Howard The Duck #9: Questioning Reality On The Road To The Finale

The cover is marvelous, hinting at the comic’s conflict and eventual reveal with a simple shot of Howard stuck in an old-fashioned television. The attention to detail is incredible, ranging from the slightly bent antennae to the television’s shadow on the ground. At the bottom, we see the blurb for Lea Thompson’s cameo, big enough to be attention-grabbing, but not big enough to overshadow the the shadow (heh) cast by the TV.

With all the Civil Wars and Rebirths going on in comics, sometimes you just need a break. Howard The Duck #9 provides the perfect rest from crossover events with a hilariously meta adventure. It’s the ultimate combination of a classically goofy Howard adventure and a romp through the weirder parts of the Marvel universe. Chip Zdarsky also manages to tie the current story arc into essentially the entirety of his run with the character, making it simultaneously an enjoyable standalone story arc and an interesting finale for the series. I was happy to see a certain television-happy X-villain in the series, as I've always found him interesting.

As for Joe Quinones’s art, I continue to love it. It continues to give Howard The Duck the proper level of cartoonishness while giving Lea Thompson an appropriately realistic feel. Adding to it, the comic is just pleasant to read, with colorful creations dancing across the page. For example, Tara Tam, an underrated new character in the Marvel Universe, finally gets a superhero costume and it’s awesome.

Hey, Marvel, maybe Chip can write a "Great Lakes Fantastic Four" comic with Tara as the lead.
Don't throw stones, Howard. Remember "Iron Duck?"
I might be slightly biased because I miss the Fantastic Four, but you can’t deny that it still looks neat. The shifting colors create a kaleidoscope-esque image and go with her powers. Tara can shapeshift into various creations, including the pigment of her clothes, so why not make that a facet of her uniform? Speaking of colorful transformations, just look at this!

Transformers, more than meets the eye! Wait, would that be Taraformers? Terraformers? Hey, Chip, are you accepting fan submissions for Tara's superhero name?
Isn’t it wonderful? Finally, the lettering keeps the comic looking neat. Travis Lanham’s work efficiently makes sure that the appropriate amount of dialogue can be put in without coming off as too wordy or taking up too much space.

To conclude, Howard The Duck #10 is a visual and literary treat. I highly encourage picking it up as well as the remaining issues of the run. Who knows, maybe if the final copies are incredibly successful, Chip and Joe will end up working on more Howard projects. If not, then maybe James Gunn can work in another cameo appearance in the Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.

Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or the Harry Potter books.