Howard the Duck in 'What If...?'
Source: Marvel

'What If...?' Isn't the First Time We've Seen Howard the Duck in the MCU

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Aug. 18 2021, Published 9:08 p.m. ET

Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for Episode 2 of What If…?.

In Episode 2 of What If…?, there’s yet another opportunity for a million Marvel Easter eggs. Well, not a million, but a lot. On the Ravagers’ mission to get the Embers of Genesis from the Collector, the most powerful villain in the galaxy thanks to the vacuum left by the reformed Thanos, we get reacquainted with Howard the Duck.

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Unlike most Marvel characters, Howard the Duck was created in comedy first and action second. And now, we get to spend just a little more time with him than we have in previous MCU properties, but who exactly is Howard the Duck? And who is the voice behind the duck?

Howard the Duck in 'What If...?'
Source: Marvel
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Howard the Duck was in three MCU films before appearing in ‘What If…?’.

It’s okay if we don’t fully remember Howard the Duck in his previous appearances — they were short and sweet despite their comedy. And in wacky Marvel movies like the Guardians of the Galaxy films, a lot is going on. But Howard does make an appearance in both films. In the first, he is also a living collectible for the Collector on Knowhere.

When we first meet Howard the Duck in Guardians of the Galaxy, he survives the unfortunate explosion caused by Carina when she tries to harness the power of an infinity stone to free herself from the Collector. That doesn’t go so well for her, but Howard the Duck survives and even remarks on how “gross” it is when the dog, Cosmo, licks the Collector’s face.

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Howard the Duck in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
Source: Marvel

In a post-credits scene, we then see Howard the Duck drinking with the Collector and Cosmo the Spacedog. Does this mean they make up and align? Well, in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, we get a short peek at Howard the Duck on a date, once again drinking, with a woman named Contraxia.

And his final MCU appearance is when he’s brought with the Ravagers to fight alongside the Avengers against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, so he is ultimately good.

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In ‘What If…?’ T’Challa frees Howard the Duck from the Collector.

When T’Challa sneaks out to look for the Embers of Genesis in an attempt to save many worlds, he realizes that the Collector’s collection is much larger than he expected. But he hears a voice, and it’s none other than Howard the Duck.

He has a little more knowledge than T’Challa of the collection and gives him some much-needed advice. But it’s still pretty confusing, so T’Challa just busts open Howard the Duck’s encasing and frees him.

Howard the Duck and T'Challa in 'What If...?'
Source: Marvel
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While we think Howard the Duck is hilarious, he’s not the most helpful. When T’Challa asks him for help, Howard the Duck instead decides to get a drink, which distracts him from the break-in and siege going on around him. Will we see more of Howard the Duck in the series? We’re not sure, but he’s sure to pop up again in the MCU.

Howard the Duck is voiced by movie and television star Seth Green.

Some of us might have first seen Seth Green in Rat Race as the smart, but slimy, brother. Others might know him from the '90s raunchy teen rom-com Can’t Hardly Wait as Kenny Fisher. Or perhaps as Willow's werewolf lover, Oz, in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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Seth Green is Howard the Duck
Source: Getty Images

But Seth isn’t just known for his live-action comedy roles — he’s also a big-time voice actor. He voices Chris Griffin in Family Guy and started doing much more voiceover work after that. He works on video games, Robot Chicken properties, Phineas and Ferb, and some other Marvel cartoons.

We’re hoping to see more Howard the Duck, and with a big star like Seth behind him, we’re sure we will. In the comics, he tries to learn some mysticism from Doctor Strange but ends up getting a drink instead (no one is surprised).

So could he be in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? More likely is that he’ll be in She-Hulk since he and She-Hulk live in the same building in the comics. Regardless, we’re excited for more Howard.

The first two episodes of What If...? are now available to stream on Disney Plus. New episodes drop Wednesdays.

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