Monday, May 01, 2017

Silver bullets: not just for werewolves anymore!

Traditionally, at least in movies and comics, a silver bullet is the best way to kill a werewolf. They don't care for a jawbone to the side of the head either, though. From 1974, Werewolf by Night #23, "The Murderer is a Maniac!" Written by Doug Moench, art by Don Perlin, inks by Vince Colletta.

Jack Russell has ended up in a jail, after a fairly typical night as the Werewolf, except he was facing murder charges: he had been found with a body, but not one killed by himself or his hairy alter-ego. After Jack's pal Buck bails him out, the two put the story together. Some time back, Buck had written a screenplay for a "sword and sandle (sp) spectacle" and strongman Steve Rand had been cast in the lead. An egomaniac, Rand wanted to do his own stunts, which lead to him landing face first in a flaming pit. (This is absolutely not his fault, but Buck was kicking himself just for writing the scene.) Deformed and insane and calling himself Atlas, Rand had returned with a bag over his head, a jawbone-shaped club, and murder in his heart. While Jack and Buck are filling in backstory, Atlas murders the female lead of the movie in a rather brutal scene; but it's not Werewolf by Day, so not much they could've done about that.

As the moon is about to rise, Jack gives Buck a gun with a silver bullet, in case he attacked his friend again. So he conveniently has the gun in hand when Atlas smashes in his door, raving about slaying the king. Although Atlas had killed seven already, Buck is unwilling to shoot someone obviously insane, so Atlas gets the best of him. Only the sudden and completely expected appearance of the Werewolf saves him, but having been on the business end of that jawbone before, he's playing defense. Atlas chases the Werewolf to what was then Mann's Chinese Theatre, with Buck following. In the ensuing skirmish, the Werewolf is nearly bludgeoned to death, and Buck is forced to shoot Atlas in the back, with the silver bullet. Atlas makes a dying soliloquy, before pitching face-first into a square of wet cement, all the actor had ever wanted.

Be sure to leave flowers on his face if you visit!

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Funny, but weird. Shit I bet Steve Gerber could've really made this even more fucked up, Buck more sympathetic, and you would've gotten some nice social commentary.