Giant-Size Werewolf By Night #2
Issue(s): Giant-Size Werewolf By Night #2
This issue has the regular Werewolf creative team but has a special treat for us in the form of an encounter with Frankenstein's Monster.
It's kind of a weird encounter, involving a modern day Satanist. It does start off with some intriguing use of Frankenstein's Monster, beginning with a paralleling of his treatment to racism (and, less compellingly, long hair-ism).
The Monster then overhears two bums talking about the latest news in Satanic developments. A guy named Danton Vayla claims that he can transfer souls from one body to another. So the Monster hops a train from New York to Los Angeles, despite the efforts of a security guard.
Meanwhile, Lissa Russell (sister to Werewolf By Night) has decided that she likes being a perpetual hostage so much that she's gone ahead and joined the Brotherhood of Baal just to see if they knew anything about werewolves.
She tries to quit when she hears they are into human sacrifice, but of course you can't just walk away from an organization like that. So she's kidnapped again, resulting in our second Werewolf Drives A Car sequence (after Werewolf By Night #3) as Jack Russell rushes to rescue his sister regardless of the fact that it's transformation time.
The car is totaled, just like the first one was, but the Werewolf continues along to Vayla's place. Frankenstein has arrived there as well.
Vayla gets Frankenstein to fight the Werewolf in return for promises of a new body.
Frankenstein wins the fight. But he stops the ritual when he finds out that the plan is for Satan to occupy his body.
Vayla is killed by his own inverted crucifix.
The issue ends with the Monster and the Werewolf fighting cultists as Vayla's castle crumbles into the sea. Lissa worries that the two monsters died fighting each other, but the final panel shows each monster's footprints going in opposite directions on the beach.
The issue isn't great, exactly, but there's something i love about the various classic monster characters encountering and fighting each other in the Marvel universe.
All of the Giant-Size Werewolf issues are filled out with Silver Age horror reprints, which were not included in my Essentials. The original story for this issue is 30 pages.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: For Werewolf By Night, this is placed between issues #21-22 of his regular series. The Frankenstein Monster is seen returning home from this story in Frankenstein #13.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Werewolf By Night vol. 2
Inbound References (1): showBuck Cowan, Frankenstein Monster, Lissa Russell, Werewolf By Night
So then its basically "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf-Man"...in the Marvel Universe with Satanists. Yeah...I can dig that.
Posted by: Ataru320 | January 7, 2015 4:52 PM
I don't think Giant-Size Super Heroes should be lumped in with Giant-Size Super Stars and Giant-Size Creatures- the latter two continued the numbering but Giant-Size Super Heroes didn't. Plus there was a story intended for Giant-Size Super Heroes 2 that was never published. But more on that when we get to Giant-Size Super Heroes 1.
Posted by: Michael | January 8, 2015 8:00 AM
Most interesting panel: the Frankenstein Monster eating a live rat.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 9, 2015 9:51 PM
Just realized: "Danton Vayla" is a rearrangement of the then-notorious real-life Satanist Anton LaVey.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 23, 2015 12:01 PM
Jack never learned to stay away from automobiles on nights of the full moon. And convertibles don't exactly block the light out. A little forethought,fella?
Posted by: Brian Coffey | May 17, 2017 9:26 PM
The werewolf on the cover looks pretty ferocious, and Perlin has a few good moments with Wolfie and the Anton LaVey wannabe, but his Frankenstein's Monster is inconsistent, at least in the facials. In some panels he looks like an homage to the classic Universal creature, other times he looks like he wouldn't be out of place on "Pinky and the Brain".
Posted by: Brian Coffey | June 14, 2017 3:22 PM
With all the Satanists and references to the occult (pronounced AH-CULT if you're Pat Robertson) that permeated the horror line in the '70's, it's surprising that right-leaning religious groups and "decency warriors" didn't raise a huge stink about it. I suppose they were too busy snooping around for hidden messages in the music of everyone from Led Zeppelin to Black Oak Arkansas at the time. Or perhaps they simply saw the comics world as a "gutter culture" not worth muddying their hands over.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | June 19, 2017 11:23 PM
So, people in the Marvel Universe seem to know quite a bit about the "legend" of Frankenstein's monster. Which leads me to wonder if Mary Shelley's novel about Frankenstein was also published in the Marvel Universe? Because, otherwise, how would all these people know so much about the legend? Were there also movies and comic books about Frankenstein, like in our universe, except that in the Marvel Universe, all the stories really happened? And what about Bram Stoker's Dracula novel, Bela Lugosi's Dracula movie, Tomb of Dracula magazines, etc.? Most importantly, do Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Werewolf ever get to go to Marvel's New York offices, and meet the staff, like the characters do in Fantastic Four and other Marvel Universe comics? Because that might make for some interesting reading.:)
Posted by: Holt | February 6, 2018 9:49 PM
The Marvel Handbooks claim that both Stoker's Dracula and Shelley's Frankenstein were published based ont he true events, but were taken as fiction because people didn't believe any of it "really" happened.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | February 6, 2018 10:06 PM
So the Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley of our universe were a lot like Gardner Fox, in that they were all actually writing real-life documentaries about stuff that was actually happening, only in parallel realities. People mistake it for fiction because they stubbornly refuse to believe anything they can't verify.:
Posted by: Holt | February 6, 2018 10:29 PM
@ Holt -
If you look at Uncanny X-Men #40, Xavier is explicit that he's read the book and believes it was based on real events, so that's a definite yes that Shelley published the book in the MU.
Posted by: Erik Beck | February 7, 2018 6:11 AM
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein also appears in Frankenstein Monster #13. Both Frankenstein and Bram Stoker's Dracula are epistolary novels--supposedly collections of letters, diaries, and other documents--so they lend themselves to this kind of treatment better than a straightforward prose novel might. The conceit is that Shelley and Stoker just assembled these documents (maybe with some light editing), which is meant to heighten the realism of the fantastic events described in the novel. And that's just taken as the truth for the Marvel Universe versions. Interestingly, in Monsters Unleashed #2, there seems to be a volume of just the Robert Walton letters that Frankenstein was supposed to be based on, separate from the Mary Shelley novel.
Posted by: Tony Lewis | February 7, 2018 9:53 AM
I was thinking that the Marvel writers would probably play it that way. The implication that interests me is that either ( 1.) the Shelly and Stoker of our own physical reality were somehow channeling the thoughts of their counterparts in the Marvel reality (or even perhaps channeling the actual real events depicted in these books), or ( 2.) the F. Monster and Dracula were real creatures in our own reality, just as they were real creatures in the Marvel reality. The problem being that it's just such an improbable coincidence that authors in our reality would imaginatively create fictional characters which just happened to be exactly the same as real creatures and events in a parallel reality. The odds against that are pretty much too astronomical to even consider.
The idea that all good fictional characters actually do exist in some separate reality somewhere, which we might access only thru our dreams or imaginations, has always been compelling. In this case of course there is a little less certainty that the F. Monster and Dracula didn't, or don't, actually exist in our reality, than there might have been in the case of "The Flash of Two Worlds," where the characters in question are believed, or not believed, to have existed in a time period which is much closer to the reader's own time period. Simply because we might like to believe that we have better knowledge of recent history than we do of the history of the more remote past (and even that is still debatable).
Posted by: Holt | February 7, 2018 11:30 AM
A Dracula Lives story did have Marvel's Dracula admitting that the films with Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee existed in the MU.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 7, 2018 7:31 PM
Comments are now closed.
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