August 7, 2010

Ye Olde School Cafe’: Essential Werewolf by Night vol. 1 pt. 1

Hey everybody, it’s good to be back right here in Ye Olde School Cafe’ once again. First things first, though. Big thanks to Dale for filling in last week with his awesome JLA/JSA crossover story. Keep an eye out, because I think I might be able to con him into filling in again in the near future for some more DC greatness!

OK, so, onto this week’s time-honored treasure. With this week, I’ll be starting a run on some of Marvel’s great horror run in the 70s. Specifically, Werewolf by Night, Ghost Rider, and Tomb of Dracula to finish. These books are masterpieces to say the least, and when you have names like Conway, Wein, Wolfman, Thomas, and Ploog, I can’t see where you can argue. So without further delay we’ll start off with the lycanthropic man named Jack Russell, more commonly know as Werewolf by Night!

In Marvel Spotlight number two, we see a young man slowly changing at the sight of a full moon. He has no reason why this is happening, but he knows that he cannot stop it. After brutally beating a street punk, the beast is shot by a cop, then runs away and hides. The night gets darker and darker until Jack Russell wakes up in his bed dripping with sweat. He believes he’s had a nightmare again about turning into a werewolf and tearing someone apart. He does notice a mark on his arm though, and it’s right in the spot where the werewolf was shot in his dream.

Later, we see Jack and his sister Lisa talking about today being his eighteenth birthday. Not everybody is having these joyous thoughts, though. Jack and Lisa see the family chauffeur yelling at their mother. Jack tells Lisa that he doesn’t understand why their step-dad would let him talk to his wife like that. He tells his mother to not put up with it, but she tells him that they all have an understanding about each other, and he leaves it at that. Jack and Lisa drive down to Malibu, but then later drive back for a party for Jack. Suddenly, Jack isn’t feeling very well, and he has an all too familiar sense of dread come over him. He runs out of the house and transforms into the hairy beast, as he did the night before. He enters what he thinks is an abandoned house, but finds a wolf residing there. He easily dispatches the inferior creature, then later passes out near his home.

The next morning, Jack is awakened by his step-father’s voice calling to him. Once they get inside, Lisa is hysterical because their mother has been hurt in a car crash while looking for Jack. Jack is beside himself with guilt, and goes to the hospital to see her. She tells him that he shouldn’t be angry or feel guilty, but he does anyway. His mother then tells him that she is the one that feels guilty for her part in Jack being cursed. She tells Jack about his birth father, Gregory Russoff. About how he was a werewolf and this curse was passed on to Jack. After telling this incredible story, Jack’s mother dies, and this infuriates Jack to the point of turning into the werewolf. He then seeks out the chauffeur, because he believes it was his fault his mother’s car crashed. He savagely attacks the unsuspecting wretch, and the two battle like both of their lives depended on it. Grant eventually gets the upper hand though, and thinks Jack is wearing a mask. When he tries to remove it, he finds out that he’s dead wrong. As he runs away, Jack leaps onto his back and starts to gnaw at his neck, killing him in the process.

As the beast finishes the job, he hears a voice, and a man then enters the garage. He recognizes the face, and then hears his step-father call out for Grant. He says that he’s here to pay him for the job he did. Of course he means killing his wife, which now means he’s going to inherit her fortune. Jack wants to lash out at him, but then thinks of the promise he made to his mother to not harm him. He stealthily watches from the shadows, and then follows the betrayer to his car. His step-father drives off, and that leaves the beast howling in anger!

Well, if you liked that, you’ll be very interested to know that’s just Marvel Spotlight #2! Lots of action and intrigue for one issue, huh? Now, next week we’ll take a closer look into the Russoff family curse, and see if Jack will break his promise to his dying mother and kill his step-father!

Billy Dunleavy



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Christoph, Comic Attack. Comic Attack said: Ye Olde School Cafe: Essential Werewolf By Night vol. 1pt. 1! #comics #marvel #horror #werewolves […]

  2. Aron

    I love me some Olde School Marvel horror and I love me some Essentials! I gotta get me this one!

    Cool subject! Cool review!

  3. Billy

    @Aron- If you don’t own WWbN or Tomb of Dracula, definitely pick up the Essentials. They are classics!

  4. Aron

    I’ve got Tomb of Dracula and Man-Thing Vol.1. No WWbN yet. But sooAWWOOOOOOn.

    Hahaha! Okay…that was corny. Hahaha!

  5. Billy

    @Aron- I just read Essential Marvel Horror vol. 1 on vacation and it was fantastic.

  6. I’ve never heard of such a collection. Quick, Robin! To!

  7. Hedgeknight (Gary)

    Doing a great job on these Werewolf By Night write ups, Dun! I cut my comic book teeth on Marvel horror and Werewolf By Night was one of my favorites. I have the full run of the individual issues and the nice Essential trade. For all you young ‘uns, I highly recommend these classic horror stories – they don’t get much better.

    Hey man, tell me you’re gonna cover Monster of Frankenstein, Man-Thing, Tomb of Dracula, etc. in time!

  8. Billy

    @Hedge- Thanks for stopping by Hedge! Check my Marvel Snapshot for more horror goodness from circa 1970s.

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