HOWARD THE DUCK #4

“The Maltese Cockroach”
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artists: Gene Colan & Dave Simons

Howard is driving his cab when he gets an unusual fare. A talking caterpillar dressed as Sherlock Holmes called Hemlock Shoals. He is from the planet Maltesia and he’s searching for the Cosmic Key. He uses his powers to travel through dimensions to transport the cab to New York City. There at Barqu bookstore which is owned by a kooky guy who throws knives named R.L Hanley the Yakima Yahoo. He bought the key along with a bunch of books in Cleveland.

Just then a giant cockroach with a cloak and top hat grabs the key. This cockroach was exposed to the key and mutated to a giant talking cockroach. He plans to use the key to turn all cockroaches into giants and take over the world. He runs to a hotel with a mob chasing after him. Howard gets ahead of him and with paste traps him and forces him to give up the cosmic key. When the cockroach lunges at him Hanley throws the Shoal’s walking stick with a knife in it impaling and killing the cockroach. Shoals gets the cosmic key and transports Howard back to Cleveland.

“Playduck Interview with Truman Capoultry”

Truman Capoultry is promoting his new book “Ducking Out.” It is about Howard’s disappearance that was witness by everyone at a Presidential rally. The event has given rise to a cult called WACies (Witness of the Ascension Cult). Truman tells of his visions of Howard being transported to a world of hairless apes.

“The Old Drake’s Tale for the Anatidian Chronicles… as translated by Sir James Mallardy”

A story of one Widgeon in the land of Anastis. Widgeon made a fortune from shady means. He is hated by everyone. One day he realizes that he will die and doesn’t want his money to go to people that hate him. So he gets a young wife to bear him a son. But the old Drake never touches her and wonders why she isn’t getting pregnant. So he hires a sorcerer named Mergansen. He convinces Widgeon that its his wife’s fault and concocts a potion that creates a giant egg that will bear him a grown son. In reality the son is his wife’s younger brother. Megansen and the wife get a third of the fortune and the brother becomes the heir.

“Duckmate Ms. Amy Quakton

Centerfold for this month’s Duckmate.

“Birds in Bondage! A Playduck Expose”

Article on young hens being sold to harems in the east.

“The Prisoner of Ducks”
By Norman Mallard

An article on how Ducky Lib has effected the relationship between the sexes.

“The Dreadcliff Cuckoos!”
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artists: John Buscema & Klaus Jansons

Howard, Bev and their friends Linda Wister and Paul Same won a vacation from filling out a card at the supermarket. Only none of them remember filling out the card. It is to the mansion of Dreadcliff run by a spooky woman. Only the woman turns out to be Nurse Barbara from a previous adventure. She is in league with the Sinister Soofi who heads the organization Save Our Offspring From Indecency. The Reverent Moon June Yulk. The Mahagreasy Migraine who turns bankrupt hotels into meditation business schools. And Werner Blowhard who looks a lot like Dean Martin.

It is revealed that Adolph Hitler is in charge and wants to use Linda Wister’s powers of accessing the cosmic access. They hope to control peoples minds. Linda uses this power to conjure up images of Devo, Elvis the Beatles and others to drive Hitler insane so he shoots himself. It is revealed that he was actually Hitler’s dentist who had Hitler’s teeth transplanted into his mouth.

“Playduck Reviews”
By Duckbill Mantlo

Reviews the books “Duck’s Cradle” by Kurt Vonneduck. “The Web and the Wok” by Thomas Wolf. “Duckfeather” by Mario Duckzo. “Heart of Duckness” by Joseph Duckrad. And Sgt. Beakles Lonely Tarts Club Band”

“Playduck Advisor”

Letters from readers with advice on a spouse into Tar and Feathers. How to cope with chickenism by marring a chicken. And is “Duck Throat” real.

Well this issue was obviously a parody of “Playboy.” It had all the kooky little articles that the magazine would have only told from the Duckworld point of view. It even had the ads like for increasing muscle with Weezaton. Preventing feather loss with Feathermore. And an ad for the movie “The Dirty Dozen” by Manuel X. Quackhoff. Even the letters page was letters from the denizens of Duckworld.

The main stories were a mixed bag. I enjoyed “The Maltese Cockroach.” It had a lot of humor. With the cockroach getting trapped in a giant roach motel to everyone trying to kill it with Raid. The second one I didn’t care for. It was just too weird to really make sense. And having Hitler in it just sort of killed any humor. It was just an absolute mess.

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