One of the biggest surprises of the very first Guardians of the Galaxy was the after credits scene that revealed Howard the Duck's place in the MCU; voiced by none other than Seth Green.
The infamous duck briefly showed up once again in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 towards the beginning of the film, and then had the briefest of cameos in the big portals scene during the climax of Avengers: Endgame. More recently, Green made a return to the role in Marvel Studios' What If...?.
Howard had his most screen time yet in the show's second episode, where T'Challa's Star-Lord releases him from confinement to allow the duck to help navigate through The Collector's maze.
As for the future, can fans expect him to show up down the line? Perhaps in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? According to the character's voice actor, it's not clear, but Green may have revealed an apparent narrative focus for the third film in the series...
Vol. 3 Will Be Nebula and Gamora's Story
Howard the Duck actor Seth Green sat down to talk with Comicbook.com and was asked whether he knew if his character was going to play a part in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Green was blunt, saying that "[he] doesn't know if Howard's a part of it," but then the actor dropped the surprise detail that the story is "the sisters' story:"
"I don't know if Howard's a part of it, I haven't heard anything about that. The only thing I know is that it's the girls' story, it's the sisters' story, that it's Gamora and Nebula's story. So I don't know if it's a prequel, or if it comes off in the new timeline that's splintered post-the Time Heist. Honestly, I don't know anything about it... I wouldn't be hurt if Howard's not a central character to the sisters' story."
Nebula and Gamora Take the Spotlight...Again?
Obviously, Green's words don't necessarily make it true—things could have been lost in translation. After all, if this is correct, Nebula and Gamora's sister story will have taken up quite a lot of spotlight in the MCU.
Building their relationship was one of the key elements of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, only behind Peter's journey with Ego. Then, both of the last two Avengers'' film had their sibling bond as a key element of the entire narrative.
So, with all of that said, putting it all in the forefront again might be a questionable move. Yes, the new Gamora's character development has been reset—but there are still characters like Drax or Groot who have truly never gotten to take center stage.
The same could be said for Rocket to a degree. Rumors have pointed to his origin story being a key focus of the upcoming film, which could make for a refreshing change of focus.
At the end of the day, the Guardians films are ensemble pieces, so theoretically, everyone gets to shine equally. Though, realistically, some tend to take the core focus more than others.
There have been signs that the sisters remain a key focus, as Nebula actor Karen Gillen has openly admitted to breaking down into tears multiple times while reading the script.
Fans will have to wait until May 5, 2023, to know who ends up with the most spotlight.