“Guardians of the Galaxy” viewers probably were expecting an end credits clip that was dark and ominous. Maybe there would be a sneak peek at the next “Guardians” villain or maybe another clip for “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” But they got a duck. Howard the Duck, specifically. Who is he and why did he warrant the coveted Marvel end credits scene?
After the credits of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Howard the Duck appeared in the Collector’s museum, or at least the remains of it, after the Infinity Stone blew it to bits. “We’ve got everything in that museum. The entire history of the Marvel Universe is in the Collector’s Museum,” director James Gunn told MTV.
Howard is definitely a nod to longtime Marvel fans. Howard was created in 1973 and first appeared in Adventure into Fear #19, according to Marvel. He is an anthropomorphic duck, but he isn’t an experiment, like Rocket the Raccoon. He was born on a planet called Duckworld with plenty of other talking ducks. Howard doesn’t have superpowers, but he knows Quack Fu martial arts. He is a snarky duck who somehow manages to accidentally end up in other worlds and find himself in trouble quite often.
The 1986 film starred Lea Thompson and Tim Robbins with Chip Zien as the voice of Howard, while six different actors were actually in the Howard suit on camera. “Howard the Duck” was produced by George Lucas. Critics panned the movie and it is on a Wikipedia page titled “List of films considered the worst.” Watch a clip of the film below:
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The failed film didn’t stop the comics from returning. Howard the Duck faced some controversy in the 1970s because of his look. Disney (which didn’t yet own Marvel) thought he looked too similar to Donald Duck. It threatened to sue. In a 2001 interview with Silver Bullet Magazine, “Howard the Duck” writer Steve Gerber explained the agreement, “To avoid litigation, Marvel's old management signed an incredibly stupid agreement with Disney. Under its terms, all future appearances of Howard must conform to a set of designs that Disney provided for the character.”
Howard would go on to wear pants regularly, but when the series was revived in the early 2000s, Gerber wanted to change his look. Disney’s terms didn’t allow Marvel to change their agreed-upon style for Howard (even decades later), so Gerber decided to change Howard the Duck into a mouse (but still called the series “Howard the Duck”). Currently, Howard doesn’t regularly appear in any particular comic book series, but he does make cameos in “Spider-Man,” “She-Hulk,” “Fear Itself: The Fantastic Four” and more.
While it seems unlikely that Howard would get his own movie again, it seems like the sort of thing Seth Green would be up for. The “Robot Chicken” creator voiced Howard in the end credits scene, according to The Nerdist.
“Guardians Of The Galaxy” is in theaters now. Would you see a Howard the Duck movie with Seth Green? Sound off in the comments section.