The Werewolf by Night wiki last edited by pikahyper on 10/04/17 05:19AM
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After enjoying a successful three issue stint in MARVEL SPOTLIGHT (Vol. 1), Marvel awarded the Werewolf his own series, WEREWOLF BY NIGHT, in 1972. The series depicted the trials of Jack Russell who inherited the curse of the Werewolf on his eighteenth birthday. He frequently confronted menaces who wanted the man-beast for one nefarious purpose or another. His supporting cast included his devoted sister Lissa, who feared her approaching eighteenth birthday and possibly succumbing to the curse herself; Jack's step-father Philip whom the siblings suspected murdered their mother, and Buck Cowan, the reporter who became Jack's best friend and confidante. Other characters introduced in the series include the Hangman, Topaz (currently a member of the Witches), and most significantly, Moon Knight.
The series was at its artistic peak in its first two years with decent writing by Gerry Conway, Len Wein and Marv Wolfman and excellent art by Mike Ploog, Tom Sutton and Gil Kane, developing a style that was referred to in the letters pages as "California Gothic". Then the book took a severe drop in quality, with inconsistent stories by Doug Moench and pedestrian art by Don Perlin. In 1976, the Marvel monster boom of the mid-70s went bust and the series was nearly canceled, but a leveling off in sales kept it in publication, albeit demoted to bi-monthly status. Feeling restricted by the fact that a werewolf can appear for only three nights out of a month, Moench and Perlin made changes to the Werewolf character. They put Jack in full control of the Werewolf, giving him the abilities to think, speak and transform at will. It appeared they were grooming him for a career as a super-hero as they completely phased-out the California Gothic style. The success of the experiment proved inconclusive, as the series was canceled with the 43rd issue, leaving a developing subplot with the abduction of Jack's friend Buck Cowan unresolved.
The Werewolf also starred in the companion series GIANT-SIZE WEREWOLF.
A second volume of WEREWOLF BY NIGHT was published is 1998, lasing six issues.
Non-U.S. Collected Editions