Duck dies. Howard can’t believe this, as it is a very short list of those people who have died, more than once.
The second group of heroes are –
Mr. Fantastic, Thing, Human Torch, the Original Human Torch, Psylocke, Quasar, Swordsman, Hercules, Professor X, Havok, Magik, Banshee and Elektra.
Magik’s two deaths, I imagine, one is during Inferno and other is by the Legacy Virus. Or maybe Howard is counting her death at the hands of the Beyonder, during Secret Wars II, I bet that is what he is counting as only the character of Magik, died, during Inferno. Illyana was fine, a child again but fine.
That’s right, I bought this issue, for a mere Magik reference, that is at the tail end, of a second list of Marvel comic characters, that have died twice (or more than twice).
Psylocke has died, as the beginning of X-Treme X-Men, at the sword tips of Vargas and maybe Howard is counting the body swap with Revanche, for a second time? Or maybe the end of Fall of the Mutants, when the X-Men were believed to be dead.
Reed died once, along with Doom, but they were really both missing, together. Well, he died at the end of Onslaught, if that’s what they are counting. Same with go with Human Torch, his second death will be during Hickman’s Fantastic Four run, but he was really in the Negative Zone, and he died a bunch there. Waid killed Thing, for an issue, during his legendary run on Fantastic Four, and he also died at the end of Onslaught : Marvel Universe, which may have been written by Waid, too, now that I’m writing about it.
Xavier has died, a couple of times. Back in the 60s, though that was really Changling. Legion killed him and sparked the Age of Apocalypse, and Cyclops killed him near the end of AvX.
Swordsman, I know died at least once.
Banshee died during Deadly Genesis, for sure.
I guess Havok’s “death” at the end of Fall of the Mutants, along with Psylocke, counts for one. Oh and exploding in X-Factor 149 and launching Mutant X, that must be his two.
Elektra died during Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil, not sure about her second death.
Original Human Torch, probably just explaining his lack of being used, Post-WWII. I know he was in the 1997 Heroes for Hire – which was awesome – that’s pretty much how I know about the character.
I’m not aware of hen Quasar or Hercules died, at all. Did Quasar die at the end of Maximum Security, or did he just merge with the planet, Ego? I think he only merged with Ego.
I don’t get Howard the Duck’s usage of “piano” He uses it twice, at the end of two different sentences. I’m not aware of the context of the expression.
Howard is so sad, he is willing to beat Fitz. Just then, a lady dressed as Howard the Duck, introduces him to his own Duck-verse – Howard the RoboDuck, Howard the Duck (who is Thor inspired), the Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Howard the Duck (Thing inspired) and Strange-Duck (Doctor Strange inspired). RoboDuck is a giant size duck in a suit of armor, a mix of Giant Man and Iron Man, maybe? I imagine the lady is suppose to be Howard the Duck, mainstray, Beverly, but cosplaying as Howard the Duck. Remember, Cosplay is not Consent!
We have a new arrangement of pull out ads. Mighty Thor, with Jane Foster. Ms. Marvel. All New Hawkeye, with Kate Bishop and Old Man Hawkeye. Illuminati, Hood and his villain crew. Vision and his family title. Carnage, Nova and Deadpool. I don’t get the theme of any of these titles, I think they were just the last batch.
There is also a Sister Howard the Duck. Their group name is, Legion of Howards – they are a cross-existenial reality force that fights for hyperjustice. Our Howard, wants to know why he was never invited to join their group. The panel of awkward silence, is so great.
While Mighty Howard the Duck is trying to convince our Howard, to save the universe, he is forked to death. His look of confusion and StrangeDuck’s utter shock, is pretty awesome.
I like how Waid has Ducanard speak in long monologues. Typically, with a character that speaks another language, they either pepper their English with a few words of their native tongue. Or they speak in one sentence turns. Ducanard gets a full page of dialogue, which is amazing in this current age of comics. We learn that he was born to create a perfect pate from the blended livers of one single duck who exists in many forms, across diverse realities. Which is an odd power set or desire, but lucky for him – there are plenty of Howard the Ducks. Who knew? Ducanard only has one rival, in all of the dimensions.
Fitz pushes Howard out of the way and gets forked, but it is only a flesh wound. This is enough for Howard to get really mad. Fitz uses one of RoboDuck’s weapons to shoot Ducanard, in the back!
StrangeDuck starts to heal Fitz, but he reminds them that Ducanard hinted at a rival. That rival is . . . The Liverer! Galactus but with a craving for dimensional duck. Also, his color scheme is green, instead of purple. The Liverer’s role in the universe is to savor a cosmic pate blended from the livers of millions of possible parallel permutations of the same mallard. Howard points out how that was Ducanard’s role. Liverer corrects him, it is Liverer’s role, Ducanard was only born into it. It is the small details.
While Liverer is preparing Howard’s liver, SisterDuck has the zipper attachment prime and ready to zip up the situation. As the zipper closes, everyone starts fading to their own universes. Fitz tells Howard to come with him, as they share the same reality. Except that Howard doesn’t come from our Earth, so he is tempted to go back to DuckWorld. Fitz gets distracted, seeing a world where he and Jemma are a couple.
Back on Earth, Warrick has been struggling to bring Fitz and Howard back, as he explains to Coulson. Just then, the two materialize in front of Warrick. Warrick explains that everything is back to how it should be.
This was a pretty great issue, I may have to track down the first trade and see how we got there. Or at least, read issue six.