(W) Taboo, Benjamin Jackendoff (A) Scott Eaton (CA) Mike McKone Rated T+ In Shops: Nov 25, 2020 SRP: $3.99
NIGHT OF THE CREEPS! • Jake’s attempt to get to the bottom of his company’s questionable practices leads to an all-out monster brawl! • As Werewolf by Night gets in over his head, Red Wolf and the law are getting closer! • With Jake’s entire life in chaos, the only way out may be to fully embrace the secret history of the Werewolf by Night!
The origins of Marvel’s cult favorite Werewolf by Night, which was published in the early seventies as its own series, is a particularly interesting one when compared with the new series that just launched this year. Creators Roy Thomas, Jane Thomas, Gerry Conway, and Mike Ploog (who also illustrated Marvel’s version of Frankenstein) saw in the original comic a refreshing break from superhero stories. It was an escape into horror. The latest version of the lycanthrope, though, forgoes horror for super-heroics. So much so that it might’ve been more appropriate to call the comic Super-Werewolf by Night.
This new take on the character replaces the Transylvanian-born Jack Russell with a young man from the Hopi tribe known as Jake Gomez. He lives in a reservation with his grandmother Rora and is helped by a young woman called Molly.
The creative team of Taboo (from the Black Eyed Peas), Benjamin Jackendoff, and Scott Eaton establish these three characters as a tight unit, where the loss of one them would prove catastrophic to their own sense of identity. Granny Rora is the group’s storyteller, the source of the myths and legends that explain Jake’s relationship with his hairier side, if only metaphorically.
The story follows Jake as he protects the reservation and its surrounding area. Unfortunately for him, word of a wolf-like creature has reached certain parties that are interested in hunting the creature down. Elsewhere, an experiment gone wrong promises to shake the foundations of Jake’s life as he fights the wolf within and comes to terms with his existence.
While the story is nothing like the 1970’s version, it does borrow a lot from that decade’s more socially aware brand of comics. The new werewolf scares white hunters away from tribal lands, faces the results of an experiment gone wrong, and ultimately finds evil in the form of a giant corporation submerged in unethical practices.
While these problems are worthy of their own comic book series, they end up traversing well-trodden territory here and there doesn’t seem to be much of an intention to go the extra mile in terms of inventiveness. As a result, the comic comes off as far too simple for its own good. It’s not a particularly fresh take on the classic monster either, nor the superhero world it very much wants to be a part of.
In fact, the new superhero-like identity forced upon the werewolf seems to be more interested in incorporating the character into the larger Marvel universe rather than carving its own unique space within it. There’s space for horror in the Marvel universe and Werewolf by Night can still help make that happen, but it has to do more in the coming issues.
Scott Eaton’s art, on the other hand, does a great job at world building and produces an especially vicious werewolf design. Every scene involving the werewolf carries a ton of violence in it, albeit more figuratively than literally. There’s a force behind it that captures the sheer monstrosity that is a werewolf. Unfortunately, the wolf also has moments when he looks like he’s presenting himself as a viable option for a future Champions or Young Avengers comic. I wouldn’t mind that happening, especially because Native character are still in short supply in mainstream media, but I’d hope they make the character somewhat more unique and compelling in this regard.
The comic is not without its charm and it does have heart. There’s a chance future issues complicate things well enough to take our werewolf into uncharted territory. The first issue of Werewolf by Night is no indication of this, but there’s enough here to build on.
Story: Taboo, Benjamin Jackendoff Art: Scott Eaton Inks: Scott Hanna Color: Miroslav Mrva Story: 6.0 Art: 8.0 Recommendation: Wait for the compendium and buy some wolfsbane while you’re at it.
(W) Taboo, Benjamin Jackendoff (A) Scott Eaton (CA) Mike McKone Rated T+ In Shops: Oct 21, 2020 SRP: $3.99
THE HOUR OF THE WOLF! A new Werewolf by Night is prowling the Southwest, but all is not as it seems! A young man, a family curse, and an unholy experiment prove a dangerous combination for a small town in Arizona. All young Jake wants is to protect his people, but who will protect him from the monster within? Taboo of the BLACK EYED PEAS and Benjamin Jackendoff team up with Scot Eaton to tell an epic tale of righteous fury and incredible transformation in the Mighty Marvel Manner that is not to be missed!
Today, Marvel released its special edition of The Pull List, unveiling exclusive information for the hottest books coming to comic shops this October!
Tucker Markus took the reins of this special previews announcement solo, presenting the first look at a few bleeding-edge Marvel comics, with info all about new series, art, and creative teams heading to your local comic shop in three months! This special previews announcement gave viewers a first look at the highly anticipated X-Men crossover, X of Swords and the celebration of 50 years of Conan the Barbarian’s Marvel Comics legacy in Conan the Barbarian #15 and The Official Handbook of the Conan Universe Anniversary Edition. This latest episode also teased new eras for both the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #25 and Captain Marvel in Captain Marvel #25 and exciting starts for the brand new Werewolf By Night and the new Champions. The Pull List also shed light on King in Black, the next chapter in Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s landmark run on Venom coming in December!
X OF SWORDS: STASIS #1
Written by TINI HOWARD & JONATHAN HICKMAN Art by PEPE LARRAZ & MAHMUD ASRAR Cover by PEPE LARRAZ
THE OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE CONAN UNIVERSE ANNIVERSARY EDITION
Written by ALAN ZELENETZ Cover by MICHAEL KALUTA
CONAN THE BARBARIAN #15
Written by JIM ZUB Art by ROGÊ ANTÔNIO Cover by E.M. GIST
FANTASTIC FOUR #25
Written by DAN SLOTT Art by R.B. SILVA Cover by MARK BROOKS
CAPTAIN MARVEL #22
Written by KELLY THOMPSON Art by LEE GARBETT Cover by JORGE MOLINA
WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #1
Written by TABOO & BENJAMIN JACKENDOFF Art by SCOT EATON COVER by MIKE MCKONE
Written by EVE L. EWING Art by SIMONE DI MEO Cover by TONI INFANTE
KING IN BLACK #1
Written by DONNY CATES Art and Cover by RYAN STEGMAN
Taboo of The Black Eyed Peas will be co-writing a new Marvel comic series this April with Benjamin Jackendoff.
The pair previously worked together on a story for Marvel Comics #1000 that focused on Red Wolf and will now be teaming up with acclaimed comic artist Scot Eaton on Werewolf By Night. The series will introduce a brand-new Werewolf by Night character to the Marvel Universe in a story set in Arizona. The new Werewolf by Night will be a young man named Jake who will be dealing with the effects of a family curse while trying to protect his people. The events of the story will also be driven by the outcome of March’s Outlawed one-shot.
The new series and character will be “going through a Native lens” reflecting Taboo’s Native American heritage.
Werewolf By Night #1 is out this April with a cover by Mike McKone.