Writer Chip Zdarsky
Penciler, Colorist Joe Quinones
Inker Joe Rivera
Lettterer Travis Lanham
I haven’t read an issue of Howard the Duck’s previous volume’s fourth issue. I thought I had checked on Marvel Comics Database when this issue first came out and didn’t see Kitty listed as a character. Then at Hastings, I remembered the Guardians were going to appear in this title and I thought I might as well check the last page of this issue to see if they were teased, at all.
What I found was a Gwenpool back-up feature, so now I’ve read an appearance of that character BUT the important thing was that the last page of Howard’s main story, was a real winner. Glad I double checked, but now I’m worried that I may have missed some appearances of Kitty Pryde.
Here is what has been happening in the title, thus far. Linda, a female duck like how Howard is a male duck and Shocket (a female Rocket Raccoon) are on an adventure. The recap page implies that these two dames have a sad origin story. These two ladies are after Howard. Apparently he and Rocket caused these two ladies to be on the other side of the universe and now they are after him. Also, Howard is now the living Nexus of all Realities, which I have to wonder what that means for Man-Thing. Nice reference to co-creator, Steve Gerber, at the end.
The issue opens with Howard the Duck, riding a cosmic surf board and cast in all chrome – like from the cover. He’s worried that the universe is after him.
One week earlier, the majestic swamps of Citrusville, FL. Shocket and Linda have guns aimed at Howard and his female companion, Tara. Tara implies she is a superhero now, with a fun editor note stating that we can expect to see the “Captain Tara, the Last Avenger” film in 2032.
Shocket shoots Tara, which Linda isn’t happy with that choice. Linda is about to touch Howard, to plead with him to come with them but Shocket tells her to not to touch him. They are not sure what could happen.
Somehow, the Wizard (of Frightful Four fame) arrives and takes Howard hostage. As he touches Howard, there is a flash of light and the Wizard is gone. Howard freaks out, as he believes he has absorbed the Wizard. Linda explains the situation. Howard can now teleport people, or they can teleport him.
Howard asks who Linda is, she says that it is a long story. An awesome editorial note hips us that this happened in issue two. Not the previous issue two but the one from the previous volume but not the original volume from 1976 but the early 2015 volume not the late 2015 volume (which this one is, technically). Which is a fun jab at how silly relaunching this title, as often as Marvel has done.
Actually I got my asterisks backwards. Linda references how Howard and Rocket were prisoners of the Collector, which was from the early 2015 volume and Linda and Shocket’s story is found in the previous issue of this volume.
Linda, thankfully, explains the situation. Linda and Shocket are gender-altered clones that the Collector made, so that they would mate with Howard and Rocket (respectfully, I assume) so that their species will continue. Linda and Shocket, traveled back in time to avoid the Collector’s schemes but here they are now. I did check and I didn’t see any previous issues of this series at Hastings. I like Tara pausing the story so that she can process this. A lot has happened over two pages.
Linda and Shocket want Howard’s help to free the Collector’s other prisoners. Tara isn’t sure about the plan but Howard is still haunted by the prisoners. This wasn’t referenced in the later issue that I read.
The four of them are flying towards the Collector. Tara is excited about being in space. Howard isn’t that impressed, as space is full of nothing. Shocket takes offense to his attitude as space is their home. They have been on the run, for so long. Linda can’t wait to have a home and not just be on the run. She’s pretty excited about owning a couch that isn’t connected to a ship. So the two ladies match the personalities of their male counterparts.
Their ship, the Thundertrek, gets bombarded by one of the Collector’s ships. Right after that, a Skrull ship comes on top of them. Howard blames his involvement as to why everyone is after them. This gives Linda an idea.
Shocket expects that they are able to track Howard’s new cosmic signature. Linda knows that the other crews are only after Howard.
Tara keeps wanting to contact Doctor Weird (I imagine she really means, Doctor Strange, close enough!) to separate Howard from the Nexus of Realities.
Howard starts getting into flux, as the people on the ships are trying to teleport Howard off of them. This gives Howard an idea.
Howard is teleported to the bigger ship, that belongs to the Stranger. Neither one is impressed with the other. Howard wants answers from the Stranger. People want Howard as instead of using fancy technology (that could be chancy) Howard is a done-in-one trip. You think of the location, Howard makes it happen – super simple. Strange further explains that Howard has the ability to create new universes as well.
Stranger, as a scientist, would love to create a new universe that he can study and be a “god scientist” of. Howard agrees to be the gateway to this new universe, he only wants his friends to be set free. Stranger doesn’t like Howard having friends, that could be distracting, so Stranger blows up their ship.
Five minutes earlier, elsewhere. Tara, Linda and Shocket are teleported into a cargo bay. They are not sure where they are, they only know that Howard sent them someplace that they can get help at. They turn a corner to see . . .
The Guardians of the Galaxy! This is the first part of three issues guest starring the Guardians!
Feather Regions, no letters but some fun plugs and segues. This is written by Wil Moss, who is a Kitty Pryde fanboy so now I follow him on Twitter. @Wil_Moss, good guy.
Mostly the page has promotions for Gwenpool and her special that is coming out.
Then we got the final back-up that teams up Gwenpool and Howard the Duck.
Ms. Poole if You’re Nasty
Part Three of Three
Writer Christopher Hastings
Artist Danilo S. Beyruth
Color Artist Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer Travis Lantham
Issue opens with Howard giving Black Cat a box. Then the next page, starts the tale of how he got the box.
Howard and Gwenpool are crash landing into a Hydra base. Gwenpool, who seems more like Deadpool than Gwen Stacy – so a lady Deadpool who shows off her legs – something that Spider-Gwen doesn’t do in her costume, she’s covered from head to toe. Howard is also in a Deadpool-esque story.
There is a female head of Hydra, who isn’t Viper. She is working on that classic villain scheme of creating a disease and providing the cure afterwards.
Apparently, Gwenpool sold Hydra the disease and now is trying to get it back. I could have really used a recap page PLUS a page of what Gwenpool’s deal is.
Gwenpool calls the lady, Madame Hydra, but that isn’t her name. She and Viper are brunettes (though I always prefer Viper as a green haired beauty) but they are not the same person. Gwenpool references that she read an old Nick Fury story involving Madame Hydra’s weakness which reminds me that I believe Gwenpool is from our reality, somehow in a comic book – probably Marvel’s way of explaining her ability to fourth wall breakage.
Gwenpool grabs the box and drinks the virus. NotViper tells everyone to evacuate.
Howard stops NotViper by throwing a table at her. Gwenpool thought the guy, who was affected by the virus, and that he had super-mumps. She was vaccinated for mumps in her universe, so she thought she wouldn’t have to worry about it. Howard shouts at her that they have the mumps vaccine in the Marvel Universe too. Just then, the effects of the virus hit Gwenpool. Lady Hydra offers the cure, so that she doesn’t get sick and Gwenpool injects herself with it.
The Present. Black Cat as the box but now the people who first sold it to her want it back. I take it, there has been several double crosses here. They offer Felicia double the money and she takes the new deal.
Turns out, it wasn’t the person who sold Black Cat the virus but Gwenpool in disguise.
A decent nine page story, I’m sure I’m suppose to wikipedia “Gwenpool” and I may one day but not today.
I’m super excited about the next two issues of this title though, I can’t wait!