Comic Legends: The Censored Sex Life of Howard the Duck

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and thirty-sixth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Click here for Part 1 of this week's legends.


Marvel edited an early issue of Howard the Duck to hide the fact that Howard the Duck and Beverley Switzer were sleeping together.



The other day, I did a list about characters in the Marvel Universe who have slept with Marvel "monsters," and naturally, Howard the Duck and Beverley Switzer were on the list, as they are one of the most famous odd couples in the Marvel Universe, her being a human and him being, well, you know, a DUCK.

However, amusingly enough, Marvel had to censor one of their earliest Howard the Duck issues because the Comics Code objected to the depiction of Howard and Beverly's sleeping arrangements, as it was clear that they were sleeping together. The edits, though, BARELY change the scene. It reminds me of the famous Nick Fury/Contessa sequence by Steranko where the edited scene is probably even MORE sexually suggestive than Steranko's original panels.

Anyhow, here is the sequence from Howard the Duck #2, by Steve Gerber, Frank Brunner and Steve Leialoha...

And here is the panel that the Comics Code objected to, leading to it being edited in the comic...

Amusingly enough, what still made the comic was still offensive enough to one reader to actually write a letter to the Comics Code to complain!

An even weirder piece of editing came in the first issue of Howard the Duck the magazine. Marvel's black and white magazines were not subject to the Comics Code, so they got a way with a whole lot more than the comic books, including nudity. So there's a scene where Howard and Beverly go to have sex and Gene Colan draws Beverly topless, but then the scene cuts to them after having sex, while Colan's original version showed them having sex (in silhouette, of course)...

But that was apparently too much, even for a non-Code approved black and white magazine!!

Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed at CBR: Was Nick Fury originally going to be Peter Parker's mentor in Spider-Man: Homecoming instead of Tony Stark?

Check back later tonight for Part 3 of this week's legends! And remember, e-mail me at cronb01@aol.com or brianc@cbr.com if you have any suggestions for future comic book legends!

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