What happens with you combine Deadpool, the star of Marvel's most successful solo superhero film franchises, with Howard the Duck, the star of what might objectively be the worst superhero movie of all time? You get 2017's Deadpool the Duck, a five-issue miniseries by Stuart Moore, Jacapo Camagni and Israel Silva.
While combining an anthropomorphic duck together with a motormouth mercenary seems like a recipe for hijinks and Tex Avery worthy ultra-violence, Deadpool the Duck is surprisingly nuanced and tame. Despite Howard describing his own body as out of shape, Deadpool's hyperbolic metabolism and regenerative powers make their combined form almost-untouchable. Now, CBR is taking a look back at this amalgamated hero, who joins the amalgamated character pantheon that includes Vegetto, Gogeta, Firestorm and Jeff Goldblum and the fly from The Fly.
WHO IS DEADPOOL THE DUCK?
While aimlessly driving, Howard the Duck comes upon Rocket Raccoon crash-landing in a space car and discovers that his furry friend has been infected with "space rabies." Coincidentally, Deadpool shows up, tasked by S.H.I.E.L.D. to capture Rocket. Before you can ask how Deadpool knew Rocket would crash land at this precise location, Rocket bites Deadpool's old wrist-mounted teleporter, breaking it. Out of the resulting science-explosion emerges Deadpool the Duck, who sadly does not call himself "Duckpool."
After projectile vomiting for a few panels, Deadpool the Duck realizes that only one of them "drives" the body, whilst the other remains in the Negative Zone. From the driver's perspective, the "passenger" appears as a floating head spirit animal, similar to how the two minds of DC's Firestorm are usually depicted.
Investigating the now-unconscious Rocket's space rabies, Deadpool The Duck uses Rocket's ship's "emergency return" button to retrace Rocket's journey, arriving at a science-lab satellite owned by the Roxxon Corporation. One exploding satellite later, Deadpool the Duck ultimately arrives at a super-secret Roxxon Corporation science-island.
HOW WAS DEADPOOL THE DUCK FORMED?
The amalgamated Avengers soon discover that their fusion wasn't the result of some The Fly-esque teleporting hijinks, but rather nanomachines. Rocket Raccoon wasn't infected with "space-rabies," but R.A.B.I.E.s., "Robotic Antibody/Bacterial Infection Engines." Rocket had been foaming at the mouth because his saliva was teeming with nanomachines, which merged Deadpool with Rocket on a molecular level. The teleporter explosion was unrelated.
After discovering the original R.A.B.I.E.s machine on Roxxon's island, Deadpool the Duck places Rocket into the R.A.B.I.E.s machine to remove the nanites, just in time for an obligatory Roxxon/S.H.I.E.L.D. firefight.
HOW DEADPOOL THE DUCK WAS SEPARATED
While the R.A.B.I.E.s machine was destroyed in the brawl, plenty of nanobots remained in Deadpool the Duck after the first act's retroactively pivotal vomiting sequence. If they were to ingest the nanomachines, then Deadpool and Howard could separate themselves from each other. After swallowing a spoonful of their own discharge, Deadpool the Duck still remains, as both heroes must assist in the separation. Hesitating, Deadpool claims "You can't end a five-issue miniseries with the hero eating his own puke! It's not just revolting, it's anticlimactic!"
Teleporting in with a righteous "BONG!," Doctor Bong reveals that he has been the mastermind behind all of this nonsense. The Howard the Duck villain had been trying to create a hybrid animal army by infecting Rocket with nanomachines to serve as a rabid carrier. Bong intentionally sent the infected Rocket after Howard, intending for him to be the first convert in Bong's dank hybrid army.
While Doctor Bong's bell-shaped helmet releases a paralyzing shockwave when struck, thisdoesn't stop Deadpool the Duck from hitting Doctor Bong repeatedly. A confused Howard ponders "Bong's power disrupts the synapses --", but Deadpool interrupts: "You mean the nerves in my head? Those died a long time ago!"
Taking advantage of Doctor Bong's helmet controls of "one hit for paralyzing shockwave, four hits for teleportation," Deadpool The Duck puts Dr. Bong's hybrid theory to the test, wailing on him with multiples of four to banish him away. After metaphorically ripping Bong apart, Deadpool and Howard finally unmerge to find themselves laying in a pool of their vomit, marking an undignified end for two characters who have had more than a few embarrassing moments.