Marvel Premiere #45-46
Issue(s): Marvel Premiere #45, Marvel Premiere #46
I'm being a bit unfair, since i'm jumping in at the end of a series, but at the same time these issues were printed in 1978 as a standalone two-parter in Marvel Premiere. But my experience reading these isn't too different than Jim Shooter's, back around 1974 when he was interviewing for a job:
Stan, it seemed, was no longer involved editorially. I was briefly introduced to Roy Thomas, the editor in chief, then to Dave Kraft, who, with Roy's consent, offered me a job writing a feature called "Manwolf." He showed me some back issues and some books in progress. Suddenly, I had doubts.
It's not really that bad. And there is a text piece included in issue #45 that does attempt to explain what's going on. And, if nothing else, some nice George Perez art.
Basically you've got a swords and sorcery plot where the Man-Wolf is the hero of prophecy on a world in another dimension (reached via a portal on the Earth's moon).
His Colonel John Jameson persona is in control, and he can even "speak", telepathically. He and the rebels are fighting a tyrant called Arisen Tyrk, who has also captured Kristine Saunders, Jameson's girlfriend.
Man-Wolf defeats Tyrk and goes home to earth with Kristine via a portal, which nearly closes before the Man-Wolf goes through.
Arisen Tyrk will eventually become Lunatik, sort of. He also flees through the failing portal and his body is split into fragments, which become the Lunatiks. Nothing in this story really informs the zany character in Defenders, beyond his basic look.
J. Jonah Jameson appears in some scenes back on Earth, as the police investigate the home of Arisen Tyrk's human identity, Harrison Turk. The guy in the incredibly tight sweater is Simon Stroud, police investigator.
There are a lot of heroes working with the Man-Wolf, but the three that have had other appearances are Lambert the wizard, Garth of Mournhelm, and Gorjoon.
Gorjoon is interesting because, unlike all of the other characters, who speak in a stilted medieval fantasy dialect, Gorjoon's dialogue is deliberately rougher and more natural sounding. This is actually more noticeable in his other appearances but it's here too if you know to look for it.
Lambert's hands are chopped off by Tyrk's people in this story, to prevent him from using his magic.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The story is said to take place "several months ago", presumably directly after Creatures On The Loose #37. See Michael's comments on Marvel Team-Up #36-37 regarding the Man-Wolf's next appearance.
Continuity Insert? Y - concludes the Man-Wolf story written three+ years earlier (inventory story).
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): show
And years later Shooter was still so annoyed over this series that Man-Wolf became another "disposable character to be disposed of" in a Peter Parker Annual(though thankfully disposed of by curing of the Man-Wolf persona).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 4, 2013 5:44 PM
In the fanzine AFTA #2, Perez confirms that he drew these issues after Avengers Annual #8.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 18, 2014 4:34 PM
Three of Tyrk's henchmen shown above are drawn to look like the Three Stooges. :-)
Posted by: Gary Himes | June 10, 2014 10:52 AM
I like the idea of Man-Wolf going Conan the Barbarian.
And that is one super tight sweater.
Posted by: david banes | June 10, 2014 4:30 PM
The Perez art makes me tolerate Kraft's story more than I should. Still, a sapient, swords-and-sorcery Man-Wolf is preferable by far to his previous incarnation as yet another standard-issue rampaging lycanthrope.
Posted by: Oliver_C | December 29, 2015 8:49 AM
With different timing and a different writer, this actually could have been something. They could have caught both the Conan crowd and the superhero audience if they'd managed to keep Perez around on art. But instead as Michael said over on that Marvel Team-Up entry, this story only came about due to the Defenders link and Perez was assigned to draw it long after it had been scripted. The idea of a series starting from this premise was never in the cards, especially not with Perez onboard.
Shame. The dude is one of the oldest characters in the MU and it would have been nice to see him stake out his territory as the superhero/monster version of Conan.
Posted by: Dan H. | December 29, 2015 3:27 PM
The final issue of CREATURES ON THE LOOSE had a text page by Kraft that explained where the story was going. The story in these issues is the one he described there, in 1975.
In the piece he explains the stone was left on the moon by a dying god from an alternate universe. "In the Other Realm, it would have imparted the attributes of a god to Jameson; but here, only enough catalytic essences from that alternate universe were transmitted-via reflected sunlight-to start the change. Thus, John Jameson became the Man-Wolf, an unreasoning beast only a step along the way to realising full potential as a Stargod."
This is what he says about the climax: "eventually an intelligent and invincible Man-Wolf (or, more appropriately, Stargod), along with a bawdy crew of followers, accosts Turk in his impregnable castle atop a floating mountain over a living sea, only to find that Turk has brought Kristine along with him to this alternate universe to use as a hostage."
The story was planned as a two-parter. Kraft calls the villain "Harrisyn Turk".
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | December 29, 2015 3:34 PM
I had no knowledge about the Man-Wolf character either before picking up those Marvel Premiere issues, but they became my favorite comics ever almost immediately. Heck, I had to give up buying comics in 1980 because I was a penny-less college student . . . a vow I might have kept to this very day if I didn't check occasionally to see if Wolfy had come back. His high point in recent years was certainly in several issues of She-Hulk,, where he quickly jumped from John Jameson to the "feral" Man-Wolf to Stargod -- and married Jennifer Walters! Briefly.
Posted by: Mike W. | March 9, 2016 10:56 PM
Mike W., that would make DAK's day, to hear that.
Posted by: Cecil | March 10, 2016 4:04 PM
I contacted DAK to tell him I was writing a fannish novel about Man-Wolf in -- oi! -- 1991 or 1992. His love of the Georgian wilderness was certainly evident in Creatures on the Loose. The novel, Starwolf, ended up being serialized in several issues of the werewolf fanzine Fang. Claw, and Steel.
When you say "get your hands on these," do you mean the Marvel Premiere issues? I see them all the time around here (Tulsa, OK).
Posted by: Mike W. | March 11, 2016 12:21 AM
I do! I haven't been back to my closest comics shop in about a year. When I'm mobile again I'll have to go Wolf Hunting. You made me want to find all the Creatures On The Vamoose issues now, too.
Posted by: Cecil | March 11, 2016 1:29 AM
Please excuse me here, Fnord. I know it's not fanfic central.
Posted by: Cecil | March 11, 2016 7:14 AM
I have to admit a few Creatures are pretty rare. I only obtained #30 a few years ago -- and that was because someone gave it to me for Christmas.
Had to find my old fanzines hidden away in boxes and dig up Fang, Claw, and Steel. Starwolf was serialized in issues #18 through #25 (the last one). I haven't communicated with editor Terry Wessner for years. His fanzine-related site is still up, but it sounds like he doesn't have back issues for sale. One can always ask, though:
Looks like odd issues of FC&S just show up here and there at comic shops and the like, for instance Rabbit Valley:
And I'd certainly like to get in touch with Dave "the Dude" and hear about what he's been doing since the Comics Interview days!
Posted by: Mike W. | March 13, 2016 4:09 PM
Regardless of what one thinks of the quality of these stories, the design of Man-Wolf in them (a white-furred werewolf clad in green armor wielding a sword and bow & arrow) is quite distinctive and cool, especially as rendered by George Perez.
Posted by: Ben Herman | March 14, 2016 4:11 PM
J. Jonah Jameson never looked handsomer than he does here. George Perez always makes everyone look prettier than they actually are. But-- JJJ?:p
Posted by: Holt | February 16, 2018 7:29 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|