Saturday, March 12, 2011
Nice Beaver: Canada's Revenge on Howard the Duck
Myebook - D'n'A Comics #1 As promised: the
online version of DNA #1!!!
Scandal!! Okay, so the campaign could've went more smoothly; 46% of respondents want to kill him, 30% approve, and the rest need more information. But one poorly cropped photo of Bev and Howard in a bathtub becomes front page news, derailing the All Night Party's hastily chosen candidate. Only---there's no water faucet on either side of the tub, in the picture! Despite this, the impunity exasperates and embarrasses Bev to no end, and at least for her mother's sake, when Dreyfuss Gultch comes up with evidence they were framed by the bellboy, and that the trail leads back to Canada, she's adamant they follow and find the perpetrator. Howard relents, and they board a plane...
...which turns out to be remote controlled! This blatant assassination attempt DOES bring them to Canada, where they're found by a mountie and his dog. He believes he works in the vast Canadian wilderness...about sixty miles outside of Toronto. Upon hearing automated planes and bellboys are involved, he names his suspect: a Canadian super-patriot, who exclusively commits crimes with bellboys and auto-piloted planes! With his preternatural tracking skills, he finds the hideout, topped by a moonlit sign that reads, "Pierre Dentrifis, Canada's Only Super Patriot".
The shadowy old man behind it all conveys his sad origin, as a young airline magnate. He relates how his beavers attempted to dam Niagara Falls into running the other way, only to be bombed by the United States. He's since aged 73 years and can now only use his teeth. That's been since February. Howard assures him, given time, they will probably kill themselves; he needn't bother.
Afterwards, Pierre confers with the bellboy and insists he try killing them again, in the dead of night at the mountie's house. Even dressed as Uncle Sam and wielding a hatchet, he's no match for Bev and Howard, To force a confrontation, Bev is spirited away by beavers in the night, prompting a showdown at Niagara Falls.
Slowly, I turned...
Soon, they face the villain at his log cabin, where he reveals he's been manipulating Howard from the start to become the third party candidate, to raise America's hopes. With his candidacy trashed, America would become dispirited, and the Canadians, sick of living in America's shadow as a nation, will cross the border triumphant (greeted as liberators, no doubt).
Now, upon a tightrope, the super-patriotic old man, in a delicious farce of superhero comics, has acquired a huge exo-skeleton, facing Howard as Le Beaver. His satirical rant as he walks out onto the tightrope swells with Canadian nationalistic pride. (This is during the decade with strong separatist feelings between French Canadians who wished Montreal and the east to secede from Canada.) Confronting his fears, Howard finds within a completely sensible desire to head the other direction on the rope, away from the insanity. Le Beaver's great weight, however, brings the encounter to a deadly splash. Bev is safe. Howard is well on his way to a nervous breakdown.
#10 was the first issue I ever had, full of surrealism and the repetition of the words "piano" and "water" as well as images of Spider-Man and all the Duck's previous foes. I don't have it here---haven't read it in a decade, easily---but it pushes Howard to the brink, leading him to purchase an ill-starred bus ticket...as we'll see in #11!