[Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Deadpool the Duck #1.]
While Deadpool and Howard the Duck come from two different worlds (literally), they also both starred in their own major motion pictures – of course, Deadpool was a highly successful, while Howard the Duck, well, not so much. Both offbeat Marvel characters do share additional similarities, since they’re bastions of levity, but while Wade Wilson is an irreverent mess, Howard takes a cynic's more sarcastic path. They are, however, undeniably anti-heroes who have interesting origin stories (inside and beyond the comic book pages) that color their experiences and unique takes on the Marvel Universe.
One thing’s for sure, if either character had a hammer, it would be used first for cracking skulls, and then breaking the fourth wall. The Duck and Merc's previous, if rare, encounters have led to some seriously wacky, non-canon misadventures. But their latest convergence, in Deadpool the Duck #1, will leave both of them with a far-more intimate understanding of each other.
Wade Wilson’s ‘Spirit Animal’ Revealed
As a Merc with a Mouth with a lot of superhero connections, Deadpool finds himself once again meeting up with S.H.I.E.L.D. about a gig. He and Agent Mary meet at a safe house, which he happens to think is perfect for his next merc-cave. Discussing decoration and contracting advice with the voices in his head, though, leaves his S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison perplexed, so she asks Wade who else he’s talking to. Never known to be slight on inner-voices, he informs the agent that he's consulting with his ‘spirit animal,’ Logan, the Wolverine.
Somehow, in Deadpool's world, an inner-Wolvy makes perfect sense, especially in light of his offbeat, long-term friendship with his fellow Weapon X byproduct. Agent Mary, who also works the S.H.I.E.L.D. front desk, finally manages to bring Deadpool’s attention span back to task (and also note that Wolverine isn’t technically an animal), revealing his target as a “high-profile E.T.” which happens to be tearing up rural America. Despite some apprehension on Wade's part, one look at the profile screen seals the deal. He whips out his teleporter (oh, you thought…no this comic is rated mature, but not that mature. They saved that for the variant cover) and heads off in search of his prey.
Rockets and Howards and Wades, Oh My
Zipping across the great plains in a red, rental muscle car, Howard the Duck runs through his laundry list of existential quandaries, as per usual, when his ride is mauled by a crazy-looking flying craft of unknown origins. Dodging away from the ship, Rocket Raccoon dives into Howard’s now-convertible automobile. Before the grounded Guardians of the Galaxy member can further explain his situation, his eyes glow red and he attacks his mallard compatriot. It seems Rocket is suffering from “space rabies.”
Seeking shelter, Howard ducks (sorry) into a nearby house, only to find one Wade Wilson hot on the tail of Rocket. After Deadpool and the crazed space racoon exchanges a few volleys of gun fire, it appears the Merc with a Mouth has been blasted into a pile of ash – at least until he teleports himself back onto the scene.
While he congratulates himself for his ingenuity (and his inner-Wolverine raves about how cool the teleporter is), Rocket chomps down on his wrist, causing the matter-energy re-shuffler to malfunction.
Like Something Out of That Jeff Goldblum Movie about Insects
As fans of David Cronenberg films, Star Trek or The Simpsons thoroughly understand, whenever a teleporter is involved, there’s always a danger of genetic cross-contamination. One errant space-rabid raccoon bite causes a transporter malfunction that would send shivers up Scotty’s spine: Et voila! Deadpool the Duck is born, much to the utter shock and horror of both Wade and Howard.
Dream team-up or nightmare scenario, the fact that the wry antiheroes haven’t seen more crossover action is a honestly little surprising. Perhaps more than an occasional exchange of quips is simply too much of a good thing. Either way, Stuart Moore brings his A-game characterization, capturing Deadpool’s unique brand of sassy madness and Howard’s Big Lebowski-meets-Sartre variety of rumination. Jacopo Camagni’s crisp, evocative art and Israel Silva’s flourish of colors amplify the action and enhance the dynamic duo’s merger perfectly (and let’s not forget Joe Sabino’s stylish and appropriately-varied lettering).
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The second chapter of Deadpool the Duck threatens to take the unlucky coupling into space, where it appears that Rocket is still afflicted and hot on their duck tail. Although this merger will remain short and sweet, coming in at a mere five issues per the limited series, the bizarre conjoining promises oddball settings and wild misadventures for the Merc with a Quack, potentially offering up more than a few humorous scenarios and exchanges.
As the series evolves, following their quest to split themselves apart will be fascinating as is. Equally interesting, though, will be discovering how they manage survive living inside each other's very different heads.
Deadpool the Duck #1 is currently available online and in print.