[[caption-width-right:300:Not your usual FunnyAnimal.[[note]]Notice in the background: [[ComicBook/{{Thor 2014}} Thor]], [[ComicBook/MsMarvel Captain Marvel]], ComicBook/SpiderMan, ComicBook/IncredibleHulk, [[ComicBook/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy Groot's twig form]], and ComicBook/BlackCat.[[/note]]]]


[[folder: Trapped in a world he never made! ]]

-->-- Original {{Tagline}}


[[folder: Trapped in a world he's grown accustomed to. ]]

-->-- [[ComicBook/AllNewAllDifferentMarvel All-New, All-Different]] Tagline

''Howard The Duck'' is one of the strangest comic book characters ever published by Creator/MarvelComics, [[AdaptationDisplacement best known today because of]] [[Film/HowardTheDuck its movie adaptation]], believed by many to be one of the worst films ever made; this is unfortunate, as the comic was both funny and full of social criticism, and was one of Marvel's best known titles during the [[TheSeventies 1970s]]. While not an [[UndergroundComics underground comic]] in of itself, ''Howard the Duck'' is widely cited as an example of the underground comix movement's influence on mainstream media.

The character was apparently created as a sight gag; in ''"Adventure into Fear''" #19 (December, 1973), in a ''ComicBook/ManThing'' story involving the "Nexus of All Realities" characters from several [[AnotherDimension universes]] appeared, many of them being obvious homages to fictional characters such as Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian and (in Howard's case) WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck. However, writer Creator/SteveGerber, known for both his love of strange characters and playing with readers' expectations, decided to continue using Howard, and convinced Marvel to give the character his own series. Although Marvel [[HilariousInHindsight had to strike a deal with]] Creator/{{Disney}} in order to use the character, including such things as requiring Howard to wear ''pants'', the character proved popular, most likely due to Gerber's writing.

Gerber had the "duck" accidentally transported to UsefulNotes/{{Cleveland}}, where the "hairless apes" (as Howard [[InsistentTerminology always refers to them]]) refused to believe he was anything but a midget in a duck costume and treated him as a weirdo. "Trapped in a world he never made" (the series' catchphrase) Howard tried to live a normal life (and got a series of jobs, such as driving a taxi) but [[WeirdnessMagnet kept running into bizarre people and creatures]] and ended up having to confront them. The vast majority of these were just [[SuperZeroes wannabe supervillains with silly names and goals]] such as "Doctor Bong" or humorous menaces like a vampiric cow. More importantly, the series used the short-tempered and sarcastic duck as a way to snark on modern human society. At one point, Howard even runs for President of the United States (!) only to retire after a false accusation of having sex with his friend, a human woman named Beverly Switzler.

Howard, despite running into superheroes occasionally, was no superhero himself, and had no superhuman powers (other than the [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands occasional unexpected skill]] such as "Quack Fu") though he still did end up helping people, directly or indirectly, mostly because of Beverly.

The character's popularity led to his being adapted into the live-action movie, but since other than the Beverly/Howard romance, nothing from the comics made it in, especially not the humor, fans of the character hated it. It was universally poorly-received among critics and fans alike, and was a major flop for Marvel, seemingly killing any chance of more stories involving Howard. Thankfully, time has been kind to him and he makes a cameo appearance in TheStinger of the hit and critically acclaimed film ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'', confirming him as a canon part of the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse continuity. He even got a new ongoing series --his first since TheEighties-- starting in March 2015, with Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones at the helm.

Howard was also the cause of a legal dispute between Marvel and Gerber, who claimed to own the character. This caused Gerber to leave the company and led to many years of legal wranglings; in the end, the situation was settled with Marvel keeping ownership of Howard. Howard has appeared occasionally in various Marvel titles since the 1970s, and a few years ago starred in a miniseries (again by Gerber) that made open references to his sexual relationship with Beverly (it was part of Marvel's adult-oriented [[Creator/MarvelMAX MAX]] line, which may not be a canonical part of the Franchise/MarvelUniverse.) He was one of the major parodied characters in the ''ComicBook/AmalgamUniverse'', merged with Creator/DCComics's Lobo as ''Lobo The Duck''. Seriously. He appeared again as an agent of the dimensional-patrolling agency ARMOR in the "Marvel Zombies" comics, starring alongside various heroes such as Aaron Stack, the Machine Man, and also had an appearance in the ''VideoGame/LEGOMarvelSuperheroes'' game as an unlockable character.


[[folder: Notable Comics ]]

* ''Howard The Duck:''
** vol. 1 (1975 -- 1986)
** vol. 2 (1979 -- 1981)
** vol. 5 (2015)
** vol. 6 (2015 -- 2016)
* ''Howard The Duck [[Creator/MarvelMAX MAX]]'' (2002)


[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/HowardTheDuck'' (1986)
* Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse (2014-present), voiced by Creator/SethGreen:
** ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' (2014)
** ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol2'' (2017)


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/LEGOMarvelSuperHeroes'' (2013)
* ''VideoGame/MarvelPuzzleQuest'' (2016)

!!Tropes featured in the comic:
* ActuallyADoombot: Gerber managed a ''pre-emptive'' example: According to his super-secret Howard and Comicbook/SpiderMan[=/=]Comicbook/DestroyerDuck and Comicbook/SavageDragon crossover (in which both sets of characters raided the same warehouse in different books), the ''real'' Howard actually ended up in the Image Universe under the name Leonard (although ''officially'' Leonard the Duck was an entirely creator-owned character) while the Howard left in the Marvel Universe for other writers to use was just a clone.
* AffectionateNickname: Howard is called "Ducky" by Beverly, and "Ducko" by her uncle Lee.
* ArchEnemy: Dr. Bong.
* AlliterativeName: Winda Wester. Tara Tam in the 2015 series.
* AnthropomorphicAnimalAdaptation: Inverted. He's a human named Howard T. Duck in Earth-65, ComicBook/SpiderGwen's home reality.
** Also inverted in the ''Howard The Human'' one-shot, where Howard is the only human in a world of anthropomorphic animals.
* ArrogantKungFuGuy: The egotistical and HairTriggerTemper-afflicted Count Macho.
* AuthorAvatar: Painter Paul Same, who physically resembled Gerber and was more or less an {{Expy}} from Richard Rory, another Gerber's character that he also used as an alter-ego.
* AuthorTract:
** Lots of stories were devoted to Howard ranting on how stupid, lazy, self-centered, and shallow humanity had become.
** The last issue of the MAX series mainly amounted to being a tedious ramble on the negative aspects of religion.
* BeautifulAllAlong: Winda Wester, whose beauty makes a stark contrast to her speech impediment and general weirdness.
* BelatedBackstory: Howard reveals his past to Winda in issue 13, telling his origins and how his life in his original universe was before getting trapped in ours.
* BewareTheSillyOnes: Dr. Bong, who, despite his goofy conception, was the most dangerous foe that Howard ever faced.
* {{BFG}}: Howard owns an unnamed big gun which he literally [[ICallItVera calls]] it as Big Freaking Gun (BFG)!
* BigApplesauce: The fifth run had him move to UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity. He sub-lets office space from Jennifer Walters (better known as ComicBook/SheHulk).
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Early on Howard would do this on occasion. In one adventure he directly addresses the readers and tell them that he ''knows'' the story took a weird turn, but it beats the initial DrivenToSuicide plot.
* BreakoutCharacter: Howard was initially intended as a single-appearance character, even getting killed off after his debut, but fate (and popular demand) wouldn't have it.
* ButtMonkey: In the 2015 series, Spider-Man goes through a series of {{Heroic BSOD}}s thanks to Howard that culminates in issue #5 with Howard "saving" him by pulling his foot out of a tiny amount of rubble. Spidey is so distraught over "owing Howard one" that the end of the issue has him hugging [[ComicBook/FantasticFour Johnny Storm]] for emotional support.
* UsefulNotes/TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks
* CaptainErsatz: In the 2015-6 series, Biggs the cyborg cat is a blatant take-off of "2," the cat from ''ComicBook/{{WE 3}}''.
* CatchPhrase: Howard's whining "Waaaugh!"
* CelebrityParadox: As if the franchise didn't have enough PostModernism, the 2016 run features Lea Thompson hiring Howard. While [[Film/HowardTheDuck the 1986 movie doesn't exist]], it's revealed there were moments where ''ComicBook/XMen'' villain Mojo kidnapped Thompson and had her play Bev against someone in a Howard costume, to fill in the gaps where Howard had no adventures (i.e. when he did not have a dedicated title) and "[his] life was the equivalent of [[Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy a post-credits cameo]]".
* CharacterTitle
* UsefulNotes/{{Cleveland}}: Where most of the original series took place.
* CloudCuckooLander: Most of the villains appear to be this, particularly the Kidney Lady.
* CosmicPlaything: Quite aside from being trapped on a planet full of apes (no, not ''that'' Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes: we mean Earth), Howard is perpetually being swept up in surreal and dangerous events. Unlike most superheroes - or, indeed, most Cosmic Playthings - the stress this involves creates appropriate {{Angst}} in Howard.
* DeadpanSnarker: Howard's usual coping mechanism (aside from the long-suffering "Waaaugh!")
* DeathOfAChild: The little girl who created a gingerbread monster in the original series' sixth issue ended up getting killed.
* DrivenToMadness: Poor Howard suffers a psychological breakdown after encountering with several weirdos at some point. Fortunately, he gets better with the help of Damon Hellstrom and Dr. Avery (but not before causing a complete chaos while he is [[DemonicPossession accidentally possessed by Hellstrom's demonic soul]]).
** It gets subversive, too: the ''real'' cause of Howard's madness is that at a crucial moment he refuses to fight Le Beaver, thus repudiating the entire ethos of Marvel comics at the time, which is that every issue had to have a fight scene. Howard essentially rejects a major trope of the very medium he's a part of. In-universe he says he failed to live by the dictates of his male social conditioning, but read between the lines and it's clear he has a breakdown because, like Dr. Manhattan, he's a puppet who was able to see the strings.
* ElmuhFuddSyndwome: Winda Wester. Weally cute, though.
* {{Expy}}: Dr. Bong is clearly a parody of Doctor Doom, while borrowing a few traces from [[Literature/TheIslandOfDoctorMoreau Dr. Moreau]] with his experiments regarding metamorphosis on animals.
** Dr. Bong (real name Lester Verde) is also a [[TakeThat Take That]] to Bob Greene, who'd written a column criticizing Marvel's special Music/{{KISS}} issue, which Gerber wrote.
* FictionalPoliticalParty: Howard ran for President in 1976 for the All Night Party.
* FooFu: Howard is a self-proclaimed master of Quack Fu.
* FrankensteinsMonster: Created in one issue by a little girl MadScientist. Oh yes, and it's made of gingerbread.
* TheFriendNobodyLikes: Howard is widely known in the superhero community, but he's not particularly ''liked.'' ComicBook/SheHulk is practically a SitComArchNemesis. The only known exceptions are Beverly Switzer, [[Franchise/SpiderMan Aunt May,]] Tara Tam, ComicBook/DoctorStrange and [[ComicBook/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy Rocket Raccoon]]... Howard's next birthday party is sure going to be awkward
* GenderBlenderName: Beverly's uncle, who she was named after. He got around it by going by "Lee".
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** The comic ran on the tension between the funny-animal kiddie comic it appeared to be and the actual very-for-adults comic it was. As a result, double entendres, cleverly concealed X-rated references ("Phelch" the space turnip) and near-obscenities ("Big clucking deal") were regular features. Not to mention the occasional implication that Howard and Beverly's relationship went beyond the platonic (leading to a particularly uncomfortable moment in the live-action film).
** Averted when the comic was [[{{Revival}} revived]] in 2001. It was published by Marvel's "mature" imprint, MAX Comics, so there was no radar to get past and the content was much more explicit.
* GoneSwimmingClothesStolen: Happened to Howard during a crossover with ComicBook/SpiderMan in an issue of ''Marvel Team-Up'' after he waded naked in a pond to avoid getting attacked by the minions of Status Quo.
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking: Howard smoked cigars.
* HalfDressedCartoonAnimal: Only in his earliest appearances. A threatened lawsuit from [[Creator/{{Disney}} the creators]] of a similar [[WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck pantsless duck]] resulted in Howard donning a pair of trousers, becoming a BarefootCartoonAnimal. And now Disney owns Marvel. [[HilariousInHindsight Huh]]. However, Howard was able to get away without wearing pants in his Marvel Zombies appearances.
* HearingVoices: Howard is haunted by them during his temporary state of insanity.
* HeroesWantRedheads: Beverly Switzler was a redhead and it was occasionally implied that she and Howard regarded one another as more than friends.
* HerrDoktor[=/=]ThoseWackyNazis: Dr. Reich
* HumanlikeHandAnatomy: Howard has WhiteGloves on human-like hands, but has webbed feet.
* InterspeciesRomance: Sometimes implied between Howard and Beverly, but we only see them reciprocate their affections in the black-and-white 64-page series and the MAX series.
* ItsASmallWorldAfterAll: One of the people who Howard befriends in New York after a disastrous escape from Dr. Bong's castle happens to be Beverly's uncle, Lee.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Howard is arrogant, opinionated and selfish and doesn't hesitate to insult people or throw snarky comments at them... but he also helps those that have been wronged and is very loyal to his friends.
** JerkassWoobie: As Howard himself is quick to point out, he was plucked from his home and thrown into a world where he does not belong, doesn't understand, and more often than not, isn't ''wanted.'' Anyone would be cranky in that situation.
* KilledOffForReal: Nearly every antagonist aside from Dr. Bong and the Kidney Lady ended up getting killed off and never came back.
* KnightInSourArmor: Howard has a jaded attitude and a total lack of interest in supernatural affairs.
* KnightTemplar: The underground organization S.O.O.F.I. ('''S'''ave '''O'''ur '''O'''ffspring '''F'''rom '''I'''ndecency)
* MonsterOfTheWeek: Before Dr. Bong came along, Howard fought one-shot adversaries that often got killed by the end of the story,
* MsFanservice: Beverly, who particularly in the B&W illustrated magazine version of ''Howard the Duck'' was often shown in skimpy clothing and was seen naked on at least two occasions. In addition, the character's backstory included time working as a nude model. Then there's the fact that she wore a literal ChainmailBikini in her first appearance (a nerdy evil magician with a Conan complex put her into it).
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: The Supreme SOOFI is a never-named Anita Bryant (a singer who became a HeteronormativeCrusader) -- she even mentions having her epiphany in Dade County, where the real Bryant then lived -- while Donny and Marie Dearth are based on the Osmonds who share their first names. See also TakeThat.
* NoRespectGuy: Invoked for laughs (and to keep him a 'joke character' within the Marvel Universe). Even NiceGuy Spider-Man has urged Howard to 'lose my number!' When he crosses paths with ''ComicBook/TheUnbeatableSquirrelGirl'' for the first time, she looks him up in her set of 'Deadpool's Guide to Super-Villains' trading cards, only to discover that the usually reliable (...sorta) author just didn't care.
--> ''Howard the Duck:'' (completely inaccurate picture) ''Look at this guy! I guess he's a weird... duck... man?'' [...] ''Anyway I'm pretty sure his powers include a) talking to ducks b)controlling ducks c) teaming up with 100 regular-sized ducks to form one giant duck - That's all I know (and all I care to know) about this guy, so here's a joke to fill up the rest of this card...''
** Played with in his ''Comicbook/{{SHIELD 2014}}'' appearance; S.H.I.E.L.D. actually ''do'' respect Howard, but they also know he's at his best when he feels hard-done-by, so they don't ''act'' as if they do.
* OnlySaneMan: Howard is usually this.
* PhraseCatcher: "You're a talking duck!" Sometimes it was just "You're a duck!"
** Played with in an issue of ''ComicBook/SensationalSheHulk'' - when one of the characters says this, he replies "That ain't the half of it, toots," as he pulls out a cigar. "I'm also a smoker."
* PostModernism: Issue 16, the infamous "Dreaded Deadline Doom" issue, which included Steve Gerber soliloquizing for the whole issue about writing on top of surreal illustrations, as well as an "obligatory fight scene" between a showgirl, an ostrich, and a killer [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]].)
** Gerber would later use the Showgirl/ostrich concept in his Creator/VertigoComics miniseries ''Nevada''.
** As detailed under CelebrityParadox, the 2015-16 run culminated in Howard discovering Mojo was transmitting his adventures to the multiverse. And then he hired someone to put him in some outrageous stories... two purple aliens with AuthorPowers [[AuthorAvatar named Chipp and Jho]] (who work next to [[Comicbook/BlackPanther Ta-Nehi-C]], [[Comicbook/TheUnbeatableSquirrelGirl Ry-N and Air-Icka]]).
* PsychicPowers: Winda.
* RageAgainstTheAuthor: The 2015-16 run culminates in Howard fighting [[AuthorAvatar Chipp and Jho]] and complaining about how they make his life difficult.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: In a small arc where Howard and Winda end up in a BedlamHouse-like asylum, Dr. Morton Avery was the only character who wanted to help them.
* RichBitch: Iris Raritan.
* RoguesGalleryTransplant: Dr. Bong is arguably Howard's archnemesis, but in recent years he seems to be slowly transferring to being part of SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}}'s supporting cast.
* SexyDiscretionShot: The last story in the first issue of the short-lived black-and-white magazine ''Howard the Duck'' series ended with Howard shutting off the lamp before getting into bed with a naked Beverly. The very next panel shows the aftermath of their lovemaking.
* ShoutOut:
** In ''ComicBook/TheUnbeatableSquirrelGirl'' crossover of the 2015-6 series, the villainous Mrs. Sugarbaker calls Kraven a "[[TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}} commie traitor]]".
** In the finale of the 2015-2016 series, Tara transforms into an [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Eva]], [[Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman Jun the Swan]] and Comicbook/JudgeDredd during the final battle, quipping "Tara is the law" while dressed as the last one.
** In the same issue, Johnny Storm does the [[WesternAnimation/LegendOfKorra Lin Beifong pose]].
** The character of Soos from WesternAnimation/GravityFalls can be seen in one scene.
* StealthPun: [[http://www.flickeringmyth.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Howard-the-Duck-2.jpg This picture]] has ComicBook/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy selfie with '''duck'''face. Also, notice [[LiteralMinded Drax]] in the [[FunnyBackgroundEvent background]].
* TakeThat:
** Steve Gerber wasn't afraid to use ol' Howard as a mouthpiece.
** "Count Macho" is an extremely hostile parody of the real-world martial arts charlatan and frequent comic-book advertiser Count Dante.
** A 90s miniseries called ''Daydreamers'' has Howard travel to an alternate universe where he is revered as a hero. What really floors him though is that [[Film/HowardTheDuck a movie was made about him]]...and it was a hit!
** The MAX series contains some digs toward Disney and their threats of legal action over Howard resembling Donald Duck.
*** The MAX series was almost never published due to Disney once again complaining about his visual similarity to Donald Duck. Gerber responded in the first issue by transforming Howard into...a mouse.
*** The sixth issue has God tell Howard that if he stayed on Duckworld, he'd be stuck doing demeaning tasks for his billionaire uncle, being nagged by an unappreciative girlfriend, and having to look after his sister's sons.
** The sixth issue of the short-lived B&W illustrated magazine version of ''Howard the Duck'', which came out after legal action from Disney forced Howard to don pants, features a parody of Scrooge [=McDuck=] named Scrounge [=McDrake=], who got his first dime from killing someone rather than an honest living as a shoeshine and in general was [[CorruptCorporateExecutive very corrupt]].
** The first issue of the 2015 series has Howard mention a band called [[Music/SmashingPumpkins Quacking Pumpkins]] and describe them as being "horrible" and "the worst".
** In the first issue of the 2016 series, Howard fails to use the Abundant Glove to return home. To make sure whether he's still in the current dimension and not a similar one, he asks who the President is. Tara Tam answers that UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump is the current President and then explains that she was only kidding, remarking "God, could you imagine that universe?"
* TalkingAnimal: Howard is a talking duck.
* ToothyBird: Howard is sometimes drawn with teeth.
* UnexplainedRecovery: Dr. Bong's French duck maid Fifi was apparently killed in the 19th issue of the original series, but turned up alive and well in the fifth issue of ''The Sensational She-Hulk'', where she assisted Dr. Bong in his plan to "improve" television by making it more realistic and accurate to reality.
* UnfazedEveryman: Beverly pretty much fills this role, if you consider that her friends includes a sleepwalking painter with a vigilante alter-ego, a psychic with a speech impediment and, of course... Howard.
* UnPerson: During ''ComicBook/CivilWar'', Howard attempted to register, but the government considered him to be such a hassle with his status, they just decided altogether that he didn't exist at all. He was quite overjoyed as that meant no more taxes.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: [[spoiler:Tara Tam gained Skrull shapeshifting powers after eating the meat of a Skrull that had been turned into a duck.]]
* WeirdnessMagnet: Howard thinks he's one. He might be right, as the talking duck is more often than not the ''least'' ridiculous thing about the stuff that goes on around him.
* WentToTheGreatXInTheSky: In the back-up story of the third issue of the 2015 series, Howard informs a Wolverine impersonator that the real Wolverine has gone to the big Canada in the sky.
* {{Yandere}}: Bong for Beverly. He just can't accept that Beverly doesn't love him and is willing to kill her if she continues refusing him.