Characters Appearing: Buck Cowan, Lissa Russell, Philip Russell, Werewolf By Night
Giant-Size Werewolf By Night #5
Issue(s): Giant-Size Werewolf By Night #5
In the more grounded part of the story, and i say that in a very relative sense, Jack Russell and his friend Buck Cowan go to see the latest occultist that they think might be able to cure Jack's lycanthropy. The Satanist this time, a Joaquin Zairre (who to my eye looks like a Bela Lugosi homage)...
...knows some unusual ways to kill a werewolf...
...but instead of getting a cure, Zairre tries to capture the Werewolf and sacrifice him to Satan. That's when things go from regular weird (i.e. werewolves and Satanists) to Steve Gerber-ish weird.
Wait, what? Where'd that goofy wizard come from? Well, the answer is he comes from another planet which is perpetually half daytime, half night.
The wizard is working for a guy named Paingloss.
And there's a Half-Queen who has captured a bunch of fantasy creatures...
...and she wants to add a werewolf to her collection, because why wouldn't you want to put a werewolf next to your unicorn? But she lives on the day side of the world, so when the people that summoned Jack to please the Half-Queen bring him to her, he's just ordinary Jack and not very interesting.
As far as i can tell, the Half-Queen is not related to the alien race that Jack of Hearts comes from.
Then, something something, the good guys cast a loyalty spell on the Werewolf so he can help fight the bad guys or whatever.
Jack is sent home with the loyalty spell still lingering enough that he helps Buck fight off the Satanist. Jack finds his inter-dimensional adventure hard to believe and decides not to tell Buck about it. If only he had treated us with the same consideration.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: I'm placing this directly after issue #4 with the idea that the events here occur on the third night of the same lunar cycle as the previous two stories. This way we don't have to have two additional months between issues #30-31 of the regular series. I should note that the Essentials trade places this story between #31-32, but that doesn't make sense due to the way #31 ends. Alternatively, it's worth noting that the narrative device in this issue has Jack describing the events of the issue as happening "last fall", and that he's only now getting around to dealing with the weirdness of it and admitting that it actually happened. If you want to go that route, this issue could take place at virtually any time, but only Werewolf By Night should be listed as a Character Appearing (as narrator) with the entire issue being considered a flashback. I'm going with the first option.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Werewolf By Night vol. 2
The weird thing is that this was after the Creatures on the Loose story started but before John went to the other dimension. Is werewolves in sword-and-sorcery-in-another-dimension really so cool an idea that two writers came up with it simultaneously?
Posted by: Michael | January 12, 2015 8:45 PM
These issues of Werewolf By Night seem awful. It's obvious none of the writers had any idea of how to do it, or make a real premise out of the book. In Tomb of Dracula, at least Marv Wolfman figured out the main plot needed to follow the vampire hunters, keeping Dracula as the ongoing antagonist.
These all seem to be random fights with no overarching theme. It's surprising the book lasted so long.
Posted by: Chris | January 12, 2015 9:07 PM
I think Paingloss is taken from Voltaire's "Candide".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 13, 2015 8:42 PM
Yong Montano is a great name for an artist. Right up there with Leinil Francis Yu. And to my eyes, the occultist looks like a hybrid of Lugosi and Peter Cushing. Montano's art is definitely not in Ploog's class, but is steps above Don Perlin, IMHO.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | May 25, 2017 4:19 PM
Comments are now closed.
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