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Review: Destroyer Duck #1 

Destroyer Duck #1 cover
Cover by Jack Kirby

Destroyer Duck #1 |
Published by Eclipse and © by Steve Gerber, Jack Kirby and the other creative talent, February 1982

Title: “It’s Got the Whole World … in Its Hand!”
Synopsis: Duke “Destroyer” Duck travels across nega-space to avenge the death of The Little Guy at the hands of Godcorp, Ltd.

Writer: Steve Gerber
Penciler: Jack Kirby
Inker: Alfredo Alcala

Review: And you thought Howard the Duck was an angry comic? Industry legends Steve Gerber and Jack Kirby team to raise funds for Gerber’s lawsuit against Marvel – and extract a little revenge with this scathing satire, too. Both creators are in top form here (though Alfredo Alcala’s inks dilute Kirby’s power).

•••

Title: “Great Moments in Comic Book History”
Synopsis: A comic-book writer scams a publisher out of thousands of dollars, then becomes a hero to an Indian tribe.

Writer: Mark Evanier
Artist: Dan Spiegle

Review: This supposed true tale would be stronger if it didn’t hide behind changed names. The art is serviceable but unspectacular.

•••

Title: “The Adventures of Thelma Ironthighs”
Synopsis: A scantily clad superheroine thwarts an armed robbery in progress by throwing a super tantrum.

Writer: Shary Flenniken
Artist: Flenniken

Review: This throwaway two-page tale doesn’t have much to say, but it is pretty cool seeing Shary Flenniken do superhero pages.

•••

Title: “Great Moments in Comic Book History No. 2”
Synopsis: A freelance comic-book writer fed up with his irrational editor goes off the deep end himself.

Writer: Martin Pasko
Penciler: Joe Staton
Inker: Scott Shaw

Review: Another story that would have had more impact if it named names. Joe Staton and Scott Shaw’s styles mesh nicely.

•••

Title: “Groo the Wanderer”
Synopsis: A cartoon barbarian slays an ax-wielding monster – but does he save the damsel in distress?

Writer: Sergio Aragonés
Artist: Aragonés

Review: After the strong lead feature, this book tailed off quite a bit – until this first appearance of Groo the Wanderer.

Grade (for the entire issue): B

Second opinion: “Destroyer Duck #1 is preachy, bitter, and rancorous, but it is also a unique, outrageous artistic statement in that it unleashes two angry, important creators (one of whom is the errant cornerstone of Marvel) who storm the stage and administer a pie in the face of their former employer.” – Kevin McConnell, in Amazing Heroes #11, May 1982. 

Cool factor: A Bronze Age legend and an all-time legend team to poke Marvel in the eye.
Not-so-cool factor: At times, the lead story just feels … mean.

Notable: First appearances of Destroyer Duck and Groo the Wanderer.

Character quotable: “It’s not enough to defeat an enemy. One must devour, digest and eliminate him.” – Ned Packer, head man at Godcorp, Ltd.

A word from the  writer/co-creator: “Whatever the outcome of my lawsuit, the advent of the direct sales market is shifting the emphasis in the industry from the companies to the creators.” – Steve Gerber, from the “Friends of Old Gerber” editorial in this issue

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Sept. 11, 2009.

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