Appearing in "Howard the Barbarian"
- Beverly Switzler (First appearance)
- Cosmic Calculator
- Jewelled Key
Synopsis for "Howard the Barbarian"
At the mouth of the Cuyahoga river, Howard the Duck contemplates his lot in life and comes to the conclusion that he should commit suicide, because he is unable to make a living in a world of humans. Spying a tower out in the middle of the river, Howard rides a log there and decides to scale the tower and jump off. As he climbs he realizes that the tower is made out of credit cards. Reaching a window near the top, Howard enters for a rest and comes face to face with Beverly Switzler. Killing a barbarian mystically transformed into a dog by fluke, Howard meets Beverly's captor, Pro-Rata. Pro-Rata is a magician that uses accounting skills in order to command his magic and hopes to obtain the Jeweled Key, that once used at midnight with his cosmic adding machine will allow him to become a god. Explaining his origin, Pro-Rata knocks Howard out.
While in New York City, J. Jonah Jameson sends Peter Parker on assignment to Cleveland in order to confirm reports of a talking duck and to take pictures. While back in Cleveland, Howard revives and finds that he's been changed into barbarian garb, he and Beverly are then sent to another dimension to collect the jeweled key. There Howard is mistaken for a hatchling Bahndbird and is attacked by a barbarian on a steed. Howard manages to break his joust causing the barbarian to wipe out and get knocked unconscious. Commandeering his steed, Howard and Beverly travel to the temple of the Jeweled Key.
There they find it guarded by stone statues and suspended over a pit of spikes. Putting his mind into how to get the key (and chomping on a cigar to boot) Howard has Beverly hold his helmet over the pit while he flicks his cigar at the rope suspending the key over the pit. The ploy works, the cigar burning through the rope and making the key land in the helmet. Leaving the temple they are attacked by the stone statues and a Bahndbird, which destroys the statues.
As the creature approaches Howard and Beverly, they are transported back to Earth, along with the Bahndbird. When Pro-Rata commands Howard to give him the key, Howard tosses it off the tower, however it is caught by the arriving Spider-Man who has been drawn to the tower when it's upper levels were blasted open by the Bahndbird. As Spider-Man battles the Bahndbird, Pro-Rata attempts to blast him with a mystic bolt, however Howard throws his scabbard at the mystic, causing him to misfire and ignite the pollutants in the Cuyahoga instead. In an act of heroism, Howard then knocks himself and Pro-Rata over the edge, however, Howard is saved by Spider-Man, and Pro-Rata lands in the fire to perish alone. After thanking Spider-Man for his help, Howard and Beverly bid the wall-crawler farewell as he webs off to capture the Bahndbird.
- Cover art: pencils and inks by Brunner, colours by Wein.
- I wanted to note, upon talking with Mary Skrenes, she created Beverly Switzler to work with Steve's character, to create a likable balance in personalities.
- This comic is reprinted in Howard the Duck: The Complete Collection Vol 1.
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