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Marvel's What If...? Will Feature A Scene Between Howard The Duck And Black Panther

It may seem hard to believe for anyone who witnessed the box office bomb at the time, but it's been 35 years since George Lucas attempted to bring Marvel Comics to the big screen — not with a web-slinger, a mutant with claws, nor a patriotic super soldier, but with a duck — "Howard the Duck" to be precise.

The film, which featured the titular hero Howard being accidentally hijacked from his ducky home planet to Earth, is notorious for many reasons — not least of which is how it romantically pairs Marty McFly's mom, Lea Thompson, with an anthropomorphized mallard. In addition to Thompson, the film also arguably squanders the talents of Tim Robbins as the half-crazed Phil Blumburtt, and perhaps even more unforgettably, Jeffrey Jones as a sinister Dark Overlord (who sounds more like an dark, robotic cockroach).However, despite how odious audiences found the film at the time of its initial release, "Howard the Duck" has its defenders. The film was recently released on 4K UHD disc, in fact.

Apart from that, the comic book character himself – originally created and envisioned by Steve Gerber as a sarcastic, cynical antihero, rather than the warm, friendly version brought to film – even made his way into the MCU, thanks to James Gunn and the Guardians of the Galaxy. And soon, it turns out we'll be seeing Howard again paired with a very surprising co-star — T'Challa.

Seth Green loves playing Howard the Duck

Thus far, we've seen Howard the Duck in "Guardians of the Galaxy," then in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," and he made a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in the big battle sequence of "Avengers: Endgame." In the MCU, Howard has been voiced by Seth Green, who will next be playing the (in)famous duck in Marvel's "What if...?" series on Disney+. 

And since he's an intergalactic duck, we will be seeing him once again in loose association with the Guardians of the Galaxy. The one big difference is that, instead of Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) as Star-Lord, we'll be getting T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) in the role instead, marking the final time we'll ever see or hear the late Chadwick Boseman in his signature role. For his part, Green is excited about playing Howard any chance he gets. In an article for The Hollywood Reporter that chronicled the long history of Howard the Duck adaptations, Green stated that the episode will have his character share the screen with the legendary T'Challa in at least one scene. 

As far as playing Howard in general goes, Green is proud to be part of the duck's legacy. "I like the character in the comics, and I like subversive stuff," said Green. "He's a punk rock noir detective, at least that's the way I play it."

As for whether Howard will have a future in the MCU, past this point? Green didn't have any answers — he probably doesn't know, himself, given how secretive Marvel tends to be — but Lea Thompson hinted that when she pitched her own Howard project to Marvel, they only turned it down because "they have different plans for the different characters."

"What If...?" begins streaming on Disney+ on August 11.