The GeeksverseCogburn!

Published on Saturday, October 13, 2012 by

Jack Kirby is renowned for creating a wide variety of odd comic character designs. One of the strangest and most overlooked is probably Cogburn. Cogburn makes his/its appearance in the Eclipse Comic Destroyer Duck. Cogburn is a cool concept that I would like to see returned to comics now that so many Kirby revival projects are going on.

Destroyer Duck #2 shows off the odd Cogburn

Destroyer Duck is an interesting Eclipse comic concept that was trying to fight the contracts of Marvel Comics to return a character to a creator by featuring a non-Howard-the-Duck Duck.  The focal character is the grey mallard toting machine guns and an anti-establishment mentality. Duke the Destroyer Duck was fighting a corrupt corporation that was running amuck. The Eclipse comic was an odd duck and has a near legendary status in most comic shop conversations. It was a blow at the establishment on the page and by being printed.

The corrupt corporation had the visual styling of Jack Kirby. This Eclipse project was a pet project by two great creators:Steve Gerber and Jack Kirby. The story may have been by Gerber and perhaps he envisioned the GodCorp cast but it sure looks like pure vintage Jack Kirby.

In 1982, when Steve Gerber was suing Marvel over the rights to Howard the Duck, he teamed up with artist Jack Kirby to create a landmark comic to raise funds for that fight. The creative duo followed that up with a Destroyer Duck series. 32 pages of early 1980s small press comic goodness.

If that isn’t enough reason to pick up this comic as a back issue then I’ll also mention the back up story by also legendary Jerry Siegel and Val Mayerik.

But I digress. One of the Godcorp oddball villains that populate this series is the mysterious Cogburn. Cogburn appears to be a shadowy operative until he dies and then reveals he is so much more and so much less. Cogburn is the name of the character(s) represented by the Dislocated Spine curling terror on the cover of the comic. Cogburn is able to take over any host and transform them into a drone for Godcorp. Upon death the spine seeks out a new host. It is both a simple and strangely complex piece of story at the same time. The technology running amuck fits perfectly into the Godcorp story but it is also just terribly cool. If you’ve ever thought aliens taking over a body is cool, then you need to check out Cogburn.

Cogburn is a Kirby/Gerber character that does not receive as much attention as other characters the pair worked on. I propose that Cogburn is perhaps the coolest the duo ever created.

Not enough attention but Cogburn has had his mention on the internet.

Cogburn’s ability to take over new hosts is cool and a key to the fun of the character. One of the other fun aspects of this character is that every hosts’ face turns into the bearded visage of Cogburn.

Cogburn might not be a character that is continually revived like other Kirby creations, think Kobra, but it is still a fun villain.

Don’t take my word for it, check out the 1982-1983 Destroyer Duck and watch this cog burn the good guys.

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