SuperDuck's first appearance was announced in Jolly Jingles #10 in the summer of 1943. However, its time as a superhero was short, and by the time Jolly Jingles #16 (the last issue) rolled around, his stories became more few and far between.
The character's subsequent escapades were reprinted in the 1970's Archie Comics' digest series Jughead Jones, Laugh Comics Digest, and Archie's Mad House.
But who knew a duck with superhero abilities of sorts would reascend in the new century?
All her ducks in a row . . .
. . . and who disguised as a mild-mannered mama duckling, a 21st Century's Super Duck — who typically has only a dozen ducklings max — should be photographed and videotaped with 76 little ones in tow?
Photographer Brent Cizek
Brent Cizek captured footage of this super duck and her minions. As a wildlife photographer, he certainly had seen a lot in his career, but he admits to never seeing a sight quite like this one.
On June 2018, he journeyed to Lake Bemidji in Minnesota by boat. He wasn’t planning on seeing anything particular that day — just seizing the day, as he has done so often in the past.
He noted that the wind was fierce, and the choppy waves tossed the boat around. It wasn’t exactly prime picture-taking weather, as rough seas often do not provide a photographer with any kind of clarity.
But, as the story goes, he then spotted the Common merganser.
The Common merganser (North American, Mergus merganser) is a large seaduck of rivers and lakes in forested areas.
The genus name is a Latin word used by Pliny and other Roman authors to refer to an unspecified waterbird, and merganser is derived from mergus and anser, Latin for "goose". In 1843 John James Audubon used the name "Buff-breasted Merganser" in addition to "goosander"
Duck Duck Duck
When Cizek started counting, he was amazed when he reached "76."
“I was able to then count 76 babies with her, so she had picked up more babies along the way,” he says. “It’s been remarkable.
After the photo and video went viral, a few ornithologists shared their views on the photo. One ornithologist, Bob Dunlop, said that the ducklings were probably a ‘mixed-flock.’ Dunlop said it’s common for waterfowl to lay eggs together and then take turns looking after all of the ducklings together.
“It’s more like a day-care thing,” Dunlop told The Minnesota-Star Tribune.
Reflections on his Super Experience
“I was pretty flabbergasted what was going on with the ducklings,” said Cizek, reflecting on the fateful photo shoot. “I knew it was pretty special.”
Cizek said the current attention has been a bit overwhelming. Yet, he is OK with it if it brings some deeper appreciation for the wild.
“The more that people can learn about birds and wildlife conservation, the better.”
As far as I'm concerned, the Common merganser is not common at all — but one super duck that is worthy of 'graphic novel stardom' in this new century. Your thoughts, readers?
Primary Source: Animal Channel