(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!
(W) Dan Jurgens (A) Scott Eaton, Wayne Faucher (CA) Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund In Shops: Feb 19, 2020 SRP: $4.99
Available to comics shops for the first time! Starfire has been kidnapped and forced into gladiatorial combat on Warworld-and her opponent is the merciless Mongul! It’s up to Robin, Raven, and Beast Boy to save their friend, but how can they even find her when she’s light-years away? Well, maybe a stolen-er, “borrowed”-spaceship from the Justice League could help. Originally published in Titans Giant #6 and #7.
(W) Dan Jurgens (A) Scott Eaton, Wayne Faucher (CA) Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund In Shops: Jan 29, 2020 SRP: $4.99
Available to comics shops for the first time! The Titans have traced the source that induced paranoia in the streets-but Steve Dayton, the former Mento, had nothing to do with it! In reality, the mayhem was instigated by his disgruntled assistant, who now plans to kill Dayton-unless the Titans can stop him! Originally published in Titans Giant #4 and #5.
(W) Dan Jurgens (A) Scott Eaton (CA) Dustin Nguyen In Shops: Jan 01, 2020 SRP: $3.99
The mystery of Neo-Gotham’s newest protector deepens! With Terry McGinnis missing, a new, unidentified person has stepped up to replace him as protector of Gotham! Even the greatest detective of all time, Bruce Wayne, is unable to determine who’s hidden behind the mask. Gotham’s newest hero appears capable, but does she have what it takes to combat Terry’s greatest enemy-the murderer of his father-Derek Powers, a.k.a. Blight? Or will her time as the city’s guardian end in tragedy?
(W) Dan Jurgens (A) Scott Eaton, Wayne Faucher (CA) Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund In Shops: Dec 11, 2019 SRP: $4.99
Available to comics shops for the first time! Paranoia rules the streets as the rioting continues-with Hawk and Dove at the heads of two mobs! But while the Titans try to stop the violence, Mento-the power behind the chaos-makes his escape! Originally published in Titans Giant #2 and #3.
(W) Dan Jurgens (A) Scott Eaton, Wayne Faucher (CA) Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund In Shops: Nov 20, 2019 SRP: $4.99
Available to comics shops for the first time! It’s Beast Boy’s birthday, but the party won’t last long as the Titans make the save at catastrophic fire–and the arsonists are: Hawk and Dove?! Things aren’t as they seem, as former Doom Patrol member Mento is pulling the duo’s strings in a violent uprising. It’s up to the Titans to uncover his sinister purpose before someone gets killed! Originally published in Teen Titans Giant #7 and Titans Giant #1.
(W) Dan Jurgens (A) Scott Eaton, Wayne Faucher (CA) Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund In Shops: Oct 16, 2019 SRP: $4.99
Available to comics shops for the first time! Collects Teen Titans Giant #5 and #6. Raven’s powers are out of control, and it’s up to Beast Boy to stop her from going too far–in the midst of an attack from the Fearsome Five! Let’s hope the team gets on the same page soon, since it’ll need to truly be “Titans Together” if they’re going to have a chance at stopping H.I.V.E. and their plans for world domination.
(W) G. Willow Wilson (A) Scott Eaton, Wayne Faucher (CA) Aaron Lopresti In Shops: Sep 25, 2019 SRP: $3.99
Must a world without love be one without our hero? Wonder Woman is forced to discover a new way to fight after the destruction of her golden lasso and unbreakable bracelets at the hands of Cheetah and her God Killer sword. How can she possibly stop the unstoppable?