Sunday, October 25, 2015

Marvel Horror - Werewolf By Night!

Werewolf by Night proved to be one of Marvel's sturdiest outings in the monster arena, lasting a cool forty-three issues plus assorted giant-size editions. The artist most associated with the title is probably Mike Ploog, but the artist who drew the most issues is far and away Don Perlin. Perlin joined regular writer Doug Moench to create some truly weird adventures for the lycanthrope, his friends and his enemies. Though I collected all of the Werewolf by Night issues over the years, I sadly often bagged them and filed them away with the intent to read them one fine day. That day never came, that is until I finally bought them all again in Essential form -- and I'm glad I did. The reason being that Don Perlin's talent really shines through most magnificently in black and white.

Together Moench and Perlin create a wide range of adventures stretching the format to have the werewolf confront corporate conspiracies, mad vigilante superheroes, other-dimensional warriors, demonic haunted houses, and surreal mad scientists from across space, and much more. Always Jack Russell and his friends and family search for a cure, though they seem weirdly constantly unable to find a safe place for Jack to transform. It's clear that the format was growing tired in the final issues and the addition of guest-stars like Iron Man seem woefully out of place, but the attempt seemed to find a way forward for a horror series that had outlived its trend. Too on-the-nose for any real transformation, the series eventually ended, and mostly with a whimper.

But it was a heady run.

Here's a cover gallery of lycanthropic awesomeness. 

Now go howl at the moon.

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  1. Yeah buddy! I’m still (very) slowly amassing a full run of this series…Picked up #27 about a year ago in the bin at Half Price Books…Doug Moench rocked the house here…I recall an early letters page reader describing this book as “California gothic”…and it was…Beautifully weird, tripped-out covers on every issue too…

    1. I love that phrase "California gothic", it works. Marvel had several comics set across the country in the Bronze Age, after the Silver Age almost exclusively took place in NYC, and it was neat to see these different locales.

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