Giant-Size Werewolf By Night #4
Issue(s): Giant-Size Werewolf By Night #4
Jack Russell has secured himself prior to transformation to Werewolf with his usual care, placing himself in "the most deserted alley I could find this close to nightfall".
That's the opening panel, folks. There's no begging extenuating circumstances this time. Jack was walking around and he thought to himself, "Oh man, it's getting close to nightfall and my 100% predictable transformation into a wild killing machine. I guess I'd better go find an alley or something."
And so he transforms into a Werewolf, shockingly finds his way out of the alley, and proceeds to maul a group of people hanging outside a pool hall.
For his next victim, there's this poor woman, who is repressing memories that would lead to madness.
This is actually Martine Bancroft, recently seen performing occult rituals trying to harm her former boyfriend, Dr. Michael Morbius. It's confirmed here that she was under the influence of Daemond the whole time, and Morbius is able to locate her and (safely) bring back her memories.
Now, i said that Martine is the Werewolf's next victim, but that's only if Morbius can keep his own fangs off her long enough.
It's a close one! But Morbius does manage to restrain himself long enough for Werewolf By Night to show up.
"Garrity's Furniture" is shown or mentioned twice in this issue, making me wonder if it's a real place and/or a friend of writer Doug Moench's. But let's get back to the vampire (or "vampire") vs. werewolf battle.
Morbius doesn't seem to understand how werewolves work (which isn't entirely surprising, since he also doesn't believe in "real" vampires yet, but on the other hand he's been in outer space and to the Cat dimension at this point, so he must accept that the supernatural exists to some degree, and surely he's seen a Lon Chaney movie at some point).
When he discovers that the Werewolf is really a human person, he withdraws, with Jack getting taken to a hospital. Morbius, meanwhile, learns that Martine has a mysterious post office box key on her, so they go to find out what's inside. It turns out to be a written formula that will provide a cure to Morbius' quasi-vampire curse. It's not stated definitively where it came from, but it's speculated that it could have been from Daemond or the Caretakers.
At this point Jack has transformed again, and the Werewolf tracks down his sparring partner from last night, catching Morbius and Martine at the La Brea tar pits.
Morbius doesn't want to fight, but the Werewolf is relentless and Morbius gets mad when the Werewolf makes him drop the formula.
Morbius gets tossed around a bit due to his hollow bones.
But he fights back and it's the Werewolf that ends up stuck in the tar. And Morbius is in a murderous rage at this point; Martine has to talk him down from killing the Werewolf. Then they just leave, without actually doing anything about the Werewolf, and in fact helping him to get out to go menace someone else. Or, for that matter, without looking around for the note, which it turns out wasn't very far away.
I guess Morbius has enough problems of his own, but you could imagine that if the Werewolf didn't have his own series at this point, this could have ended with Morbius taking the Werewolf in and attempting to cure him.
Unlike the first few Giant-Size Werewolf issues, this issue has two full length stories and only a single reprint (not covered here). Both stories are by artists that mostly worked on Marvel's black & white magazines, and i wonder if the slightly different format for this Giant-Size issue indicates that they were originally intended for one of the magazines. On the other hand, the first story does feel like Moench wrapping up plot elements from his Morbius issues and the second one follows up on events from the regular Werewolf series (whereas the b&w magazine stories tended to be more standalone).
The second story brings back Jack Russell's actress friend Clary Winter.
She reveals that Jack's friend Buck Cowan was cleaning up his house and stumbled across an old movie script that he wrote, and he managed to sell it to Clary's friend Brad, a stuntman that claims to be looking to get into film production. Brad had previously offered Jack a job as a stuntman, and Clary convinces Jack to come along for the filming of the movie. Despite the fact that it's a full moon tonight, Jack doesn't need much convincing.
When they get to the remote village that is the film site of the movie, they find that everyone is zonked out, but the film crew is undeterred.
But things continue to be weird...
...and eventually it comes out that we're in a plot similar to the film Cabin In The Woods, where Brad's film is actually a front for a ritual intended to keep Elder Gods happily sleeping, and when Jack/Werewolf foils the plot, the Gods get mad.
It's a surprising end for a guy named Brad Wrangle, really. From a certain point of view, i guess he can be happy that he escaped his fate-ordained role in life; with a name like that, he should have never been anything other than a supporting character stuntman.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places both of these stories between Werewolf By Night #30-31, and that's how the Essentials trade orders the issues as well. I'm going with that placement, but see my Considerations on those issues regarding the timing. For Morbius, this takes place between Fear #26-27 and features a relatively important scene for that series, reuniting Morbius with Martine.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Werewolf By Night vol. 2
Inbound References (2): showBrad Wrangle, Buck Cowan, Clary Winter, Martine Bancroft, Morbius, Werewolf By Night
Funny to see the Werewolf take on Morbius while wearing the forest green boxers. Today they look like baller shorts, like Jack and Buck were shooting hoops before the transformation. It would give new meaning to the term "slashing to the basket"!
Posted by: Brian Coffey | June 2, 2017 11:28 AM
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