Howard the Duck teams up with numerous Marvel heroes for his 50th anniversary

Howard the Duck variant covers
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Howard the Duck has been an unlikely cult favorite character since his 1973 debut, and in 2023, Marvel Comics will celebrate Howard's 50th anniversary starting in February with a series of variant covers that team Howard up with different Marvel Comics characters, and even one that mashes him up with cult '70s sci-fi movie series Planet of the Apes.

Along with the variant covers, Marvel will also print two Marvel Masterworks volumes reprinting Howard's classic Steve Gerber written adventures, drawn by artists including co-creator Val Mayerik, Frank Brunner, and Gene Colan.

Since he was first created by Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik as a strange, satirical foil to the enigmatic Man-Thing, Howard has pushed boundaries for Marvel, fictitiously running for president against Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford in 1976, and even drawing the ire of Marvel's current parent company Disney way back before they owned Marvel Comics for looking too much like Donald Duck.

Marvel plans to extend the Howard the Duck variant cover program throughout 2023, with covers from February, March, and April in the first round of reveals.

Here's a gallery of the four Howard the Duck variant covers revealed so far, along with the covers of the two Marvel Masterworks volumes, followed by a list of the titles on which they'll appear and the artists who drew them, organized by release date:

February 15:

  • Avengers Forever #14 Planet of the Apes variant cover by David Talaski
  • Mary Jane & Black Cat #3 by Carlos Gomez

March 1:

  • Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 by Cory Smith

April 19:

  • Warlock: Rebirth #1 by Ron Lim

Howard the Duck was the best Marvel Comics character debut of 1973.

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)