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-Monkey, Tigra & 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.
Patton Oswalt will be an executive producer on M.O.D.O.K. which stands for "Mobile Organism Designed Only for Computing." The show will follow the floating head super villain as he struggles to maintain control of his evil organization and his demanding family.
Hit-Monkey is about a primate assassin and will be spear-headed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck of Blades of Glory fame.
'Tigra & Dazzler'
Chelsea Handler will executive producer this show about two woke super heroines and BFFs, Tigra and Dazzler, who fight for recognition among Los Angeles' movers and shakers.