blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Werewolf by Night (1972) #25

Werewolf by Night  25

I can’t imagine Werewolf will keep it going, but somehow they find themselves this issue. I mean, it’s Doug Moench’s surfer bro pulp and Don Perlin’s “what if I just page layout like it’s 1952” penciling and inking, but still. They’re in sync here, and it’s… fine?

Or at least closer to fine than I’d have thought. I was dreading Perlin taking over the inks, but it ought to be okay if he keeps aiming low.

Now, there are caveats, of course. Perlin’s figure drawing is hard to describe without sounding ableist. He seems to draw an oval for the body, an oval for the head, not thinking about necks, shoulders, or chests. There is one panel where he seems to be doing a Mike Ploog homage with Jack’s features. However, Perlin’s got no consistency with Jack’s features, so maybe it’s just roll of the dice.

The story finishes up last issue’s modern Jekyll and Hyde story (sort of). Wolfman Jack escapes the police—after wrestling with the obnoxious cop in the worst drawn net I’ve ever seen or imagined—and fights the Hyde monster on the streets of Pasadena or wherever. It’s the first time the werewolf seems to have killed someone in ages (for all the killer werewolf talk, Jack’s only killed like one guy), but then Jekyll recovers to turn out to be a future foil.

Jack’s stepfather (and uncle) Phillip and sister Lisa show up for a few panels. She’s still waiting to turn eighteen and werewolf out; the funny thing about Werewolf is the monthly structure means you could count how many months since Jack’s eighteenth birthday (within a two-month margin of error). In other words, this Lissa thing better pay off.

(It won’t).

The finale brings back a previous villain, which is perilous. Moench doesn’t have the space to go overboard with narration (Perlin’s got six landscape panels most pages, no deviations), and it helps immensely. We don’t get seven adjectives a sentence anymore.

But Werewolf’s in precarious “harmony.” Too much personality from a villain might break it.

I’m not exactly enthusiastic about Werewolf, but I’m not dreading it… which usually lasts two issues. We shall see.

2 responses to “Werewolf by Night (1972) #25”

  1. Vernon W

    Ok,let’s see here. Marvels monster line of the 70’s pretty much existed outside the superhero stuff. I think that despite the failings of Dracula and Werewolf, they continued on despite the repugnance of Drac’s cast, and Perkins folk art inspired comic pages. God, reading these as a kid the horrendously ungraceful figures of Perlin and those chicken scratchings of inker Vince Colletta were painful to look at. The exact opposite was going on Dracula with Colan and Palmer, two incredibly talented artists. I just read them religiously I think from an addicted fix to see where it would go in four weeks. The personal stories of classic monsters were a fans dream come true also. I don’t think I read Marvels monster line because it was great, I think I was just more invested in the characters than I was reading the long underwear books. I’m thinking also the best and nastiest monster black and white mag was Tales of the Zombie. The main character there was an easily pitied Simon Garth, who name I believe got dropped in the Werewolf short from Disney recently(?).

    While the superhero books DID have some masterpieces, and sales beyond their monster brethren, if you asked me now which ones I’d wanna reread, it’d be the monsters, in a heartbeat.

    1. I think Tales of the Zombie is on the list now

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