Today, we were introduced to the monster side of the Marvel Universe, with the special presentation of Werewolf By Night, but who is Jack? Why is he a werewolf? And why is he friends with monsters?
I’ve got all your answers and more right here!
Who Is Werewolf By Night?
Jacob Russoff was born in Transylvania, to Baron Gregor Russoff. When his father was killed by an angry mob, Jacob and his family moved to Los Angeles. His mother married Phillip Russell, and Jacob changed his name to Jack Russell. The name became ironic when Jack turned 18 and the family curse of lycanthropy activated, turning him into a werewolf on every full moon.
Jack does his best to keep the people around him safe, usually by locking himself up during the full moon, but the wolf often escapes, or more evil forces try to capture and use him for more villainous purposes.
What Are Werewolf By Night’s Powers?
Lycanthropy, meaning that Jack can transform into a man/wolf hybrid. He can do this voluntarily by meditating and thinking of the full moon, and he remains in complete control of his body during this transformation. He also keeps his intellect and is able to speak, with some difficulty. But, during the actual full moon, the wolf takes over and Jack has no control over himself.
Both transformations give Jack enhanced strength, stamina, speed, reflexes, healing, and durability. His senses are also heightened, and he is a master combatant, despite not having any training.
Why Is Jack Russell A Werewolf?
His father was a scholar, and when Gregor found a copy of the Darkhold, he activated an old family curse – the curse of lycanthropy. The curse originated in the 1700s, when one his Jack’s ancestors, Grigory, tried to stake Vlad Dracula and was bitten by a werewolf under Dracula’s control.
How Is Jack Russell Friends With Man-Thing?
The two met in a team called the Legion Of Monsters – a team made up of various ‘monstrous’ characters who vowed to protect other monsters from being hunted down and killed. While the team has an ever-changing roster and isn’t mentioned that often in Marvel Comics, that is most likely where the two became friends.
As for what Man-Thing is, he’s a large, empathic, swamp-dwelling creature that lives in the Florida Glades. He was originally a scientist called Ted, who was transformed into Man-Thing by a mixture of serum and magic.
Where Can I Read More About Werewolf By Night?
Jack’s first appearance was in Marvel Spotlight issue 2 (1972) by Jean Thomas, Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway, he appeared in four issues total, before moving on to his own comic, Werewolf By Night (1972) by Marv Wolfman (yes, that is the writer’s actual name!). It ran for 43 issues, and also introduced the character of Moon Knight in issue 32. From there, Paul Jenkins wrote his 1998 run.
In terms of the Legion Of Monsters, their first appearance is in Marvel Premiere issue 28 (1972) by Bill Mantlo. The team then appears again in Legion Of Monsters (2011) by Kieron Gillen (and this one also features Elsa Bloodstone!), and then they go on to appear in various Deadpool comics, such as Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet (2014) and Mrs Deadpool and the Howling Commandos (2015) by Gerry Duggan.