Werewolf by Night Marvel Comic Book Series- When It Was Cool Remembers the Monster Series.

By: Karl Stern (@dragonkingkarl, @wiwcool, karl@whenitwascool.com)

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The Comics Code Authority relaxed it rules on monsters in 1971 as we discussed in our Tomb of Dracula article and it became possible to publish code-approved comic books with werewolves. The Werewolf by Night character first appeared in Marvel Spotlight issue 2 in February 1972.  The lead character's name was Jack Russell leading to the obvious dog jokes. 

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After the try out run in Marvel Spotlight issues 2-4, the Werewolf by Night got his own solo series in September 1972.  Gerry Conway described working on the series as "a lot of fun" because the horror genre was a refreshing change from the superhero stories that had been the staple of mainstream comics for years. Werewolf by Night was published for 43 issues and ran until March 1977. 

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While most of the run of Werewolf by Night was standard monster fare for the era, the series took a superhero turn with issue #32 in August 1975 which saw the first appearance of a cult favorite character who would have numerous solo series over the year even to the current day-  Moon Knight.  Moon Knight was originally created with his silver attire and silver crescent darts to be a werewolf hunter before finally turning against the shadowy organization which hired him and becoming a hero.


Werewolf by Night was dormant for most of the 1980s. The character's appearance was radically revamped in Moon Knight issue 29 in March 1983 (pictured below). 


Werewolf by Night was later revived in the pages of Marvel Comics Presents anthology series, where he appeared occasionally from 1991-1993. 

Werewolf by Night actually had a short lived second series in 1998 which ran for six issues. That series was written by Paul Jenkins and penciled by Leonardo Manco. After the book's cancellation, the story was continued in the pages of Strange Tales, which also featured the Man-Thing. That volume of Strange Tales was canceled after only two issues due to low sales.

In 2007, Marvel published a one-shot entitled Legion of Monsters: Werewolf by Night, with art by Greg Land.

In January 2009, Jack Russell was featured in the four-issue limited series Dead of Night Featuring Werewolf by Night, from Marvel's MAX imprint. The series was written by Duane Swierczynski, with art by Mico Suayan.

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