starkowski-carol-htd-full-distantCAROL STARKOWSKI starkowski-carol-htd-face-hat.jpg 

Real Name: Carol Starkowski

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Unrevealed;
    student when last seen

Group Membership: None

AffiliationsMrs. Claus, Howard the Duck, Ollakook and his Eskimo/Inuit tribe, Paul Same (formerly the Winky-Man)Santa Claus, Sunquist, and the Elves of the North Pole, Beverly Switzler, Lee Switzler, Winda Wester

EnemiesGreedy Killerwatt and his mutated animals and trolls, Pinball Lizard

Known RelativesClaude Starkowski (father), unidentified mother, unidentified cousin

Aliases: Carol Starkowitz

Base of Operations: Akron, Ohio (when last seen)

First Appearance Howard the Duck II#3 (February, 1980)

Powers/Abilities: Carol Starkowski is a normal young woman. At least in her youth, she was willing to risk her life for what she believed in.

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 4'10" at 12 years old)
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 115 lbs. at 12 years old)
Eyes: Unrevealed (black and white comic)
Hair: Blonde


starkowski-carol-htd-full-aloof.jpg(Howard the Duck II (magazine)#3 (fb) - BTS) <Twelve years before the main story> - Carol was born.

(Howard the Duck II (magazine)#3 (fb) - BTS) <Twelve years before the main story> - Carol's parents split up on Christmas when she was nine. 

(Howard the Duck II (magazine)#3 (fb) - BTS) - Carol lived with her mother in Akron, Ohio.

(Howard the Duck II (magazine)#3 (fb) - BTS) - Claude told Carol about Howard, including his being a duck-person.

(Howard the Duck II (magazine)#3) - Visiting her father for Christmas, Carol rode with Claude in a cab along with Lee Switzler to Howard the Duck and Beverly Swtizler (Lee's niece)'s Christmas party (with the other guests being Winda Wester and Paul Same). Bev welcomed Carol to make herself at home, and Claude showed Carol the tree and the presents underneath. Howard was shocked that Claude -- who had delusions of being the designer of the Iron Man armor -- had a daughter, and he noticed as she remained aloof from everyone, not joining in on the fun; he wondered whether she was very depressed or very shy. As Lee toasted their future and everyone wished everyone else a merry Christmas, Carol suddenly yelled, "No!" as she threw an ornament against the wall, shattering it and screaming how she hated Christmas and -- as Claude tried to get her wait -- she hated her father most of all. After she ran out, Claude grabbed his coat and hat, apologized to everyone, and prepared to go out after her. However, also wanting to get away and feeling sympathy and curiosity for Carol, Howard convinced Claude to let him go after her instead.

    On the front porch, Howard gave Carol her coat and -- after she announced how she wished she would catch pneumonia and die because nobody wanted her and she didn't belong -- Howard empathized with her, showing her that he really was a duck, and that he really didn't belong. She explained to Howard how she hated the phoniness of Christmas, noting that people should be nice, giving, etc. 365 days a year; Howard realized that she was really talking about her parents, who had split up on Christmas day. Howard tried to explain that her parents did love her, but that they just didn't like each other anymore; sidestepping this, Carol announced her plans to get out and find a place where people acted like they do on Chrismas all year round, but the discussion was interrupted as Santa Claus crashed his reindeer-driven sleigh a short distance away.

    Wondering if this was all a department story publicity event, Carol began picking up the presents and swiftly discovered the elf Sunquist. Discovering that the sled was out of gas, Sunquist explained to Carol that the ASPCA allowed the reindeer to fly in front of the sleigh but no longer allowed them to pull it. After Carol and Santa pushed and Howard pulled the sleigh to
Lee's "To Hack and Back" taxi company (which involved another crash after they got the sleigh over the top of the hill), Howard allowed Santa to refill his sleigh from its pumps. Santa then offered to bring Howard and Carol to the North Pole where he had the funds to repay them; Howard was reluctant, but Carol was eager to see it, and so Santa flew them there, eliminating their doubts about his true nature.starkowski-carol-htd-vs-killerwattstarkowski-carol-htd-supine-scarfe

    Upon arriving, they found that
Pinball Lizard and his trolls had taken over Santa's workshop. At Carol's insistence, as she wanted to preserve and promote the real Christmas, Howard joined her in helping free the workshop: Working with a sentient toy cannon, Howard made it look like Carol's will and beliefs allowed her to push down a large locked door though which Santa's forces rushed, driving out Pinball Lizard. Carol and Howard then joined the elves and toys,and Chief Ollakook and his Eskimos/Inuits, in opposing Pinball Lizard's master, Greedy Killerwatt, who ran the North Pole Nuclear Power Plant and plotted to cause a meltdown that would destroy the Earth.

    As the others battled Killerwatt's mutated animals, Carol and Howard inadvertently blinded Pinball Lizard by turning on the lights abruptly, after which Howard had Carol lure Pinball Lizard with the sound of her voice, allowing Howard to skewer Pinball Lizard's tail with a harpoon. The two subsequently encountered Greedy Killerwatt, who blasted Carol and held her in an energy field when she rushed him, shouting her opposition to nuclear power. After Howard bit Killerwatt's fingers, distracting him into dropping Carol, she rushed to the controls, seeking to find the cutoff switch to restart the cooling system and stop the meltdown. Even when Killerwatt threatened Carol, she refused to let him destroy the world (and Christmas); and while Killerwatt was distracted with Carol, Sunquist shot Killerwatt in the head (neutralizing his power and paining but not killing him), causing Pinball Lizard, the mutated animals, and the rest of Killerwatt's agents to return to normal. 

starkowski-carol-htd-face-reconcile.jpg    With Carol now resolved to fight for Christmas and anything else good that she wanted, Sunquist magically returned Carol and Howard to Cleveland. Howard and Carol then dropped down Howard and Bev's chimnney with presents fresh from the North Pole. As Carol shouted "Merry Christmas, Daddy," she rushed out and hugged Claude, explaining how she had got over her own self-hatred and blaming. She realized that things couldn't always be the way she wanted, but she knew that she loved both of her parents and that they loved her. When she told Claude she was going to try her hardest to make things good for her family, Claude happily and lovingly told her "Merry Christmas!"

    An impressed Bev wondered how 
Howard had managed "that classy piece of child psychology," and he told her that he had help from "two guys may or may not be who they said they are."

Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo, Gene Colan, and Dave Simons.

    Given the sliding timescale, with Carol having been 12 in a story published in 1980, she would be like 19-20 years old as of the time of the writing of this profile, 2017. I'd like to see her show in a modern Howard story, but I won't hold my breath.

Profile by Snood.

Carol Starkowski
has no known connection to:

images: (without ads)
Howard the Duck II#3, story pg. 4, panel 1 (aloof, standing);
            panel 3 (with ornament);
        pg. 38 (full, distant);
        pg. 43, panel 1 (leaping at Killerwatt);
        pg. 44, panel 2 (supine, showing scarf);
        pg. 47, panel 2 (face, in snowfall);
        pg. 48, panel 3 (face, reconciling with Claude)

Howard the Duck II#3 (February, 1980) - Lynn Graeme (editor)
    "A Christmas for Carol" - by Bill Mantlo (writer), Gene Colan (pencils), and Dave Simons (inks)

Last updated: 12/19/2017

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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