RUN:31+2 issues (plus Annual)
(v1) 9 issues 1979-81 (mag) 3 issues 1986-87 (movie)
KEY CREATORS: Steve Gerber, Bill Mantlo (writers) Gene Colan, Val Mayerick, Jim Starlin (artists)
OUTLINE: An anthropomorphic duck finds himself in Cleveland. He begins a relationship with life model Beverly Switzler, the object of Doctor Bong's affections
STANDOUT ISSUES: Howard's hallucination issue; his wanderings after returning from a team-up with Man-Thing, his trip to Bagmom in the Annual. My favorite stand-out moment however is when he appears on a kid's show and gets hit with a cream pie. Howard promptly retaliates.
DUD ISSUE: Howard saves Christmas story in a Magazine (#3?). Howard's a good duck, but he doesn't have that much of a heart of gold.
OVERALL: The Gerber issues have plenty of great moments, being they in the form of cute puns or in social commentary, which this series excels at. The Kidney Lady is particularly disconcerting since even today it's hard to know how to react to the more unstable people one sometimes encounters on the bus. The Beverly still a sense that things are happening to Howard beyond his control. I can't comment on the pre-cancellation issues of the ongoing after Gerber left, not having read them. The Magazine is an abomination. By turning the kidney Lady into a generic super-powered villain, the social commentary is completely lost. Even when the stories aren't affecting past stories, the mags are still so dull I eventually stopped reading the ones I bought. The first revival issue is okay, but Material Duck (#33) goes the other extreme but the Xmas story by making Howard even more selfish than normal.
RECOMMENDED OR NOT? The Gerber stuff is great. The revival issues of the ongoing are recommend and not respectively, though both are pretty much in the middle. Avoid the magazine and the movie tie-in at all costs.
CONTINUITY NOTES: Howard and Bong still occasionally appear in the Marvel-U. Gerber has twice used other ducks who are implied to be Howard the Duck: Little Guy (Destroyer Duck#1) and Leonard in Savage