The King of Werewolves is about to cross paths with the Monster Hunter on the trail of Doktor Nekromantik. The really dangerous part, though, is that they used to date. Your Major Spoilers review of Werewolf By Night #1 from Marvel Comics awaits!
WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #1
Writer: Derek Landy
Artist: Fran Galan
Colorist: Fran Galan
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Editor: Alanna Smith
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: September 13, 2023
Previously in Werewolf By Night: In the shadows of black-and-white night, Jack Russell races to halt the sacrifice of a young girl at the hands of monsters. Elsa Bloodstone, in all her colorful monster-hunting glory, isn’t far behind. But can they put their differences aside long enough to save the day? And what would such a partnership even look like?
A CASTLE IN THE MOUNTAINS
Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, Jack Russell, the Werewolf by Night, is on the hunt. A young woman has been kidnapped by a sorcerer called Doktor Nekromantik and taken to the castle that he had imported from the old country. At the same time that he’s climbing up the parapets, Elsa Bloodstone is in the skies, having tricked a coterie of vampires into thinking she’s their prey long enough to get into their private jet. Leaping out of the plane, Elsa lands and comes face-to-face with… the Werewolf. It’s only awkward for a moment, though, as they’re immediately back on task to defeat Nekromantik’s shadow-army and save the young lady.
Sadly, they’re too late.
REMINDS ME OF THE OLD MARVEL BLACK AND WHITES
With her Doktor having already summoned a nether worldly creature to inhabit her body, the Wolf/Stone team is trapped, bound by their own desire to help. It’s a really neat moment, made even cooler by the fact that the Werewolf’s story is shown in gray tones, while Elsa’s is an earth tone and orange palette. When they’re fighting together, each looks uniquely cool, thanks to Galan’s art, but the coloring gives it all a new dimension. The back-and-forth of their internal monologues is also well-handled, making it feel like Jack and Elsa still have each other’s number, without one hero ever taking the upper hand. Their sudden, unspoken plan to free themselves from Nekromantik is inspired as well, and once again only feels possible because of their relationship (which I don’t remember existing before this issue.)
BOTTOM LINE: MARVEL COMICS ISN’T TIMELY
It’s been nearly a year since the Werewolf By Night short dropped on Disney+, which admittedly feels a bit ridiculous, but Werewolf By Night #1 is a solidly entertaining adventure with an inspired gimmick in the coloring that elevates already-interesting art, shaking down to 4 out of 5 stars overall. There’s a grand tradition of weirdo black-and-white adventures on the fringes of the Marvel Universe, and even if it seems like a huge missed opportunity not to have put this out last year, there is always the 2023 rebroadcast.
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WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #1
This adventure reminds me of the days of Marvel Premiere and Bizarre Adventures in tone and in execution, and if you know me, you know... That's high praise.