Thursday, December 27, 2018

"The End" Week: Werewolf by Night #6!

As far as Marvel's horror characters go, Werewolf by Night had a pretty good first run, and has never been that big since. I think Morbius has had more relaunch success, and he didn't have much. From 1998, Werewolf by Night #6, "Love is Colder than Death, part 1" Written by Paul Jenkins, art by Leonardo Manco. It's not a good sign to see "part 1" when you're looking at the last issue...

Marvel had gone into bankruptcy the end of 1996, and I'm pretty sure the bloom was off the rose of the speculator market at this point; since I seem to recall this as a period when they would launch titles in little mini-imprint blocks, like M-Tech or this one, Strange Tales. Most of those didn't last twelve issues, Werewolf by Night only got six, then he and Man-Thing would get a whopping two issues of a new Strange Tales. The title for Man-Thing's story in that last issue is part one as well, although this Werewolf story might get wrapped up there. I'd never even seen that one before, though, so I suspect sales were not great.

We've seen work by artist Leonardo Manco multiple times over the years: among other things, he did Druid and Hellstorm and seems a perfect fit here. Still, the utter nineties of this one struck me: sort of a monster-goth gloom that both seems of the period yet completely unreal, like a rave on a CSI-type show. And that's even without the actual monsters. And even though this was written by Paul Jenkins instead of Manco's previous collaborator Warren Ellis, there are a couple bits that seem similar: the psychic girl investigating a murder sees dead people. I assumed she was recurring WbN supporting character Topaz, but her name wasn't given. And Jack has to chat with current ruler of (a) hell, Ghost Rider, tying into the then-continuity on that series that we just saw.

Although it feels unlikely that Disney-owned Marvel is ever going to give him a big push again, there's still enough love for Jack that he'll still get a one-shot every so often to keep the copyrights fresh; or he'll guest-star, usually with some monster friends. And I know he made a somewhat surprising appearance in Deadpool #17. (Or a Deadpool #17. Frickin' Marvel numbering. Ugh, I think Deadpool's had like eight last issues since last I looked...)

1 comment:

Mr. Morbid's House Of Fun said...

Love Manco's art, especially since he's so custom fit for horror titles like these.