Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney, Marvel, and Howard the Duck's pants

It was announced today that Disney is acquiring Marvel Comics (subject to a Marvel shareholder vote and various regulatory reviews). Key result? At long last, Howard the Duck may be able to take off his pants.

You don't know Howard the Duck? I refer not to the best-ignored, misbegotten George Lucas movie of that name, but to the brilliant comic book series, originally written by Steve Gerber.

In the 1970s, some execs at Disney raised concerns that consumers might confuse Howard the Duck (a cigar-chomping, jacket-and-tie wearing, wise-cracking duck) with Donald Duck (a sailor-shirt wearing duck). The Disney lawyers threatened Marvel, who agreed to make some changes, key among them being that Howard would henceforth wear pants.

Now that Disney will control both Howard and Donald, maybe Howard can finally remove those confining pants and re-expose his tail feathers in all their glory.