Howard the Duck 28 (November 1978)

Howard the Duck #28

Carmine Infantino on Howard the Duck. It works out rather well. He’s got Frank Giacoia on inks. They have fun. It helps the story is fun too–these people who run into Howard go to the same psychiatrist, which wraps the flashbacks. Howard’s story has him breaking in to an army base. The army is experimenting on the populace.

With the Infantino pencils and Mary Skrenes’s over-the-top dialogue for all the squares, this issue of Howard doesn’t feel like Gerber’s usual work on the comic (he edits the issue) but it’s not bad.

It’s sort of one note and predictable and a little too cute, both in terms of plot coincidences and Howard and Bev (it’s out of continuity apparently). It’s Howard the Duck with artificial sweetener. All the anti-establishment stuff is there in exposition, but not in the storytelling.

But it could be much, much worse.


Cooking With Gas; writers, Marv Wolfman and Mary Skrenes; penciller, Carmine Infantino; inker, Frank Giacoia; colorist, Glynis Wein; letterer, Bruce Patterson; editor, Steve Gerber; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Where Monsters Dwell 3 (September 2015)

Where Monsters Dwell #3

Garth Ennis is being a silly guy. There’s no other way to describe Where Monsters Dwell; it’s silly. It’s well-written and Braun’s art is great, but it’s silly. There’s not so much a story as a series of good jokes, ending in a funny hard cliffhanger. It’s not even a dangerous one because Ennis doesn’t care about his characters and he doesn’t ask the reader to care. He’s just having a good time telling this story.

Maybe if it weren’t a Marvel comic, maybe if Ennis were doing something serious (or even hinting at something serious), it wouldn’t be as amusing. But Ennis still takes the time to get in strong characterizations and the way he paces out the humor is excellent. It’s a beautifully executed, completely unambitious amusement.

I guess it’s something of a bridging issue, with the humor disguising the lack of plot momentum. Regardless, real fun.


Tipping the Velvet; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, Dono Sanchez Almara; letterer, Rob Steen; editors, Jake Thomas and Nick Lowe; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Howard the Duck 27 (September 1978)

Howard the Duck #27

Howard is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore. So what does he do? He stops the Circus of Crime. Why? See the first sentence. Is he mad at the Circus of Crime? Not so much. Is he worried about his friends being hospitalized? Not so much. Does Howard finally admit he’s got deep feelings for that hairless female ape Beverly? Sort of.

Did Marvel just not let Gerber get crazy with Howard’s affections for Beverly? There’s got to be an explanation. Because this issue isn’t just strange–it’s an action comic, one with good art and good dialogue, but an unambitious action comic. And Gerber is usually all about the ambition for what an issue can do.

So when this one doesn’t do much, the mind has time to wonder what else is going on with the comic. Hence my questions.

Though troubled, it’s solid.


Circus Maximus; writer and editor, Steve Gerber; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Klaus Janson; colorist, Phil Rachelson; letterer, Gaspar Saladino; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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