Review: Marvel's Howard the Duck #1 by Zdarsky, Quinones, and Renzi | Fanboys Anonymous

Review: Marvel's Howard the Duck #1 by Zdarsky, Quinones, and Renzi

Posted by Sean Hamilton Saturday, March 14, 2015
Howard the Duck P.I.
Howard The Duck #1 cover by Joe Quinones
Howard the Duck—once the considered a nasty ripoff of Disney-owned properties, now ironically has come full circle as the feisty feathered feature of a comic book series of his own.

At the helm is Chip Zdarksy, the other half of the duo that brought you the amazing Sex Criminals, who now takes writing duties. On art is the talent of Joe Quinones with colors by Rico Renzi.

This is a good start to a book that looks like it could pull in some decent numbers with the first issue. With the hype surrounding the end credit scenes of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, Howard was fast-tracked back to the printed medium and under the careful guidance of this creative team, makes an audacious start.

The script is punctuated with some quick wit and the humor has a modern sarcastic approach, which fits right in with Zdarsky's personality. An earnest attempt has been made to give Howard a real voice of his own again, a sense of something different that could mature over the next few coming issues.

For a first issue in an ongoing series, Howard the Duck #1 settles in very quickly to a comfortable rhythm. We are introduced to the titular character and his supporting cast member Tara as they are being released from the local police station. As the story progresses, Howard's private investigation practice becomes the center for an unfolding missing persons/lost heirloom case. There are a couple of great cameo appearances from some wider New York–based Marvel superheroes during the course of the issue.

Howard the Duck strikes again
Howard's on the case...

Zdarsky doesn't waste time setting up for issue #2, which promises more even cameos from popular characters. A complementary sense of pace and storytelling ability come through in the art from Joe Quinones. The creators work in tandem to move us through Howard's world, one "Waugh" at a time.

Quinones art gives Howard the Duck a distinctness all its own. The clean, unfettered line and inking style provides an ease of access for readers that seems necessary for new readers who want to be drawn into the story. The experience Quinones brings from his time in the industry lends itself well in this venture. The choice of angles for panels and their arrangements shows a good grasp of craft that plays well for pacing and the progression of the story generally.

Spider-Man teams up with Howard the Duck
Its the Amazing Duck!?

Joining the artistic team, colorist Rico Renzi brings a sense of mood and dramatic flair that feels in tune with the intent of the story and art. Renzi seems to be making a quick splash with recent work at Marvel, as he is also colorist for the recently launched Spider-Gwen series.

Like Quinones, Renzi employs a very clear sense of direction with his color arrangement for this series. There is a nice subtlety to the backgrounds, yet the changing settings from cosmic to earthly realms lets Renzi expand the range on display. The stand-out page for colors is definitely the montage page, where Renzi drops a bomb of color to match Zdarsky's script.

Howard the Duck gets help from the web-crawler
Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Duck

It will be interesting to see what is in store for Howard in the coming issues. With "Secret Wars" on the horizon, how will this series fit into the wider Marvel-wide event? For now Howard is back with a quack and fitting into the swing of things.

As always, we want to hear what you thought about this issue. Make sure you leave a comment below or on our Facebook or Twitter and come back next time for issue two of Howard the Duck.

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