Howard the Human is a one-shot that crosses over with Secret Wars but not really. Essentially we are lead to believe this is a part of Battleworld where it’s “Bizzaro” Howard The duck, with the hook being that rather than being a duck in a human world, he’s a human in a world full of animals! The book is written by Skottie Young best known for his “little” drawings but he’s also become an accomplished writer with “I Hate Fairyland” and the extremely popular “Rocket Racoon” series for Marvel Comics. Jim Mahfood handled the art duties which I thought was a weird fit but he totally pulls it off, but more on that later. First you need to know the storyline, right?
The book begins with Howard hanging out at a bar drinking away his problems, which mostly stem from money since he owes the bar a rather large tab, as well as owing a “buzzard” gangster who has come to collect! Howard tells the buzzard he doesn’t have the money and begins to tell him about his day and why he doesn’t have the money. Turns out he was hired by Felicia Cat (Bizzaro Black Cat) to find a possum. Only problem is the possum is dead so when Howard brings Felicia the news she’s surprisingly upset. As it stands the possum was going to “snitch” on her now, with the problem now being that it will look like she killed him to remove him from the equation, so she gives Howard twelve hours to find out who actually killed him to clear her own name.
Howard the Human turns out to be a pretty fun romp. I was a little disappointed after the first few pages but once he “gets down to the steak” it picks up considerably and ends up being a nice little one-shot. It’s incredibly well written and a throw-back to film noir detective stories with a lot of fun twists on the way. I can’t give Young enough credit for this book as it really does end up being a wonderful piece of storytelling that any reader can appreciate. Mahfood on the other hand uses a more subtle approach with his art as it is much less heavy-handed compared to Young’s script but it’s still highly stylized and is the perfect backdrop for script’s tone. But what really makes this book special is all the gags it pulls off, with the highlight of them being Mouse Murdoch, which hopefully gets his own spin-off series (seriously I would totally read that). Overall, it’s a fun read and if you decided to skip over it you’ve made a grave mistake. Good thing your friends at Big B Comics are always there to help you out so I’m sure if you ask real nicely they’ll get you a copy!