As someone who used to buy Howard the Duck comics when they were first getting started, (yes, I'm showing my age here) I loved the character. Here is an ordinary guy, ripped out of his world trying to make sense of the weird world that he's been thrust into, which happens to be ours. Think of Howard being as out of place in our world as Eddie Valiant was in Toon Town in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit". except without all the comic schtick. Yes, he's only 3ft. tall, but he's a 3ft. tall duck who's done his nut, and that makes up for his shortcomings, so to speak.
I don't really get Howard the Duck. I mean, I know he's supposed to be a cynical joke on real life, but he's also supposed to be a Marvel hero?
I'm not bashing Howard the Duck, I think he's a good character and if it was his own little world it might make more sense to me, but the parts where he's apparently on-par with Spider-man and Man-thing just boggle my mind. A world of Superheroes, where they use their unique and extraordinary powers, or some super high-tech to fight the bad guys and protect the ordinary people, who would probably die if they tried doing what the heroes do. The supers often get close to dying themselves.
So... how does Howard Duck survive?
I don't really know much about Howard Duck other than he's a three-foot tall anthropomorphic duck from a dimension where that's a common thing. I get the impression that he's supposed to be a gritty, no-nonsense tough guy with a capacity to do what is right to some extent... without much reason to do so.
Not that you need a reason to be a good guy, I suppose you could say it's his nature, but he doesn't strike me as the kind of character who WOULD go out of his way over and over again without a reason behind it. But it's not my character. They could make Howard the Duck a beaver and whatever I say about it doesn't have to matter.
What I'm getting at is, he's so out of place that I have no idea what place he should be in otherwise. How does he compete with the rest of the Marvel heroes? How does he survive any encounter with a supervillain? By beating them up the old-fashioned way? If that was all it took I think the superheroes wouldn't be needed anyway.
Plus, Howard's a Duck. A three-foot tall duck. How the hell does he overpower a normal human being, let along someone like Spider-Man?
No hint of sarcasm here: but i'm sure there's at least SOME reasons what he works in the Marvel Universe, and honestly I know next to nothing about Howard save the Nostalgia Critic review of the live-action movie, and the Wikipedia article. So, if anyone would like to explain this to me, that would be awesome.
I, too, only know so much about Howard, but from what I've read on his bio on Marvel.com, he has the uncanny ability to adapt to any situation and society. And considering that he was sent to Marvel's version of Earth, where they have more heroes than they know what to do with, it sort of makes sense that Howard would attempt to take up the hero schtick as well if that's what it takes for him to survive on Earth, this all of course just being my speculation.
As for what he has to offer as a hero, he also happens to be an unexplained master of 'quack-fu' (and yes, that's meant to be taken seriously) giving him the ability to overpower even the hardest of thugs. Other than that, Howard's heroic tendencies have only gone so far, as he mostly just wants to live a normal life with his human girlfriend Bev. He's really only known as a hero for taking on the occasional random baddy in Cleveland, rescuing Bev from being forced to marry his archnemesis Doctor Bong, and being the only one who was able at the time to save all of the alternate dimensions of the multiverse from being combined into one ungodly reality, so not much really.
So in short, the real reason as to why Howard keeps landing in trouble is mainly because of his existence. Being an anthropomorphic duck from a completely different universe now living in a world populated by humans, he's naturally going to receive some unwanted attention, mainly from supervillains who want to use him for cracking the code to traveling through different dimensions. But luckily, Howard is just enough of a hero to get himself out of any jam through sheer cleverness and determination. And also dumb luck, lots of dumb luck.
Fair enough. I suppose it's just not my thing. I already have a love for an ordinary guy getting by in a horribly overpowered world just with dumb luck and the skin of his teeth (Ciaphas Cain) so maybe Howard's just too much. I dunno, I can't say because I've never actually read any Howard stuff.