When it comes to Marvel heroes, Howard the Duck has to be one of the most peculiar cases in terms of his on-screen appearances. Having been the first Marvel character to get his own big screen movie in 1986, the George Lucas produced bomb almost derailed the Marvel bandwagon, and the entire “comic book movie” genre before it really got started. Despite that, Howard has continued to be a popular character in written form, and after a while, the movie itself became a true cult classic. Then he featured in the animated Guardians of the Galaxy series, and when he turned up in a post credit scene cameo in the live action Guardians of the Galaxy movie, it caught everyone off guard and suddenly all everyone wanted to know was when the wise-cracking detective duck will make his next appearance?
Now it seems that following small blink and you miss it roles in Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 and Avengers: Endgame, and a number of appearances in What If…?, a new rumor has suggested that Howard could finally be about to get another shot at the big time with his own animated series. It should be made clear that at the moment this is just the word of one source as reported by CBR.com, but with Howard the Duck seeming to be making his presence felt more and more in the MCU, there have been much more ambiguous rumors proven true recently.
The suggestion by an anonymous 4Chan user, is that Disney are developing a Howard cartoon under the Marvel Studios Animation banner, which would see Seth Green returning to voice the former Duckworld resident. Usually these rumors can roll on for a long while unsubstantiated, but the source has also claimed the official reveal will be made as part of Disney+ Day on November 12th, when the release date of 2024 will also be announced. There are a number of new announcements expected to be made on Disney+ Day, and Marvel are likely to feature heavily in that. If the whispers are not true, then it does seem peculiar for the source to give such specific details about when it will be made official.
This isn’t the first mention of a Howard the Duck animated TV show happening. Hulu announced that Howard the Duck was part of its animated Marvel slate that also included M.O.D.O.K. (which did get released), Hit-Monkey (which is coming soon), along with Tigra & Dazzler and The Offenders (a miniseries that brought all of these crazy characters together). Howard the Duck was put on the back burner alongside Tigra & Dazzler and The Offenders. It was announced in January 2020 that these three animated projects were dead. Now, will Howard the Duck be tamed down for family audiences and be given a Disney+ revival? Guess we’ll have to wait for Disney+ Day to find out if this rumor holds water.
For those who have not yet boarded the Howard train, here is a brief history. Howard made his Marvel debut in Adventure into Fear #19 in December 1973, and the bad-tempered creation of Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik went on to appear in numerous stories which saw him trapped on Earth, where he generally didn’t want to be. Leaning frequently into satire, the comics saw Howard cross into a number of other Marvel franchises, a notable one at the moment being She-Hulk, as well as Spider-Man, Marvel Zombies and X-Men. With many of these properties currently being front and centre in the MCU’s future, Howard being given his own series doesn’t seem that unlikely.
Green recently revealed a little information about James Gunn’s upcoming third Guardians of the Galaxy movie, including that he wasn’t sure whether or not there was a place for Howard in it. “I don’t know if Howard’s a part of it,” he said in a recent interview. “I haven’t heard anything about that. The only thing I know is that it’s the girls’ story, it’s the sisters’ story, that it’s Gamora and Nebula’s story. So I don’t know if it’s a prequel, or if it comes off in the new timeline that’s splintered post-the Time Heist. Honestly, I don’t know anything about it.” Some would say that he protests a little too much.
Either way, when it comes to a Howard centric series, we will know for certain whether or not we are about to get a whole lot more Howard from the MCU than we have been given so far when Disney+ Day rolls around on November 12th.