Werewolf By Night: Monster Or Superhero | YTS YIFY

ytsfreeSeptember 22, 2022

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Marvel Studios officially confirmed at D23 that the previously announced Halloween special set for Disney+ was Werewolf by Night. The title had been rumored since the project was announced in 2021, but the character was officially announced as joining the MCU with the special set to air on October 7, 2022.


In the vast catalog of Marvel characters, Werewolf by Night certainly was not a character many would have likely pegged for live-action treatment anytime soon, and seems almost impossible to imagine happening at the start of the MCU. The decision to do Werewolf by Night even took Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige by surprise when the idea was first pitched. Yet now it’s not only going to be part of the MCU Phase 4, but looks to be something truly different from the entire franchise.

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Yet who is Werewolf by Night, and why is Marvel Studios now introducing this character into their cinematic universe? How can a traditional monster fit within the world of Marvel superheroes? Can a monster be a superhero? Werewolf by Night can walk in both worlds, but he also might be a more important part of the MCU future than anyone expects. This is a breakdown of Werewolf by Night and how a monster can be a superhero.


Comic Books Werewolf by Night is Based On

In the 1970s, as the Comics Code Authority started loosening its restrictions on supernatural and paranormal monsters, which had been banned from comics for two decades, Marvel leaped at the chance to publish a werewolf-themed comic. Conceived by Roy Thomas, a title suggested by Stan Lee, and fleshed out and created by Jeanie Thomas, Gerry Conway, and Mike Ploog, Werewolf by Night first premiered in Marvel Spotlight #2 in 1972 and would later go on to get his own title which ran from 1972 to 1977 for 43 issues. The series is notable for being the introduction to the character of Moon Knight, who quickly overtook Werewolf by Night in popularity.

Werewolf by Night follows a man named Jack Russell. Russell’s family has a curse on them; for the three nights of the month when the full moon is out, he is forced to transform into a werewolf in typical lycanthrope fashion. He is typically traveling from town to town, similar to Bruce Banner (aka The Incredible Hulk), and combating threats in the various towns he visits.

In 2020, Marvel published a new Werewolf by Night comic with a new protagonist, Jack Gomez, a boy of Hopi descent who underwent his first werewolf transformation at the age of 13 due to a curse in his family. This version was created by Black-Eyed Peas member Taboo alongside Benjamin Jackendoff and Scot Eaton.

Werewolf by Night Supporting Characters

Werewolf by Night has crossed paths with many characters, particularly those in the supernatural side of the franchise. As mentioned previously, the Marvel hero Moon Knight first appeared in a Werewolf by Night comic and the two characters have had crossovers on a number of occasions. Werewolf by Night has also worked alongside supernatural-themed heroes like Blade, Man-Thing, and Ghost Rider. The character has also been on a couple of supernatural-themed based teams, including the Legion of Monsters and the Midnight Sons.

Related: How Marvel’s 70s Comics Are Shaping the MCU

The Marvel Universe is so vast, he has also crossed paths with many traditional superheroes like Spider-Man, Iron Man, and the Incredible Hulk. Werewolf by Night was even killed by Deadpool when the ‘merc with a mouth’ found him in bed with his wife Shiklah, but she informed Deadpool that Werewolf by Night would just come back to life.

Werewolf By Night’s Previous Adaptations

While not a major name like The Hulk or Spider-Man, Werewolf by Night has still been adapted multiple times over the years and until recently, was more adapted than Shang-Chi and Eternals. Werewolf by Night has appeared in a number of various Marvel animated projects typically alongside other supernatural-themed characters like Blade and Man-Thing. He appeared in The Superhero Squad Show, where he was voiced by legendary voice actor Robert Paulson. He then later appeared on the Disney XD Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon voiced by Ross Lynch where he was part of Nick Fury’s paranormal monster team The Howling Commandos. A similar version appeared on Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. voiced by Nolan North.

An attempt at a Werewolf by Night movie had been floated in 2005 with Chocolat screenwriter Robert Nelson Jacobs set to pen the script, but the project never materialized. The character didn’t gain traction again until the announcement of the Disney+ Halloween special.

Disney+ by Night

The upcoming Halloween special will be directed by Academy Award-winning composer Michael Giacchino. The special will focus on a secret group of monster hunters gather at Bloodstone Castle (with Laura Donnelly playing comic book character Elsa Bloodstone) following the death of their leader and engage in a mysterious and deadly competition for a powerful relic, with one of them being a werewolf. This special appears to be a fun riff on the popular party game Werewolf and a homage to the Universal monster movies of the 30s and 40s.

Gael Garcia Bernal is set to play Jack Russell’s incarnation of Werewolf by Night. The trailer also showcased the MCU debut of Man-Thing, who has been alluded to on both Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Thor: Ragnarok.

Werewolf’s Future in the MCU

Many of the major connections to Werewolf by Night in the comics have set to become major parts of the MCU, particularly in Phase 4. The Russell family werewolf curse originates from the Darkhold, the evil book seen in both WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. In the comics, it was one of Jack Russell’s ancestors who transcribed the Darkhold into a book, and the MCU established the Darkhold book was a copy of the text written on Mount Wundagore.

Related: Werewolf by Night’s Potential Future in the MCU

MCU Phase 4 is also filling up with supernatural-themed characters. Moon Knight made his MCU debut in 2022 played by Oscar Isaac. Blade is set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, played by two-time Academy Award-winning actor Mahershala Ali, when his film hits theaters on November 3, 2023. With Werewolf by Night, Man-Thing, and Elsa Bloodstone all joining the MCU and the interesting timing of the video game Midnight Suns, it could be an indicator that Marvel Studios is building up a team-up of their various supernatural-themed heroes into a future project. Both Werewolf by Night and Man-Thing were even highlighted in the poster for the upcoming Avengers ride at Disney California Adventure. It appears this Halloween special is just the beginning of Werewolf by Night’s time in the MCU, and likely another case of Marvel Studios taking a lesser-known property and turning it into a household name.

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