Chronologically this tale recounts the second meeting of Spider-Man and Howard The Duck (although Peter Parker isn't quite sure if their first meeting, in Howard The Duck issue one, wasn't just a bad dream).
In Marvel Team-Up #96, from 1980, Howard is working as a taxi driver and has driven a slightly kooky fare from Cleveland to New York, a former librarian and now self-taught orator who now goes by the soubriquet of Status Quo.
Status Quo is violently opposed to "fads" (from jogging and frisbees to roller-skates and disco music), which he believes are undermining the backbone of America.
Quo gets Howard to drive him to Central Park where he starts whipping up the crowds into a riotous frenzy.
Peter Parker sees what's going on on the news - and spots Howard in the background of the broadcast - and so swings over to make sure things don't get out of hand.
Status Quo is a typical Howard The Duck antagonist from the classic Steve Gerber era (even though this issue was written and drawn by Alan Kupperberg)
He's a fruitcake with a political point to make and - sudden and inexplicable - access to high-tech weaponry (exploding frisbees and jet-propelled skateboards!) who is ultimately defeated by dramatic irony.
Although the resolution involves - of course - fisticuffs, it comes down to Howard giving him a stern talking to in front of the assembled media that spells the end for Status Quo.
Among the many nutty moments of this issue, Spider-Man gets very serious (and references Hitler):
And Howard gets naked (and spends about half the issue in a state of undress!):
As an aside, I'd just like to point out that, to my mind, this is definitive Howard The Duck look... you know, like a duck, not that that strange elongated, scrawny appearance he developed after Marvel had a run-in with Disney over his supposed similarity to Donald.
|Not really Howard The Duck...|
That was my only real disappointment with Guardians Of The Galaxy, the Howard who popped up at the end didn't look like my Howard. And, yes, I am one of the handful of people who likes the 1986 movie.
Given that Disney now owns Marvel couldn't they let Howard get his proper look back?