|First appearance||New Teen Titans #16 (February, 1982)|
|Created by||Roy Thomas
|Alter ego||Byrd Rentals|
|Team affiliations||The Zoo Crew|
|Notable aliases||The Malleable Mallard|
|Abilities||The ability to stretch and contort his body into various shapes, though not an actual shapeshifter.|
Rubberduck (real name Byrd Rentals) is a fictional character in the DC Comics universe, an anthropomorphic duck. Rubberduck is a superhero who lived on the otherdimensional world of Earth-C (now Earth-26), an alternate Earth populated by sentient animals. His first appearance was in a special insert in The New Teen Titans #16 (February 1982).
Rubberduck's alter-ego's name, "Byrd Rentals," is a play on actor Burt Reynolds; being Burt Reynolds' Earth-C/26 counterpart, Byrd Rentals' career roughly matched that of Burt Reynolds', starring in films such as The Longest Yarn (a play on The Longest Yard) and Smoke-Eye and the Panda (a play on Smokey and the Bandit).
Fictional character biography
While being interviewed by gossip columnist Rova Barkitt as he was lounging in his hot tub, Byrd was struck by a glowing meteor fragment (which was launched toward Earth by the villain Starro the Conqueror); the result gave him the power to stretch his body into any shape. Joining with Rova (who was also transformed by a separate meteor fragment), the two teamed up with other super-powered animals affected by the meteor; together, the group defeated Starro (with the aid of Superman), and decided to form the superhero team called the Zoo Crew.
Byrd, like Rova, tended to reflect the values of his Follywood roots, often making various entertainment industry references while fighting foes or dealing with others. He also took great pleasure in the celebrity his civilian identity afforded him, though he was still friendly towards and respectful of his teammates, allowing them use of his Follywood mansion. He was also far less elitist and snobbish than Rova, preferring "lowbrow" pursuits such as video games and fast automobiles to mixing with Follywood high society.
In Teen Titans #30-31 (December 2005-January 2006), Rubberduck is mentioned in a series of pages purporting to be a Zoo Crew comic published in the mainstream DC Universe, and follows the adventures of the Zoo Crew teammates in a grimmer, darker version of Earth-C, parodying the recent trend toward "grim and gritty" superhero comics. In these pages, Rubberduck is shown working with Pig Iron separate from the rest of the then-disbanded team.
In the Countdown tie-in miniseries Captain Carrot and the Final Ark (October-December 2007), the team reunites in the midst of growing strife between the land and the sea creatures of the newly re-classified Earth-26, strife that is sparked by Starro. The Zoo Crew eventually encounter Starro, who hypnotizes them into believing they have lost their powers. Only Pig Iron (who isn't present at the time) and American Eagle (who has no super powers) are unaffected. Starro then floods the Earth, rendering it uninhabitable. The Zoo Crew attempt to rescue part of the Earth's populace using an ocean liner loaded with refugees, which is transported off the planet by the Just'a Lotta Animals. The ship is then accidentally sent to New Earth. The Justice League encounters the ship and lands it safely, though all the passengers, including Rubberduck and the rest of the Zoo Crew, are transformed into non-anthropomorphic animals.
Powers and abilities
Rubberduck possesses the ability to stretch and contort his body into various shapes, similar to DC hero the Elongated Man or Marvel Comics' Mr. Fantastic. However, he is not a shapeshifter. His rubbery body makes him highly resistant to injury, though he can suffer painful damage if his body's elasticity is overtaxed (similar to severe muscle pulls). His powers are a permanent condition—i.e., he cannot turn his powers "off", though he can maintain his "normal" shape without effort. Thus, he is prone to being stretched against his will by someone stronger than he is, and can be restrained by essentially being tied up with himself (having his stretchy limbs wrapped around his body or an immovable object such as a tree, and tied into knots to prevent him from unwrapping them).
- Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #3, May 1982
- Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #1, March 1982