Hulu Picks Up Four Marvel Animated Shows Including ‘Howard the Duck’

Photo: Universal Pictures (Getty Images)

Netflix put the final nail in the coffin of their television relationship with Marvel by canceling Jessica Jones and The Punisher, but the Disney-owned comic conglomerate has rebounded nicely with Hulu. The two Disney-owned companies have struck a deal for four adult-oriented animated shows: Howard The Duck, M.O.D.O.K.Hit-MonkeyTigra & Dazzler, and a crossover special titled The Offenders. 

Of the four upcoming shows, the juiciest is Howard the Duck, a black sheep in the Marvel Universe who has grown into a cult favorite. Howard the Duck was created by writer Steve Gerber and penciler Val Mayerik in Adventure into Fear #19 (December 1973) as a secondary character in a “Man-Thing” feature.

While the image of a noir-ish duck detective seems like a fowl joke, Howard the Duck gained a loyal following for its absurdist storylines that passed into the realm of existentialism. One of those avid admirers was George Lucas, who commissioned a pair of USC film school classmates (Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz) to write a script for him.

The Howard the Duck film adaptation was originally intended to be animated but studio politics forced Lucas into making it live-action. The Star Wars director’s confidence in a special-effects-heavy film about a talking duck proved to be hubris as the film became one of the biggest box office duds of all-time.

However, the widely panned film developed a cult status over the years, earning Howard the Duck a couple of easter egg cameos in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Now, HTD gets a second chance as the cartoon character he was always meant to be. The new Hulu version is being developed by a rejuvenated Kevin Smith and Dave Willis (Aqua Teen Hunger Force) which seems like a perfect pairing.

“The times we’re living in deserve an orator who can identify all the quacks in the system – a straight-shooter who won’t leave us holding the bill,” said the Clerks director in a press statement. “Let’s be honest: I’m not talented enough to handle any of the Avengers, but Howard is definitely in my wheelhouse!”

As for the other Hulu and Marvel animated shows announced, here’s a quick rundown.

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