cover to "Destroyer Duck" #5 by Jack Kirby and Alfred Alacla.
||This article possibly contains original research. (June 2009)|
The book was published as a way to help Gerber raise funds for a lawsuit he was embroiled in at the time, in which he was battling industry giant Marvel Comics over the ownership of the character Howard the Duck, which Gerber created for the company in 1973.
The main story of the comic told of Duke “Destroyer” Duck, a resident of a typical anthropomorphic comic-book world, who had witnessed his best friend, identified only as “The Little Guy” or “TLG,” vanish into thin air before his eyes. Some years later, TLG reappeared only to die at Destroyer’s feet—but not before telling the tale of how he was exploited and destroyed by a thoughtless conglomeration, “Godcorp.” Swearing revenge, Destroyer vowed to take down Godcorp no matter the cost.
Subsequent Destroyer Duck tales would reveal that the Little Guy who died at Destroyer’s feet was in fact a clone, and the original was still held captive by Godcorp; eventually, Gerber (by that point on better terms with Marvel, the lawsuit having long since been settled) revealed that The Little Guy’s real name was actually “Leonard”—a new duck character that, for all intents, was identical in every way (except in name and character ownership) to Howard.
The stories introduced sentient scented dolls and Wobbelina Strangelegs, who nearly got her own one-shot. After five issues, Gerber gave up writing the title, but remained its editor. Buzz Dixon wrote the last two issues, about a STD-infected parody of Gilligan’s Island. Frank Miller drew the cover of the final issue. The seven issues of the comic were published very sporadically.
Issue #1 of the original Destroyer Duck series, labeled the "Special Lawsuit Benefit Edition", is notable for containing the first appearance of Sergio Aragonés’s Groo the Wanderer and also featuring additional stories by Mark Evanier, Dan Spiegle, Shary Flenniken, Martin Pasko, and Joe Staton. The rest of the series contained the back-up feature The Starling, written by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel, with art by Val Mayerik.
In 1994, while Gerber was working at Image for Top Cow Studio on Codename: Strykeforce, Gerber planned for issue 14 to use Destroyer Duck. At the last minute, Marc Silvestri declined, forcing Gerber and his editor, David Wohl, to revise the story. Destroyer Duck doesn't appear as such in the story, but Gerber introduces Specimen Q, a mysterious character imprisoned in his armor, who is Destroyer Duck as readers will learn in the Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck one-shot in 1996.
- Destroyer Duck #1 (May 1982)
- Destroyer Duck #2 (January 1983)
- Destroyer Duck #3 (June 1983)
- Destroyer Duck #4 (October 1983)
- Destroyer Duck #5 (December 1983)
- Destroyer Duck #6 (March 1984)
- Destroyer Duck #7 (May 1984)
- Total Eclipse #3 (November 1988)
- Total Eclipse #4 (January 1989)
- Total Eclipse #5 (April 1989)
- Codename: Strykeforce #14 (August 1995)
- The Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck #1 (November 1996)
- Spider-Man Team Up #5 (December 1996)
- Savage Dragon #41 (September 1997)
"Destroyer Duck", About Comics, July 2007 (announced; never released)