The Duck finally makes his way home, but someone is there waiting… Your Major Spoilers review of Howard The Duck #8 awaits!
HOWARD THE DUCK #8
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Penciler: Joe Quinones
Inker: Joe Rivera with Joe Quinones
Colorist: Joe Quinones with Jordan Gibson
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Editor: Wil Moss
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Howard The Duck: “Basically, Howard T. Duck has been hopping all over the galaxy having crazy adventures… The craziest part, though, was when he briefly became a living nexus, but before his bond with the Nexus was completely obliterated, Howard used his strange power to open a door to the one place that’s eluded him for months… Home.”
THE ONE I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR
So, ever since they brought Howard The Duck back to the forefront of Marvel Comics, I’ve been quietly wondering: What happened to Beverly Switzler? The first friend that Howard made on Earth, the most important friend in his life, and nobody has said anything about where she might be. Turns out the reason is simple: She doesn’t want to be a part of Howard’s madness any longer. Howard has arrived on the porch of her Maine home, where she has been studying to become a veterinarian…
…and it may be the most difficult, raw, realistic conversation between exes I’ve ever seen in comic book form. Bev even flashes back to some of their past adventures (featuring entertaining four-color retro coloring), reminding him of all the things he never noticed while they were together…
A HEARTBREAKING DISCUSSION
It’s a really emotionally affecting issue for me, and her reasons for leaving her Ducky behind make perfect sense (something I didn’t expect.) Of course, the discussion is interrupted by a malfunctioning Sentinel, now dedicated to destroying superhumans everywhere after seeing its Sentinel friends mowed down by the Uncanny Avengers, which… doesn’t help Howard’s argument that it’s not always crazy. Joe Quinones’ art is top-notch throughout the issue, especially Beverly’s face as she tries to explain the whys and wherefores of her new life, giving the story a little extra bit of stabinnaheart for those who remember the Howard/Beverly pair as one of Marvel’s greatest romances. Wannabe herald of Galactus Scout arrives in time to save them and give Howard a lift back to New York City, where his latest client is waiting… Lea Thompson?
THE BOTTOM LINE: I FORGIVE THEM NOW
All in all, if you have to separate Howard and Beverly, at least this issue makes it seem like a real decision made by the characters, and not an editorial caveat. The last-page appearance of the actress who played Beverly in the HtD movie thirty years ago adds a wrinkle of meta to the story, but the real meat of it all is Beverly’s new status quo (including an ominous page where it becomes clear why the confused Sentinel might not have been so confused after all. Howard The Duck #8 is a lovely comic book, a little bit of quiet respite followed by the full-on return of Howard’s crazy-magnetism, with at least three solid story hooks that are all fascinating, and beautiful art throughout, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars overall.