Howard the Duck #15-18
Issue(s): Howard the Duck #15, Howard the Duck #16, Howard the Duck #17, Howard the Duck #18
It was an interesting way to deal with an issue being late, but it's not the sort of thing you'd like to see all the time.
The rest of the arc is about Howard and his friends getting kidnapped by parody super-villain Dr. Bong.
If the name is a drug reference, it's not extended beyond the name; he's literally a guy with a bell for a head.
He's had a crush on Bev since college and this is all about him trying to convince her to marry him.
Bong has an island populated with anthropomorphic animals, including a "sexy" female duck...
...and Howard is meant to receive treatments to make him more human as well. The treatments work a little too well.
As usual with Howard the Duck, the satire is at once too overt and too subtle. Clearly the characters - Dr. Bong, the French Duck-maid - are ridiculous. But at the same time, i don't "get" it. What's the statement here? What's being satirized? It's not at all funny, and there's no commentary that seems applicable to mainstream comics or anything else that i'm aware of. It seems to just be silliness for the sake of silliness.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Howard the Duck cast is on a cruise leaving Bagmom (sigh) after the events of Howard the Duck annual #1.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Howard the Duck vol. 1 (issue #15 is an original)
Judging from the first panel, Bob Wiacek was evidently an inker.
The title to #16 refers to the book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 28, 2011 12:06 AM
Oh, I had these in '80 or so and I thought they were great.
Posted by: Chaim Shraga | June 8, 2012 5:05 PM
There were some topical references in Howard, but the overall thing to get was just that Howard and his friends were ordinary people with screwed up lives who happened to live in the Marvel Universe. Think of it like a dark Seinfeld in a world of talking French-Canadian beaver-men. Howard had the appropriate reaction to that: a nervous breakdown.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | October 14, 2012 1:19 AM
The Dr. Bong story started as a satire of "Island of Dr. Moreau". Bong himself was designed by Gerber and Marie Severin. The name was taken from a fan letter Gerber saw in Gene Simmons' apartment while working on the KISS Marvel Super Special that said "Maybe we can go bonging" which neither Gene nor Steve could figure out. Bong's character was based on Chicago Sun-Times writer Bob Greene(Verde=Spanish for Green) who slammed the KISS special in print before it actually got published, thoroughly angering Gerber. The flashback scene with Bong getting de-handed on stage was inspired by Gerber finding out that Greene had written a book about touring with Alice Cooper.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 8, 2012 8:22 PM
The sea monster with a top hat in #15 is a reference to the classic 1950s kid show puppet Cecil the Sea Sick Sea Serpent.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 15, 2012 6:25 PM
The height of Howard zanieness. Issue 16 is an all time classic.
Posted by: Mizark | July 21, 2016 6:51 AM
Agreed! Only in the 1970s could you hope for anything like HTD #16 at Marvel Comics Group.
Posted by: Cecil the Sea Sick Serpent | July 21, 2016 10:43 AM
I think Bong's real first name, Lester, must have been inspired by the rather harsh Rolling Stone critic, Lester Bangs (get it?), making him a combo of two different critics.
Posted by: Andrew | June 23, 2017 3:39 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|