Werewolf By Night #9-10
Issue(s): Werewolf By Night #9, Werewolf By Night #10
The arc begins, as it seemingly must, with Jack Russell having made no attempt to restrain his werewolf side during the full moon, so he's just roaming loose through LA again.
Our Tatterdemalion is trailing the Werewolf.
Worth noting again that the Werewolf is just trying to get away from the "wagons" and into the forest to find his brothers. He barely qualifies as a monster.
As for the (unnamed) Tatterdemalion, he's working for someone called Sarnak.
You'll notice that the open credits say that this issue is narrated by Jack Russell, but one of the weirder moments is the scan above where the Werewolf seems to be saying "He attacked!". I'm assuming that's either a mistake or a weird narrative choice and it's not the case that the Werewolf is actually speaking, let alone narrating the story to use in realtime.
A silent call summons Tatterdemalion away while leaving the Werewolf with a headache. The Werewolf passes out, and Jack wakes up the next day in the drunk tank, leading to a confrontation with police lieutenant Lou Hackett.
Despite Hackett's dramatic revelation of Jack's wallet (ohmagod, you caught me, officer! i admit that i carry a wallet!) Jack doesn't give anything away, and Jack is returned to the custody of his step-father. Jack has been staying with Buck Cowan, so this is the first time he goes to his family home in months. Jack still believes that Philip Russell was behind the death of his mother.
At the house, Jack is attacked by a whole horde of Tatterdemalions...
....who bring him back to Sarnak.
The fact that there are multiple homeless mutates in robes was part of the reason i was hesitant about Tatterdemalion's appearance when reading my Essentials. But in the color version of the story, it's clear that only one of them wears the blue and red Tatterdemalion "costume".
These issues are significant for another reason; they contain the first mention of The Committee, an organization that will plague Werewolf By Night for some time and even figure into the first appearance of Moon Knight.
Basically everyone's important in this story except the actual villain, Sarnak. But Sarnak's origin is too awesome to ignore. He was apparently into home taping, and the record industry made an example of him. I guess today he'd be a bit torrenter.
As a sound engineer, he obviously developed a flute that lets him mind control werewolves. And he's been hired by the Committee, who apparently have a very poor understanding of economics, to sow fear. Because werewolf rampages = profits!
Both Jack and his sister Lissa are captured, but Jack manages to break out...
...and Buck Cowan connects him with a different sound engineer named Jim Kerry, who provides him with a sonic filter.
Jack ties it to his arm and points himself towards Sarnak as it approached nightfall (during the day, Sarnak was directing a horde of homeless people on a rampage through LA).
Without his magic flute, Sarnak is no match for a Werewolf.
With Sarnak defeated, he's no longer able to control the homeless "people" either, so they turn on him, revealing, shame of shames, that he's actually normal looking underneath his mask.
With the Committee now revealed, we learn that it's they that Philip Russell has been paying money to. This issue, one of their goons knocks out Philip with an amazingly stiff and gooney uppercut, and then they kidnap him.
Gerry Conway returns for issue #10, displacing Len Wein. What's been interesting is that in the switch from Wein to Conway and back, the storylines continue directly . This will continue when Marv Wolfman takes over for Conway in a couple of issues, too.
Since i'm mentioning the musical creative team chairs, it's worth noting that Mike Ploog was relieved by Werner Roth for issue #8, and issues #9-10 here have Tom Sutton on both pencils and inks. Ploog will return in a few issues (after two by Gil Kane), but only for four issues before Don Perlin becomes the regular artist.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: A slight slip-up in the chronology here. In issue #9, Lissa says that Lt. Hackett showed up at the Russell house looking for her "yesterday", with a footnote to the previous issue. Lissa wasn't home (because she was being held at the evil circus as the Sensuous Serpent Girl). This fits fine with Hackett's appearance in issue #8 except for the fact that issue #9 starts with the first night of a new full moon, meaning that the previous arc should have taken place (at least) a month ago. I'm going to assume Hackett has been coming around a lot over the past month and ignore the "last issue" footnote.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Werewolf By Night vol. 1
Inbound References (4): show
You know, Ive been thinking about getting esential Werewolf by night vol 1, just cause these stories are all new to me. And I likes some 70s craziness. But not sure if Ill be able to put up with Jack's forced hipness.
Posted by: kveto | August 27, 2016 4:36 AM
It sounds like Sarnak may have been inspired by the real-life story of Joe Meek, a sound engineer whose innovations in the field were undercut by mental and legal problems throughout his life.
Posted by: Gary Himes | June 2, 2017 11:47 PM
Given his impressive background in horror comics (Vampirella, Creepy, etc.), Tom Sutton would have been a great replacement for Mike Ploog on this title. Loved his art on these two issues, which he penciled, inked, AND lettered! My guess is he would have turned down the book if offered. He was already in high demand as a freelancer and, since he had no great fondness for superheroes, likely didn't wish to get moved to titles out of his comfort zone on a regular basis.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | June 3, 2017 12:08 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|