HOWARD THE DUCK #1
Created & Written by
MARVEL COMICS GROUP
The text of the following script is Copyright 1985 by Steve
All characters appearing in the text -- with the exceptions
of CHIRREEP, POPORB, THE AROUNDER, THE WITHINER, THE
AMONGER, THE UNDERNEATHER, THE BETWEENER, and OF -- are
trademarks of the Marvel Comics Group.
That alone should deter you from attempting to copy this
script to sell for profit.
Trust me -- they'll sue.
You may, however, download this text and copy it to your
heart's content for your own use and to distribute to your
friends, neighbors, or anyone else who cares to read it (as
long as you don't charge for those copies) since it will
never see publication in comic book form.
ALL SUCH COPIES MUST INCLUDE THIS NOTICE!
Here's hoping you enjoy reading this as much as I did
FULL-PAGE SPLASH: LARGE CLOSEUP OF HOWARD THE DUCK
falling straight toward the reader through some other-
dimensional space. (The backdrop should NOT be black.)
Howard's upended lower body-- NOTE: HE IS NOT WEARING
PANTS!-- and webbed feet take up most of the background, but
we see hints of some Dr. Strange-type geometric abstractions
behind him. He looks half out of his mind, eyes looking two
different directions, beak wide open, cigar perched like a
seesaw on the edge of the beak. He's grabbing the brim of
his hat with both hands, pulling it down in frustration, as
he screams straight at the reader!
HOWARD: (BURST; LETTERS OPEN FOR COLOR) WHAT IS
HOWARD: (SAME) --AN' WHAT DOES IT WANT FROM ME,
BLURB: As part of Marvel's ongoing effort to ad-
dress these and other pressing questions
of our age...
LINE: STAN LEE PRESENTS:
TITLE: HOWARD THE DUCK'S SECRET CRISIS II
BLURB: A continuity-fraught TWO-PART HYPO-SERIES
destined to change the course of the
Marvel Universe for hours, perhaps days!
Created & Written by Illustrated by Inking by
STEVE GERBER (ARTIST NAME) (INKER NAME)
Letterer's name, Letterer JIM SHOOTER
Colorist's name, Colorist Editor
A ROLLED-UP NEWSPAPER lands on the porch of an ordinary sub-
BLURB: It's six-thirty a.m., on what should be an
ordinary weekday morning, in an ordinary
SLIGHTLY LONGER SHOT: The door of the house has opened to
reveal RONALD THE DUCK-- Howard's father as portrayed in HTD
BLACK & WHITE MAGAZINE #6. He's still half-asleep, dressed
in a bathrobe, and leaning over to pick up the paper.
BLURB: ...on the dimensional plane known as DUCK-
BLURB: As is his daily routine, RONALD THE DUCK--
devoted husband, father of three--
shuffles drowsily to the door for a
breath of air and his copy of the NEW
SLIGHTLY LONGER SHOT. A dark shadow has fallen over Ronald.
He looks up and reacts with horror to something he sees off-
BLURB: He inhales deeply-- and the stench of SULFUR
assaults his lungs.
BLURB: That shocks him to wakefulness-- and to the
terrifying realization that this morning
will NOT be like any other.
WIDE ANGLE: A wedge of thick, billowing YELLOW-GREY GLOP is
spreading across the sky, blotting out the sun! At the apex
of the wedge, soaring across the sky, is a TINY (from this
distance) FIGURE ON A SURFBOARD! The glop seems to be pour-
ing out of the surfboard as it flies-- like exhaust fumes.
On the ground, Ronald's neighbors-- ducks, chickens, geese--
are running down the street, screaming in terror.
BLURB: For on this morning, a billowing GLOP
spreads across the sky, choking off the
BLURB: ...shrouding the world in a final DARKNESS
that precedes its END.
EXT. NEW STORK CITY ROOFTOP - WIDE ANGLE
FEATURING DUCKTOR STRANGE and TRUMAN CAPOULTRY (also from
HTD B&W #6) gaze up at the glop, which is spreading across
the sky here, too. Strange holds a bottle of booze in one
hand and waves the other in a tremulous mystical gesture,
trying to conjure the stuff away. Capoultry screams at him
to try harder.
BLURB: Some miles away, on a New Stork City
rooftop, DUCKTOR STRANGE, master of the
mystic arts, and author TRUMAN CAPOULTRY
also observe the phenomenon.
CAPOULTRY: Try another THPELL, Thtrange! The glop'th
STRANGE: =hic= By the RIPPLED RINGSH OF HUMIDOR, I
=hic= banish you, glop!!
VOICE: (OFF-PANEL) Alas, feathered one, mere sor-
cery could not stop these events-- even
if you were SOBER.
Angle past Strange and Capoultry to THE THROWAWAY. He's be-
hind them, floating down to the rooftop, legs together, arms
folded over his chest, eyes staring blankly as if entranced.
Strange and Capoultry are whirling around to look at him.
He wears a long flowing cloak-- it would be floor-length if
he were standing on a floor-- that wraps completely around
him, and a cowl that conceals his face completely. Only his
GLOWING EYES are visible in the shadow of the cowl.
THROWAWAY: The CONSUMPTION of your world was ordained
by a far greater power--
CAPOULTRY: My goodneth! A HAIRLETH APE!
THROWAWAY: --greater even than the one who shall EAT
The Throwaway, still hovering just above the roof, points
skyward dramatically. Capoultry and Strange gape up at him.
THROWAWAY: For yon glop, as you call it, is merely the
GRAVY on the feast--
THROWAWAY: --ladelled across your sky by him who wields
the POWER SULFURIC.
STRANGE & CAPOULTRY: (TWO POINTERS FROM BALLOON) WHO--??
Wide angle shot of roof. THE SULFUR SURFER-- grimy black
from head to toe, but otherwise resembling the Silver
Surfer-- shoots across panel on his surfboard, trailing a
cloud of emissions behind him. Strange and Capoultry are
covered with the stuff. It never touches Throwaway, who
gestures at the Surfer like a ringmaster introducing an act.
THROWAWAY: BEHOLD-- men call him THE SULFUR SURFER--
THROWAWAY: --but he is "HAROLD" to GALACTONGUE!
Small panel. Capoultry and Strange, blackened with sulfur
emissions, stare awestruck at the off-panel Throwaway.
CAPOULTRY: There'th NOTHING we can do-- we're DOOMED?!
THROWAWAY: (OFF-PANEL) Not "we"-- YOU. I cannot die.
Small panel. Throwaway reaches melodramatically up to take
hold of his cowl, preparing to pull it back.
THROWAWAY: For I am...THROWAWAY, he who is disposed to
THROWAWAY: Such is my fate. As your world and infinite
others meet their destruction, I shall
bear helpless witness to the horror...
Small panel. Tight closeup on Throwaway. He pulls back his
cloak, revealing a face that looks like a demented CABBAGE
PATCH DOLL. His glowing eyes bulge almost out of their
sockets, and his features are frozen in an expression of re-
vulsion-- as if someone had shoved a rotten banana up his
THROWAWAY: ...and go "ewwwwgh."
THE RONALD DUCK FAMILY
Ronald, his wife HENRIETTA, and his children THERESA and
ORVILLE, huddle together on the porch, in the darkness, as
the end comes.
BLURB: Back in suburbia, Ronald hugs Henrietta and
the children close to him.
BLURB: And in these last moments, his thoughts turn
sadly to his MISSING son, to HOWARD,
whom he will never see again.
DUCKTOR STRANGE & TRUMAN CAPOULTRY
Strange holds his bottle straight up, pouring the last of
its contents into his mouth, oblivious to Capoultry, who is
diving over the edge of the roof. We see Throwaway's boots
near top of panel as he floats away again.
BLURB: Strange prepares for the coming ingurgita-
tion with an APERITIF...
BLURB: ...while Capoultry seizes back the power of
life and death from his would-be
LARGER PANEL - DUCKWORLD SEEN FROM SPACE
In foreground, the Sulfur Surfer zips away from the planet--
which is now engulfed in glop, like a gooey bonbon. Hover-
ing hungrily AROUND the planet is a pair of GIGANTIC RUBY-
RED LIPS. A HUGE TONGUE extends out from the lips and UNDER
the planet, ABOUT TO SLURP IT UP! (Picture a cosmic version
of the old Rolling Stones Records logo.)
BLURB: The predator, however, has no hands. In
ever sense of the word, it is ALL MOUTH.
SURFER: Your supper, GALACTONGUE.
GALACTONGUE: Thank you, Harold.
SAME ANGLE: BUT NOW THE PLANET IS GONE AND THE TONGUE IS
SMACKING THE GRINNING RUBY LIPS!
SFX: (AT LEFT OF LIPS) =SLURRRP=
SFX: (AT RIGHT OF LIPS) =SMMAAKK=
GALACTONGUE: Mm-MMM! Dee-lish!
VOICE: (OFF-PANEL; BURST; CONNECT TO FOLLOWING BAL-
LOON) NO-- NOT AGAIN!!
VOICE: (POINTER TO BOTTOM OF PANEL) That's the
47th scenario-- and every time, DUCK-
EXT. DESOLATE VALLEY ON PLANET KRYLOR - A MULTI-DOMED STONE
STRUCTURE - NIGHT
The structure rests on the floor of the otherwise deserted
valley. The structure looks primitive and futuristic all at
once. It has one large rough hewn stone dome (not in the
center) and several smaller domes attached to it by short
stone tunnels. The structure should in no way look sym-
metrical. The floor of the valley is dull and grey-- vol-
BLURB: The VALLEY OF ASHES, on the planet KRYLOR:
home of CHIRREEP, techno-artist in
VOICE: (FROM INSIDE MAIN DOME) Mass destruction is
a DOWNER! People don't want to SEE
VOICE: Why do you keep feeding the same VIDSTREAM
into the FICTIONATOR?
INT. MAIN DOME - WIDE ANGLE FEATURING CHIRREEP--
--A KRYLORIAN TECHNO-ARTIST like BEREET [see INCREDIBLE HULK
#269-287 and MARVEL UNIVERSE HANDBOOK #6, pg. 31 for refer-
ence], but not nearly as successful. The main dome of this
structure is her studio.
Chirreep is a Krylorian Cyndi Lauper-- cute, but weird: ris-
ing from the very center of her head is a blue, spiky,
feather plume, at least two feet high; she wears a one-piece
sarong-like garment that sits on her hips at a provocative
angle, much higher on one side than the other; on the more
exposed leg, she wears a boot that comes up over her knee;
on the less exposed leg, she wears an ankle-high boot and
striped leotard-type legging.
She's seated at the Krylorian equivalent of a movieola. In-
stead of a screen, it has a multi-faceted gem about the size
of a basketball. Hovering over the gem is one of Chirreep's
techno-art creations, called POPORB-- essentially a giant
floating eye with long lashes and heavy mascara. A beam
from the eye is aiming into the gem, and in the facets of
the gem, we see scenes from the previous three pages-- the
destruction of Duckworld.
Chirreep looks angry and frightened, as she waves her arms
at the Poporb.
CHIRREEP: What's WRONG with you, Poporb? Why are you
outputting TRAGEDY, when I programmed
you for FARCE?
CHIRREEP: You can't even get a SENSOR-FIX on the STAR
of this movie I'm allegedly making!
The Poporb sadly closes its lid. There's nothing it can do.
CHIRREEP: How am I supposed to create another "Howard
the Duck" TECHNO-FICTION*--
CHIRREEP: --without inputting HOWARD?
BLURB: *Chirreep's earlier "techno-fictions" ap-
peared in HOWARD THE DUCK MAGAZINE #1-9
and BIZARRE ADVENTURES #34.--J.S.
Chirreep gets up from the movieola, wringing her hands, now
looking very worried and agitated.
CHIRREEP: Don't you understand? I've lost my AUDI-
ENCE! They HATE my recent work!
CHIRREEP: Techno-art can MOCK our complacent society,
as BEREET did in her HULK movies*...but
I went too FAR!
CHIRREEP In "VOID LEMON," I tried to say we practice
a PASSIVE form of violence-- and I pro-
voked Krylor's first MASS RIOT!
BLURB: *See HULK #269.--J.S.
Chirreep whirls around, reacts in shock to something she
CHIRREEP: I need a HIT-- another "MALTESE COCKROACH"--
another "CRASH OF '79!"--
CHIRREEP: --or my career is FINISHED!
VOICE: (OFF-PANEL) It's TOO LATE, Chirreep.
Looking past Chirreep, who has frozen in fear, we see THREE
KRYLORIAN ART POLICE standing in the door of the main dome,
pointing odd weapons-- they look like flit-gun-type bug
sprayers-- at her. Their uniforms look like they were bor-
rowed from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
1ST POLICE: Your techno-artistic license has been RE-
2ND POLICE: You and your "Poporb" are hereby summoned to
appear before the COMMISSION.
EXT. KRYLORIAN CAPITAL CITY - WIDE ANGLE TO ESTABLISH
The art police craft carrying Chirreep-- it's an open-topped
saucerlike vehicle-- flies toward one of the tallest build-
ings in the city. The Poporb flies behind it.
BLURB: In mere moments, the KAPS'* transport whisks
Chirreep from her lonely valley to the
bustling planetary capital of PLAISIIR--
BLURB: --seat of the august ENTERTAINMENT STANDARDS
BLURB: *Krylorian Art Police.--JS
INT. COMMISSION HEARING ROOM - LARGE PANEL
The layout of the room definitely suggests a court of law.
The design is something else altogether: the commissioners
are also techno-artists, and the decor reflects this. E.g.,
the front panel of the judges' bench is sculpted into the
huge, glowering face of gargoyle.
The THREE COMMISSIONERS-- bald, like all Krylorian males--
wear judicial-type robes, decorated with odd, alien pat-
terns. Each wears a different sculpted helmet: one resem-
bles a Rolls Royce hood ornament, another a glittering
metallic moose antlers, the third a ziggurat. They look
simultaneously imperious and ridiculous.
SKEEB, the one with the antlers, is the presiding commis-
sioner. He stands between the other two, who are seated.
The defendant (Chirreep) sits facing the bench in a trans-
parent hovering globe, with one section sliced out for a
BLURB: --the honorable techno-master SKEEB
SKEEB: The members of this commission fondly recall
your EARLY work, Chirreep-- so we have
striven to be LENIENT with you.
SKEEB: Even after the "Void Lemon" incident, we
limited your punishment to EXILE.
SKEEB: But now a far GRAVER charge has been leveled
On the stern-faced commissioners. Skeeb is standing, lean-
ing over the bench, accusing Chirreep.
SKEEB: You are accused of employing forbidden
materials-- specifically, SHADOW MAT-
TER-- in the construction of your
SKEEB: Is this TRUE, Chirreep?
Small panel. Chirreep looks pleadingly at the commis-
CHIRREEP: Shadow matter enabled the Poporb to probe
OTHER DIMENSIONS for inspiration.
CHIRREEP: The "Howard" series could never have been
Small panel. Tight closeup of Skeeb. He's taken on the as-
pect of a hangin' judge.
SKEEB: Speak no more. Your rash irresponsibility
has precipitated a DISASTER--
START OF 3-PANEL SEQUENCE: At left of panel is Skeeb's face,
as he narrates the following. The rest of the panel shows
several spiral galaxies swirling in space. Each galaxy is
accompanied by a half-resolved doppelganger of itself, like
a TV "ghost" image.
BLURB: (SKEEB SPEAKING) "--a calamity of COSMIC
BLURB: "For some time, our scientists have noted a
peculiar VIBRATION across the space-time
continuum which produced an odd IMAGE-
DOUBLING EFFECT on our instruments.
The same scene in space-- except that now the "ghost" images
and the actual galaxies have moved much farther apart.
BLURB: "We did not realize, until NOW, that this
was no illusion-- that all of EXISTENCE
was in fact LOSING SUBSTANCE--
BLURB: "--REDISTRIBUTING its matter to form a
SHADOW of itself.
On one side of the panel, we see the swirling galaxies as in
panel one. Down the center of the panel is a ragged-edged
rift, as if the panel had been torn in two. On the other
side, now completely independent of the original galaxies,
the doppelgangers swirl through the space of an entirely
other universe. The rift itself is occupied by various ab-
stract geometric shapes against a solid-color (but not
BLURB: "The vibratory stimulation of the Poporb's
trans-dimensional probing has brought
into being A SECOND MULTIVERSE-- with
its own COSMIC AXIS--
BLURB: "--where your 'movies' ACTUALLY OCCURRED!"
Chirreep is leaning forward, almost tipping out of her wit-
ness chair, stunned at this revelation.
SKEEB: (OFF-PANEL) Moreover, certain of your
"characters" may have suffered a SPACE-
SKEEB: --which divorced them from ANY reality apart
from your films!
CHIRREEP: That's why I can't locate HOWARD--?
Angle across Chirreep to the commissioners, who nod grimly.
SKEEB: Precisely-- for, at the moment, he exists in
SKEEB: He is STRANDED in the rift which divides the
shadow reality from our own.
CHIRREEP: Trapped. In a rift he never made.
CHIRREEP: What are we going to DO?
Angle on Skeeb, who shakes his head in typical Krylorian
resignation to the inevitable.
SKEEB: Accustom ourselves to life in a THINNER uni-
verse, for one thing--
SKEEB: --and for another, PUNISH the entities
RESPONSIBLE for this catastrophe.
INT. A GLOOMY PRISON CELL far below the city. Chirreep sits
hunkered over on a little stool, sobbing. The Poporb hovers
above her, half-open, a tear about to fall from it.
BLURB: Shortly, far below the city...
CHIRREEP: They don't know the WORST of it, Poporb.
CHIRREEP: The destruction of Duckworld must have been
REAL, also-- and I almost surely un-
leashed the menace that CAUSED it!
Down angle on Chirreep as she looks up at Poporb with a hor-
CHIRREEP: Throwaway said it was a power even greater
CHIRREEP: What if it goes on to destroy OTHER worlds--
or that whole other MULTIVERSE, or--
Chirreep stands suddenly, startled at where her reasoning
has led her.
CHIRREEP: (BURST) --OR BOTH MULTIVERSES?!
CHIRREEP: And what if the two are LINKED somehow? The
whole of EXISTENCE could be eradicated--
CHIRREEP: --while Krylor's over-entertained populace
CURLS UP and accepts the "inevitable!"
Close on Chirreep, clenching both fists. She's made up her
mind to do something.
CHIRREEP: I CAN'T let it happen! I WON'T go down in a
history that will never be written as--
CHIRREEP: --THE WOMAN WHO WIPED OUT THE UNIVERSE!
She turns to Poporb, strokes its lid gently, almost hypnoti-
cally. Its iris and pupil gleam with energy.
CHIRREEP: We're going to create a NEW techno-fiction,
Poporb-- just as REAL as the others.
CHIRREEP: It's about how CHIRREEP suddenly VANISHED
from her prison cell, on a mission to
Both Chirreep and Poporb vanish in a crackling flash of en-
CHIRREEP: (OPEN-ENDED POINTER, TO THE FLASH OF ENERGY)
--and repay a DEBT to a web-footed friend.
THE RIFT BETWEEN MULTIVERSES: We can see the ragged black
edges of the multiverses on either side of panel. In f.g.,
two abstract geometric forms, a helix and a pinwheel, are
locked together like a couple of clothes hangers, circling
each other perpetually, going nowhere. In b.g., we see a
small shape tumbling toward us. We can't see yet what it
BLURB: At the distant reaches of two multiverses,
in the rift between existences...
SAME SCENE: But now the geometric forms are moving out of
panel, toward the left, and tumbling figure is a little
closer. We can just barely make out arms and legs-- and
BLURB: ...two geometric solids dance a perpetual
pas de deux, chasing one another's logic
SAME SCENE: But now the geometric forms have moved almost
entirely out of panel to the left-- and the FRONT END OF A
DODGE WINNEBAGO is entering the panel from the right! We
can see now, in a bit of detail, that the tumbling figure is
HOWARD THE DUCK, wearing the same whacked-out expression as
on the splash page.
BLURB: ...unseen by living eyes, inaccessible to
WIDE ANGLE - THE SIDE OF THE WINNEBAGO: Howard slams into it
broadside, to the left of the coach door.
BLURB: ...until now.
HOWARD: (BURST; LETTERS OPEN FOR COLOR)
PAGES TEN & ELEVEN
ARRANGED AS TWO TIERS OF PANELS THAT READ ACROSS BOTH
PAGES; FIVE PANELS ON TOP TIER, THREE ON BOTTOM. FOR
CLARITY, MAYBE SEPARATE TOP TIER OF PANELS WITH THIN,
SOLID BLACK GUTTERS; USE STANDARD OPEN GUTTER TO SEPA-
RATE TOP TIER FROM BOTTOM.
The door of the Winnebago flies open to the left, squashing
Howard against the side of the vehicle. (Only his webbed
feet are visible, hanging out from under the door.) Framed
in the doorway is the WHITE-HAIRED, WHITE-SUITED ANGEL from
the Howard story in BIZARRE ADVENTURES #34. (Henceforth,
we'll call him ANDY, because he bears a strong resemblance
to Andy Warhol.)
SFX: (DOOR SQUASHING HOWARD) THWAPP
HOWARD: (FROM BEHIND DOOR; LOWER CASE LETTERS)
ANDY: HOWARD?-- Howard, is that YOU?!--
Angle past Andy to the edge of the door: Howard's head pokes
around it. His cigar is smashed. He looks like he could
HOWARD: I dunno who you ARE, snowcap...or how you
knew my NAME...
HOWARD: ...an' to be totally HONEST, I don't really
give a plywood pluck.
HOWARD: You, on the other hand, should be aware--
INT. WINNEBAGO: Andy reels backward into the coach, pro-
pelled by a furious Howard, who has leaped on him and whose
gloved hands are locked around the angel's throat!
HOWARD: --that if you don't have a box o' CIGARS in
this clunker, you're DEAD MEAT!
ANDY: But-- but, Howard-- you can't kill ME!
Angle past How to Andy. Andy is bent back over the stove of
the Winnebago coach with the Duck perched on his chest. How
still has one hand around Andy's throat. The other is
balled up in a fist, poised to sock him.
ANDY: I'm ALREADY DEAD! You know that!
ANDY: I'm an ANGEL!
HOWARD: No kiddin'! Well, in that case, this won't
hurt a BIT, will it?
How stops his punch just before it connect. His head whips
around to look off-panel, reacting to a voice. His beak is
dropping open. He's appalled at what he sees.
VOICE: (OFF-PANEL) DESIST, friend duck! The
seraphim ANDY speaks the TRUTH! And I
HOWARD: (LOWER-CASE LETTERING) =waa-uurgh=
LARGE PANEL: WIDE SHOT OF THE WINNEBAGO'S INTERIOR. Now
we-- and Howard-- see that there are OTHERS aboard. In
fact, the place is packed with a strange array of characters
from Howard's past(s): DAKIMH THE SORCERER, his apprentice
JENNIFER KALE, and KORREK THE BARBARIAN (HTD color comic
#22-23); MAN-THING; mechanic CLAUDE STARKOWSKI (HTD color
comic #30-31); MASTER C'HAAJ (kung fu master from HTD color
comic #3); and HEMLOCK SHOALS (detective caterpillar; HTD
b&w magazine #4).
Dakimh should be standing. Man-Thing would hunched over,
too tall for the RV's ceiling to accommodate. Claude might
be trying to fix a lamp or something. Arrange the others
interestingly on the can the Winnebago's sofas, bunks, etc.
Howard is still standing on Andy's chest, gaping at the
others in unconcealed disgust.
DAKIMH: --for I, DAKIMH THE SORCERER-- or rather,
his GHOST-- am also numbered among the
BLURB: With a LUMP in his throat-- brought on by
sudden, severe NAUSEA-- Howard scans the
recreational vehicle's weird assemblage:
BLURB: (NEAR JENNIFER) JENNIFER KALE, Dakimh's
BLURB: (NEAR KORREK) ...KORREK, barbarian prince of
BLURB: (NEAR MANNY) ...the macabre MAN-THING, murk-
dweller of the Florida swamps...
BLURB: (NEAR CLAUDE AND C'HAAJ) ...mechanic CLAUDE
STARKOWSKI and martial arts entrepreneur
MASTER C'HAAJ, both of Cleveland,
BLURB: (NEAR SHOALS) ...and, finally, a CATERPILLAR
the duck has never seen before in his
HOWARD: Gimme strength...!
Medium-closeup of Howard. He slumps into a pose of futil-
HOWARD: Better yet, tell me what I'm doin' in a
Winnebago, nine billion light years from
HOWARD: --with a gaggle of FLAMING LOONIES I never
wanted to SEE again--
Medium-closeup of Hemlock at one of the RV's windows. He's
pointing, indicating something he sees outside.
HOWARD: --plus two I've never even MET!
HEMLOCK: All in good time, Howard. For the nonce, a
more URGENT matter has arisen.
HEMLOCK: It would appear that we are no longer the
ONLY sojourners in this cosmic outback.
EXT. IN THE RIFT: LONG SHOT OF A GIANT FIRE HYDRANT with
windows around its dome-shaped bonnet and in its operating
nut, so that it looks a bit like a space-station. We see
the Winnebago far, far in the background.
CLAUDE: (FROM WINNEBAGO) Sunuvagun-- FIRE HYDRANT at
DAKIMH: (SAME) No, Claude. Like our "R.V.", it is
an artificial CONSTRUCT, crafted to RE-
SEMBLE a common object.
INSET PANEL: closeup of Dakimh, touching his fingertips to
his temples, concentrating.
DAKIMH: A moment, please. I wish to determine who
INT. BONNET OF FIRE HYDRANT: In this gigantic domed struc-
ture, which looks like the inside of a spaceship, we find an
assemblage of Howard's arch-foes, all pounding, hitting,
kicking, or throwing magical bolts at one another-- each as-
suming that all the others are responsible for his or her
Through one of the hydrant's huge windows, we see the Win-
nebago floating far in b.g.
The villains are:
1) PRO-RATA (HTD color comic #1);
2-6) DR. ANGST, BLACK HOLE, SITTING BULLSEYE, TILLIE
THE HUN, and THE SPANKER (MARVEL TREASURY EDITION #12);
7) LE BEAVER (HTD color comic #9);
8) KONG LOMERATE (HTD color comic #10 and b&w magazine
9) DOCTOR BONG (HTD color comic #15, et al.);
10) BERSERK JOE (HTD color comic #22-23);
11) JACKPOT (HTD b&w #1);
12) WALLY SIDNEY (HTD b&w #2);
13) GREEDY KILLERWATT (HTD b&w #3);
14-17) JOKESTER, PUFFIN, QUIZLING, and THE MALLER (HTD
18) THE NEW BLACK TALON (HTD b&w #9).
DR. BONG stands apart from the conflict, AT LEFT OF PANEL,
hitting himself in the head with his clapper-arm, trying to
get the attention of the others. SPANKER is near CENTER OF
PANEL, sitting on something, with WALLY SIDNEY draped over
his lap; he's spanking Wally with his paddle. DR. ANGST is
stationed AT RIGHT OF PANEL, conjuring a GIANT RUNNING SHOE
in the air above the combatants.
DAKIMH: (POINTER TO WINNEBAGO) I sense EIGHTEEN
ENTITIES-- spanning a veritable spectrum
DAKIMH: (CONNECT TO PREVIOUS BALLOON) --from the
merely NASTY to the WANTONLY VIOLENT.
BONG: STOP this senseless brawling-- at once!
DOCTOR BONG demands it!
SPANKER: That's what YOU say, doc! But I-- THE
SPANKER-- want a SECOND OPINION!
ANGST: Very well! I-- DOCTOR ANGST, master of mun-
dane mysticism-- CONCUR with Doctor
ANGST: Now cut it out, or I'll JOG all over you!
SFX: (BONG'S CLAPPER HITTING BELL) BONNNNG
INT. WINNEBAGO: Angle across Dakimh to Howard. Dakimh is
removing his fingertips from his temples, turning to How--
who throws up his hands and turns on his heel to walk away.
DAKIMH: Apart from their EVIL, they seem to have
little in common--
DAKIMH: --except that they ALL want Howard DEAD.
Howard is at the door of the Winnebago coach, starting to
HOWARD: EVERYBODY wants me dead! In some species,
it's an INBORN INSTINCT!
HOWARD: Look, guys-- no offense, but I'm jumpin'
ship. I was actually gettin' to LIKE it
EXT. WINNEBAGO: TIGHT SHOT OF DOORWAY as Howard flings the
door open-- and stops cold, his beak dropping open, stunned.
HOWARD: --and besides, even if you're dead, you'll
lead happier, longer lives if I'm not--
HOWARD: (STAGGERED, LOWER-CASE LETTERS) =wurrrgh=
VOICE: (OFF-PANEL) So, Howard, we meet AGAIN--
Angle over How's shoulder out the door-- to CHIRREEP, sit-
ting calmly in "space", with the POPORB floating at her own
CHIRREEP: --for the FIRST TIME.
HOWARD: Why...you're a featherless, hairless
bird-ape hybrid, aren't you?
HOWARD: Hi, there.
HOWARD: I'm a deeply disturbed duck.
Howard backs back into the Winnebago coach. Chirreep and
the Poporb also step inside.
HOWARD: I must be disturbed. Otherwise, I wouldn't
think I was seeing YOU.
CHIRREEP: I understand your distress, Howard-- but I
am no DELUSION.
CHIRREEP: Intelligent life on my planet simply evolved
DIFFERENTLY than on earth-- or DUCK-
TIGHT SHOT OF HOWARD: SEEN ONLY FROM THE WAIST UP. Double
image of his head looking first at off-panel Chirreep, then
down at his lower body-- in horror.
HOWARD: "Duckworld?" What's that-- a THEME PARK?
HOWARD: WAIT-- what's HAPPENIN' to me?
HOWARD: =waaaugh= I-- I'm-- CHANGING--
FULL SHOT: Howard looks down, gasps. Inexplicably, he is
now wearing pants!
HOWARD: --CLOTHES!! I've got PANTS ON!!
CLAUDE: Never mind THAT, Howie--
Small panel: Claude and the others, at the window of the
Winnebago. Claude is motioning for How to join them.
CLAUDE: --take a gander at what's goin' on OUTSIDE!
LARGE PANEL: Outside, Galactongue has appeared in the rift,
hovering far above both the Winnebago and the fire hydrant.
His ruby-red lips are disgorging a FLOODTIDE OF STARS into
the emptiness. The Sulfur Surfer flies an elaborate pattern
of swoops and dives around the falling stars.
CHIRREEP: (FROM R.V.) It's GALACTONGUE! He's disgorg-
ing an entire GALAXY into the rift!
HOWARD: (FROM R.V.) Maybe his eyes were bigger than
CHIRREEP: (FROM R.V.) He doesn't HAVE eyes. HAROLD--
that sulfurous being-- is his eyes.
HOWARD: (FROM R.V.) He's got a seeing-eye SURFER--?!
Small panel: looking through the window of the Winnebago at
Claude and Hemlock. Claude literally has his nose pressed
against the glass.
CLAUDE: Gee, Hemlock, I seen stuff like this at the
MOVIES lotsa times--
LARGE PANEL: Outside, as the Sulfur Surfer leads Galactongue
away, the newly transplanted galaxy is IMPLODING at incredi-
ble velocity, all of the stars rushing together to form a
vast, glittering, towering...something.
CLAUDE: (FROM R.V.) --but I never figgered I'd get
to see a galaxy implode IN PERSON!
CLAUDE: (CONNECT TO PREVIOUS BALLOON) Did YOU?
HEMLOCK: (FROM R.V.) Hardly, Claude.
LARGE PANEL: The imploding galaxy has formed a planet-- with
one unbelievably tall structure sticking straight up from
its surface and rising past the top of the panel into the
rift-space. IT'S AN OFFICE BUILDING-- A GLEAMING TOWER TENS
OF THOUSANDS OF MILES HIGH, WITH ODD PROTRUSIONS (WINGS)
STICKING OUT FROM THE BUILDING WITH NO VISIBLE MEANS OF SUP-
PORT. An enormous banner, hung across the side of the
building, reads: RETAIL AND OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE FOR
FIVE COMET-LIKE FLARES-- one noticeably SMALLER than the
other four-- are streaking away outward from various points
on the structure, headed toward the Winnebago and the fire
hydrant-- both of which are traveling toward the planet at
JENNIFER: (FROM R.V.) Dakimh-- it's formed a NEW
PLANET-- and an OFFICE BUILDING!
JENNIFER: And we're falling straight TOWARD it!
DAKIMH: (FROM R.V.) Aye, Jennifer-- but I am MORE
concerned with the objects now streaking
WIDE ANGLE, SMALL PANEL: Three of the comet-like flares
(including the smallest one) strike the Winnebago. The
other two strike the fire hydrant. Both "constructs" GLOW.
BLURB: An instant later, the mysterious flares
"SPLIT-SCREEN PANEL" - INT. WINNEBAGO AT LEFT, INT. FIRE
HYDRANT DOME AT RIGHT. Both are bathed in blinding light
that washes the panel virtually into black-and-white, and
"breaks up" the characters' outlines, so that we can't see
BLURB: ...to no apparent effect, other than
VOICES: (FIVE POINTERS FROM BALLOON, THREE TO
WINNEBAGO, TWO TO FIRE HYDRANT; WAVY
BALLOON SHAPE; STAGGERED LETTERS)
HOWARD & BONG: (BURST; TWO POINTERS) WHO SAID THAT--?!?
INT. FIRE HYDRANT: Suddenly, a strange, gooey, MOLASSES-LIKE
MASS WITH A HUMAN FACE starts to flow out from among the
villains. Worse: it talks!
MOLASSES THING: (WAVY BALLOON; STAGGERED LETTERS) I am
from among. I am the AMONGER.
PRO-RATA: By the stellar spreadsheet-- what IS it?!
INT. WINNEBAGO: Much to Chirreep's horror, a huge coil, re-
sembling A SLINKY TOY WITH A HUMAN FACE ON ONE END, is un-
winding itself snakelike from around her legs.
COIL: (WAVY BALLOON; STAGGERED LETTERS) I am from
around. I am the AROUNDER.
CHIRREEP: Yes...yes, I can SEE that.
INT. FIRE HYDRANT: A FLAT, ALMOST TWO-DIMENSIONAL FIGURE
THAT LOOKS LIKE A STICK OF GUM WITH A HUMAN HEAD slithers
out from under Kong Lomerate's foot, startling the big ape
half out of his skin!
PAPER MAN: (WAVY BALLOON; STAGGERED LETTERS) I am from
underneath. I am the UNDERNEATHER.
INT. WINNEBAGO: Out of Howard's wide-open beak comes a
BOUNCING BALL WITH LITTLE ARMS, LITTLE LEGS, AND A HAPPY
FACE PAINTED ON ITS SPHEROID SURFACE.
BALL: (WAVY BALLOON; STAGGERED LETTERS) I am from
within. I am the WITHINER.
Up-angle past Claude to the ceiling of the Winnebago. A
STRANGE LITTLE MAN IS SWINGING BY HIS NECK FROM A NOOSE AT-
TACHED TO THE CEILING. He reaches down and Claude, utterly
bewildered, shakes his little doll-like hand.
LITTLE MAN: You can just call me..."OF."
CLAUDE: Uh-huh...pleased to meetcha.
EXT. THE WINNEBAGO AND THE FIRE HYDRANT: A voice speaks to
them from the empty space between the two "constructs."
VOICE: (WAVY BALLOON; STAGGERED LETTERING; NO
POINTER) And I am from...between!
Together, we six comprise...
VOICE: (SAME) ...THE BROTHERHOOD OF EVIL
Angle past the two hurtling constructs to the office tower.
Both are on a collision course with the tower. One will
strike near the top, the other near the bottom of the enor-
BETWEENER: Play both ends against the middle, and all
you desire shall be yours!
BETWEENER: Nothing you dream of is impossible for me to
The Winnebago and the fire hydrant strike the side of the
building-- and seem to dissolve away, their matter dissolv-
ing into crackles of energy and being tossed back into the
rift. The hydrant strikes the building several stories
ABOVE the Winnebago.
BLURB: Before anyone can ask for clarification of
the BETWEENER'S strange remark...
BLURB: ...the two constructs IMPACT the office
BLURB: ...and DISPERSE INTO UNBONDED ATOMS!
INT. OFFICE TOWER: THE BOARD ROOM. Long, oval conference
table. Thickly upholstered chairs. Plush carpeting. The
villains are spawled all over the place. Kong Lomerate is
prominent in this shot, swinging from the chandelier, which
brightly lights the room.
BLURB: Their CONTENTS, however, arrive INTACT
KONG: We're viable! And we've landed in the BOARD
KONG: --the natural habitat of KONG LOMERATE!
INT. OFFICE TOWER: THE MAIL ROOM. This is where Howard and
"friends" have landed, sprawled amid boxes, carts, postal
scales, stamps, a few thousand unsorted envelopes, etc.
There are no lights on in this room.
JENNIFER: Where-- ARE we--?!
HOWARD: =wauurrgh= The MAIL ROOM-- haven of lost
HEMLOCK: Yes...whatever the Betweener's game may be--
he obviously wishes us to start at the
Howard storms toward the door gesturing behind him for the
others to keep away, let him go. He wants no part of this.
Chirreep in particular watches him go, looking very upset.
Korrek, climbing out from under a pile of mail, is furious.
HOWARD: Yeah, well-- let 'im keep WISHIN'! I'm not
startin' at the bottom or anywhere ELSE!
HOWARD: In fact, I'm not PLAYIN'!
KORREK: By Bharph's blood-- time has wrought LITTLE
CHANGE in you, fowl!
Angle on Korrek, drawing his glowing sword from its sheath.
KORREK: You would only too happily DESERT your
comrades in the face of these
HOWARD: (OFF-PANEL) You GOT it, Korrek! I'm nothin'
Howard is opening the door-- when Korrek's sword flies into
shot just over his head (speedlines indicate its path) and
imbeds itself in the metal. The impact slams the door shut
again. Howard's eyes are rolling up to look at the sword.
HOWARD: (SMALL LETTERS, CENTERED IN BALLOON)
HOWARD: (LOWER-CASE LETTERS; CONNECT TO PREVIOUS
SFX: (SWORD HITTING DOOR) THWOMMM!
Howard reaches up and pulls the sword out of the door.
HOWARD: Korrek...lemme try'n put this diplomati-
HOWARD: One'a the reasons I'm not exactly EAGER to
fight the good fight at your side...
Wider shot. Howard whirls around, holding the sword with
both hands and waving it and yelling at Korrek. The barbar-
ian takes a step backward.
HOWARD: ...is that only a MORON throws his weapon
away before the fight's even STARTED!
HOWARD: Do I have to COMPLETE the syllogism, or do
you get the DRIFT?
KORREK: Anger overcame my REASON, fowl! I am not so
INCAUTIOUS in battle!
Howard tosses down the sword and starts for the door again.
HOWARD: What-- you only get mad at your FRIENDS?
HOWARD: Look, thew-brain, if you NEED me, give a
holler, okay? Otherwise--
Jennifer gives a worried look to Dakimh. She's concerned
not only for their lives-- but also the duck's sanity.
Dakimh shrugs "who can say?" in response to her question.
HOWARD: (OFF-PANEL) --just forget I EXIST!
SFX: (DOOR SLAMMING) SLAMM!
JENNIFER: I'm worried about Howard, Dakimh. He acts
like we all got together LAST WEEK.
JENNIFER: Doesn't he REALIZE he's been lost in that
rift for almost SIX YEARS...?!
INT. THE BOARD ROOM: Angle over Kong Lomerate's shoulder
down the conference table where the villains are seated.
Kong Lomerate stands at the head of the table, playing
chairman of the board, addressing the others. Dr. Bong is
seated to his right, Dr. Angst to his left.
Seated on Angst's side of the table (from nearest to fur-
thest) are: Le Beaver, Black Hole, Sitting Bullseye, Tillie
the Hun, the Spanker, Jackpot, and Black Talon.
Seated on Bong's side of the table (also from nearest to
furthest) are: Wally Sidney, Greedy Killerwatt, Maller,
Jokester, Puffin, Quizling, and Pro-Rata.
Berserk Joe is at the end of the table, standing on his head
in his chair.
BLURB: Meanwhile, several floors above...
KONG: A most impressive assemblage, wouldn't you
KONG: The Canadian super-patriot LE BEAVER...the
matter-sucking BLACK HOLE...SITTING
BULLSEYE, TILLIE THE HUN, THE SPANKER,
the one-armed bandit JACKPOT...BLACK
TALON, the voodoo priest...
KONG: ...BERSERK JOE, the cosmic lunatic...
KONG: ...clothier WALLY SIDNEY, GREEDY KILLERWATT
...the MALLER and his employees--
JOKESTER, PUFFIN, and QUIZLING-- and
PRO-RATA, chief accountant of the uni-
Angle on the head of the table, including Bong, Angst, and
Kong. Kong Lomerate nods knowingly.
BONG: Surely the PREPOSITIONS gathered us together
for a REASON.
ANGST: Some grand purpose-- something to do with
the WINNEBAGO we saw from space!
Small panel. Le Beaver scratches at the table and snarls at
LE BEAVER: If vous KNOW quelque-chose, minkey-- PARLEZ!
Tight shot of Kong. He regards the others haughtily.
KONG: Quite simply, I believe I have grasped the
nature of the Prepositions' ENTERPRISE.
KONG: This building is to be the battlefield for a
war of OFFICE POLITICS...
KONG: ...the OBJECT of which, as in any such con-
flict, is the redistribution of POWER.
Extreme closeup of Kong, emphasizing the hungrily glittering
KONG: By first dividing, then intimidating, and
finally DAMAGING our opponents...
KONG: ...the power falls to US-- and with it, the
INT. OFFICE BUILDING CORRIDOR: Howard, hands shoved into the
pockets of his coat, trundles down the hall, lost in
thought. Like the mail room, this area is also very dark.
HOWARD: (THOT) Shouldn't've railed at 'em like that.
They don't get it.
HOWARD: (THOT) Nobody gets it.
HOWARD: (THOT) Nobody ever did.
Another angle on Howard, seen from back, now approaching a
corner of the corridor. His trousers are starting to disap-
pear-- just vanish.
HOWARD: (THOT) It's a rare bird-- let alone a
hairless ape-- that never really feels
HOWARD: (THOT) Can't help it, though-- I DON'T very
Around the corner: Howard comes shuffling around the bend,
glancing down, noticing that the trousers have disappeared
HOWARD: (THOT) Not that I'm in love with my own
company, or anything.
HOWARD: (THOT) Hm. There go the pants...!
HOWARD: (THOT) When you get right down to it, I'm a
fairly obnoxious personality.
Howard shuffles up to a water cooler, reaches up for a paper
cup from the cylindrically-shaped wall-mounted dispenser
next to it. (The dispenser is mounted at a height appropri-
ate for adult humans.)
HOWARD: (THOT) I've just never encountered anybody
who struck me as significantly LESS
HOWARD: (THOT) Thirsty...
HOWARD: (THOT) And suppose I did. Why would they
want anything to do with me?
Close on the bottom of the cup dispenser. Howard's hand has
pulled a paper cup out of the dispenser-- and falling out
after it (as if dropping from a gallows, though it doesn't
seem to bother him at all), hanging from a rope that extends
up into the dispenser, is "OF," the weird little Preposi-
HOWARD: (THOT; OFF-PANEL) Even BEV* and I never went
more than 48 hours without arguing over
HOWARD: (BURST; OFF-PANEL) =WAAAAUGH!!=
OF: GREETS, Howard! War broken out yet?
BLURB: *Beverly Switzler, Howard's human companion
during most of his stay on earth.--J.S.
Medium shot. Howard gapes at the little preposition, who's
hanging just slightly above eye-level with the duck.
HOWARD: I oughtta THROTTLE you for scarin' me like
HOWARD: --but somehow it seems SUPERFLUOUS.
OF: Oh, good. It's travail enough going through
life as a HANGING PREPOSITION.
HOWARD: Uh-huh. Now what's this about a WAR?
Small panel. Close on Of. He realizes he's spoken out of
OF: Oh, nothing...nothing at all...just making
OF: I really...should be going...my larger
brothers are calling...!
On Howard staring up at the cup dispenser. There's a little
puff of smoke now where Of had been hanging. The SHADOW of
a tall, off-panel figure is looming over Howard, as the fig-
ure approaches from behind.
OF: Perhaps we can chat again...if you live
SFX: (PUFF OF SMOKE) =POOT!=
HOWARD: If I WHAT--?!?
HOWARD: Come BACK here! I demand an EXPLANATION--!
Low angle past Howard to Chirreep, as she enters the scene
behind him. Howard is whirling around to look at her, again
startled half out of his wits.
CHIRREEP: It's useless, Howard. Paper cup dispensers
HOWARD: Now, who-- OH! It's the HALLUCINATION
CHIRREEP: My name is Chirreep, Howard. And we really
Howard and Chirreep continue down the corridor.
CHIRREEP: You see...I'm RESPONSIBLE for your being
trapped in the rift...
CHIRREEP: ...and, inadvertently, for the destruction
HOWARD: "Duckworld" again.
HOWARD: Lady, I've never HEARD of Duckworld! Why
should I CARE who destroyed it?
Chirreep looks at him, stunned. He looks at her as if she's
completely out to lunch.
CHIRREEP: Because you BORN there! Because your
parents-- Ronald and Henrietta-- LIVED
CHIRREEP: Moon of noon-- the Howard I knew was never
HOWARD: Then you must'a known a DIFFERENT Howard--
HOWARD: --'cause MY parents're named DAVE an' DOTTY!
Small panel. Closeup on Chirreep. Her eyes widen, as a
sudden realization hits her.
CHIRREEP: Oh my stars and leotards!...then Duck-
world...only existed in the SHADOW
CHIRREEP: It only became real...AFTER it appeared in
HOWARD: (OFF-PANEL) Hah?
Holding Howard's hand tightly (he looks a little uncomfort-
able about this), Chirreep tells him about the creation of
the second multiverse.
BLURB: Breathlessly, the bird-woman explains the
functions, intended and otherwise, of
the Poporb and the Fictionator...
BLURB: ...and how the duck's dual existence in fact
and techno-fiction became NON-EXISTENCE
when the multiverses began to SEPARATE.
HOWARD: Y-you're tellin' me the ANGEL-- an' the
CATERPILLAR-- are FICTIONAL CHARACTERS?
Howard and Chirreep approach a bank of elevators in the cor-
CHIRREEP: --and NO!
CHIRREEP: They BEGAN as fictional creations-- but they
BECAME REAL-- sort of like your PANTS!
HOWARD: I repeat: hah?
CHIRREEP: In my movies, an ANIMAL DECENCY committee
got upset because you were waddling
Behind How and Chirreep, the doors of an elevator are start-
ing to open. A shaft of light from the elevator stabs into
the dark corridor. They don't see it. Chirreep is too in-
volved with her story; How is too involved in his continuing
CHIRREEP: They gave you a choice between trousers and
LYNCHING. You went with the pants.
HOWARD: Who WOULDN'T...?
CHIRREEP: But, Howard, if Andy the Angel and Hemlock
Shoals-- and your pants-- have all taken
on some kind of reality--
Behind How and Chirreep, the door has opened a little more.
We can see the menacing shapes of several figures in the el-
evator. Chirreep grows progressively more alarmed, Howard
progressively more skeptical.
CHIRREEP: --that means --MY VILLAINS COULD HAVE, TOO!
HOWARD: Uh-huh. What were THEY-- evil GYM SHORTS,
LARGE PANEL: The door of the elevator is now completely
open, revealing several of the villains-- KONG LOMERATE,
MALLER, JACKPOT, AND GREEDY KILLERWATT-- ready to pounce.
How and Chirreep turn to face them, and react with shock, as
Kong Lomerate speaks.
KONG: Gentlemen, I had assumed my background in
BUSINESS would prove crucial to winning
KONG: But if these two represent the CALIBER of
our antagonists, I am ludicrously
KONG: Let us DISPENSE with subtlety and simply--
KONG: (BURST) --KILL THEM!!
NEXT-ISSUE BLURB: 3/4-inch strip across bottom of page.
BLURB: NEXT> POWER PLAYS! BACK-STABBING! CAREER
STRATEGIES! RUG-PULLING! DEATH! NEW
CLOTHES! MORE DEATH! PLUS-- IN CASE
YOU MISSED IT IN 1974-- THE ORIGIN OF
HOWARD THE DUCK! ALL IN THE ASTOUNDING
CONCLUSION OF "SECRET CRISIS II"--
REALITY: ITS PREVENTION AND CURE!
((ABOVE TITLE LETTERING OPEN FOR COLOR))
Copyright 1985 by Steve Gerber Reprinted by permission
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