Seth Green’s What If…? Appearance Makes A Compelling Case For A Howard The Duck Spinoff

What If Howard The Duck Seth Green

Amid a Blade Runner-inspired season premiere for Marvel‘s What If…? on Disney+ ostensibly focusing on Nebula and the Nova Corps, there’s one clear stand-out: Seth Green, as the voice of Howard the Duck. It isn’t the first time we’ve seen Howard in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), or the first time Green has voiced the mallard. But the episode does make a compelling argument that we need a Howard the Duck spinoff series.

Created by Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik in 1973 for Marvel Comics, Howard has been a mainstay for decades at this point, a sarcastic duck-man from another universe, trapped in the Marvel Universe and often aware that he’s in a comic book. The character was adapted into a much-maligned live-action movie in 1986, written and directed by a man named Willard Hyuck, who you can’t convince me isn’t a talking duck with a poorly disguised pseudonym. Due to the poor reception to that movie, it wasn’t until an end credits sequence in Guardians of the Galaxy that Howard was again seen on screen — this time voiced by Seth Green.

Green would later reprise the role in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon. Howard also later appeared in both Guardians of the Galaxy sequels and the final battle sequence in Avengers: Endgame (seriously). And in fact, the resurgence of the popularity of the character — or at least nostalgic love — almost led to a cartoon on Hulu as part of a four-show animated slate including MODOK, Hit-Monkey, Tigra & Dazzler, and Howard the Duck. That would have led to a crossover show called The Offenders. But as is, only the first two made it to the screen.

What If…? Has Been The Perfect Showcase For Seth Green’s Howard The Duck

However, the best modern showcase for Howard so far has been What If…? Howard appeared in two episodes in Season 1; teaming up with T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) in one episode, and marrying Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) in another. This week’s Season 2 premiere, though, “What If… Nebula Joined the Nova Corps?” is the best showcase for Green’s take on Howard yet.

In the episode, Nebula is investigating the murder of Yondu (Michael Rooker) on Xandar, which has been cut off from the rest of the galaxy. For help, she heads to Howard’s casino, where he wheels and deals along with his lieutenants, Korg (Taika Waititi) and Groot. Green, in a word, is hilarious. Every line has the perfect tone and intonation, every joke works, and his riffing off the other characters — including Nebula — is a joy. It’s exactly what fans of Howard want to see on screen, and thanks to Green’s years of voice acting he knows how to make this duck run amok.

The Case For A Howard The Duck Spinoff:

Look, it’s pretty clear Marvel is having issues in the live-action arena. Box office takes are down. There’s trouble behind the scenes. But in the midst of this, they’re also expanding animation through Marvel Studios Animation. Their output includes What If…?, the highly anticipated X-Men ’97, Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, Eyes of Wakanda, and the upcoming What If…? spinoff, Marvel Zombies.

Since the studio (which, by the way, is separate from Marvel Animation) is already into What If…? spinoffs, how about one focused on Howard? Green and company have already proven they know what makes the character work. There are decades of comics available to pull on. And most of all, it would be, you know… Fun?

And that’s what we need more of now from Marvel: fun shows, that get the studio out of the malaise it’s been in. What better way to do that than to reclaim a property thought impossible to adapt, and crush it? Besides, if there’s one company that knows how to take ducks and turn them into animated shows? It’s Disney.

What If…? Season 2 Premiere Dates And Episode Guide:

Sounds fun, right? But when can you watch it? The weird way Marvel and Disney+ are rolling out these episodes is one per day, over the holidays. So the answer is: pretty much non-stop.

Here’s the full list of episodes in Marvel’s What If…? Season 2, and when they premiere:

  • Friday, December 22, 2023: What If…? Season 2, Episode 1 – “What If… Nebula Joined the Nova Corps?”
  • Saturday, December 23, 2023: What If…? Season 2, Episode 2 – “What If… Peter Quill Attacked Earth’s Mightiest Heroes?”
  • Sunday, December 24, 2023: What If…? Season 2, Episode 3 – “What If Happy Hogan Saved Christmas?”
  • Monday, December 25, 2023: What If…? Season 2, Episode 4 – “What If… Iron Man Crashed Into The Grandmaster?”
  • Tuesday, December 26, 2023: What If…? Season 2, Episode 5 – “What If… Captain Carter Fought The Hydra Stomper?”
  • Wednesday, December 27, 2023: What If…? Season 2, Episode 6 – “What If… Kahhori Reshaped The World?”
  • Thursday, December 28, 2023: What If…? Season 2, Episode 7 – “What If… Hela Found The Ten Rings?”
  • Friday, December 29, 2023: What If…? Season 2, Episode 8 – “What If… The Avengers Assembled In 1602?”
  • Saturday, December 30, 2023: What If…? Season 2, Episode 9 – “What If… Strange Supreme Intervened?”

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