My Pitch for a Howard the Duck Comic

I originally wrote the pitch below in late 2013, so a few of the references may be slightly outdated in today’s world of Marvel Comics, but I don’t believe terribly so. Funny enough, there are some things I came up with that seem to have become a reality, as well. I think it holds up and, Marvel, if you’re reading, I’m always available for you.

Of course, you could also have any of the below freely if it means I get a new
Howard the Duck comic. So, there you go.

Drinking coffee and reading the newspaper one morning with Beverly (he refuses to use a tablet, but she’s hovering over her phone), Howard becomes disgusted with the ongoing corruption and brutality of the Marvel Universe as he reads headline after headline of heroes battling heroes, people dying and coming back to life (he makes a quack comparing them to his time hunting zombies), etc. So, based on a blasé comment from Bev he initially scoffs at, Howard decides to do something about it: he’s going to run for president again.

When he tries to declare his candidacy for the next election, thinking that they’ll argue he’s not a naturally born citizen (he insists he was born in America, just not this America), Howard’s floored when, through faulty processing, he still is not recognized by the government as even existing (a nod to Civil War).

The woman at the office tells Howard she’ll have it corrected, but it will take some time. Howard laughs, and declares nothing in the government is ever done quickly so long as someone can make money delaying it, while not trusting them to actually get it done anyway (he had a lawyer and everything before, and it didn’t work!).

He decides to fix it himself by simply changing the course of events because, well, what good did the Civil War really do anyway?

He heads into A.R.M.O.R. in the middle of the night, bumping into Machine Man along the way, who nonchalantly pulls him into a game of poker with some of the lads there (including Dum Dum). After talking over the merits of time travel (“Everyone’s doing it nowadays, anyway. No one would care one bit.”), he adjusts the reality-travelling portal to allow him to do so and sets the machine to go back to shortly before Civil War. Hopping through, he arrives just before Tony Stark is gearing up to deliver his speech on the Registration Act.

Howard pulls him aside, threatening to beat him up with his iron suit if he has to (he’s “still got one in a trunk somewhere”) if he doesn’t listen to him. Tony shrugs, saying he doesn’t have much time for this, but Howard then explains everything that happens following Civil War from his point of view: Captain America’s death and resurrection, Hulk’s angry return, the Skrull invasion (he stomps on Elektra’s foot to show she’s a Skrull), Thor’s return, Osborn’s control with H.A.M.M.E.R., all the way through Fear Itself, Age of Ultron and the release of the terrigen mists. He blames it all on Tony, explaining that, if he didn’t push the Registration Act, all of that could have been avoided. He then invites Tony to have a drink with him and think it over before speaking, which is politely refused.

Howard waits outside smoking a cigar as Tony delivers his (altered) speech. When Tony emerges, feeling defeated because his grand idea would have led to so much devastation, Howard consoles him and tells him to go figure out the Hulk issue while he does a dance, thinking his problem solved.

He travels back to what he believes is our time but instead lands in the alternate timeline he created, where there’s no Hulk, Peter Parker leads a team of X-Men, Wolverine’s dead, etc. Howard realizes it’s not his world, nearly leaves, but goes to check his status as a citizen: his paperwork’s already been filed and processed for the presidential candidacy, and he’s all set to campaign. He smiles and decides to stay, at least for the time being, and decides to look Beverly up.

That would end the first arc, which could be contained in anywhere from an oversized one-shot to a mini-series. From there, we have the overarching plot of Howard running for president in this vastly different parallel universe. In the meantime, though, there would be other mini-adventures, such as:

  • A team-up with Doop, acting head of the James Howlett School for Gifted Children, to battle Robo-barbarians (a nod toward the scene in Wolverine and the X-Men) with a broken sword, a rubber chicken with nails in it and a gun that shoots bees.
  • Trips to Wakanda, England, Russia, Latveria and other parts of the Marvel Universe to show off his abilities as future president. None of these meetings, of course, go completely as planned.
  • A check-in to the normal Marvel U during one of the many event battles, explaining why he always shows up during those scenes (like in Secret Invasion).
  • A one-shot wherein Howard addresses the alternate version of the FF, which he refers to as the future troublemakers.
  • His grand marriage to Beverly, since single presidents never look right to the public, which he describes as a rarity, and insists everyone comes wearing their costumes because the media will love it.
The finale would depend on the series’ length, but would see the results of the election and position Howard for a future in or out of the Marvel U.