After a horrific death took place in the halls of Strange Academy, the staff of Doctor Strange’s school had to reach out for professional help.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Strange Academy #11 by Skottie Young, Humberto Ramos, Edgar Delgado and VC’s Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
Strange Academy is proving to be more dangerous than anyone could have anticipated. After the death and resurrection of Doyle Dormammu, the staff and students of Strange Academy were eager for things to return to normal. Unfortunately, in a school full of untrained magic users, this would prove to be difficult. Another student was just found in pieces within the halls of Strange Academy and foul play is suspected. For this reason, the staff has decided to call in the expertise of Howard the Duck to solve the murder mystery.
After a long night of studying for finals, the students of Strange Academy awoke to a brutal sight. Their friend Toth had been completely shattered to pieces in a hallway. Doctor Voodoo and Catbeast came to the conclusion that Toth could be resurrected if his body was put back together. They discovered that Toth had been murdered after they learned that the only missing piece was his heart shard. Realizing Toth was a victim of foul play, Voodoo reached out to Howard the Duck to find their culprit.
Howard wasted no time at all and immediately began interrogating the students. He quickly learned that the strong personalities of the students would make this job much more difficult than it needed to be. Calvin was the first to be questioned, but he didn’t take Toth’s death seriously. He played into Howard’s investigation as if he had been arrested and was being questioned by the police. After Howard talked sense into him, Calvin quickly stated where he had been, to which Alvi could attest.
Howard was further challenged by Alvi’s brother Iric who claimed Doyle was nowhere to be found and should be a suspect. Doyle was quick to deny this, and his alibi was validated by a social media post by Iric that showed Doyle in the background. Howard’s questions turn up no results as every student and staff member had an alibi that could be confirmed. This led Howard back to pictures of the crime scene where he noticed a pin lodged into the wall. With this new information, Doctor Voodoo and Howard came to the conclusion that the pin must have come from Calvin’s leather jacket. Unfortunately, the other students learned the truth before Howard could inform them. Their accusations of Calvin transformed him into a monstrosity of a creature.
While it might seem odd that Doctor Strange and his staff would reach out to Howard the Duck, Howard actually owes Strange an immense debt. Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones’ Howard the Duck #11 saw the pair’s last interaction. Death was knocking at Howard’s door after he had been stabbed by Chipp, who had been overseeing an intergalactic reality show starring Howard. As Howard was heading towards the light, he was suddenly pulled away and brought back to life. Upon awakening, he was greeted by Doctor Strange, who exclaimed that he was doing astral projections when he noticed Howard’s spirit. Strange then returned Howard’s spirit to his body, bringing him back to life.
Howard is no stranger to dangerous threats, but the most recent occurrences at Strange Academy are certainly new to him. While his interrogation skills failed him when working with children, his observational skills at the scene of the crime helped him break the case. Howard is directly in the center of the conflict with the entity that has taken over Calvin and will have to work even harder to pay off his debt to Strange.
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