blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Werewolf by Night (1972) #27

Wbn27There are numerous things to talk about this issue, but the teaser for next issue muscles them all out. Next issue is Lissa’s eighteenth birthday, an event the series has been promising for twenty issues and three years. I’m not taking the teaser as a promise, especially when writer Doug Moench is so comfortable retconning.

The biggest official retcon is Jack remembering Wolfman Jack’s adventures. It’s always been a problem for the book, which has Jack narrating his werewolf outings, only then clarifying later he doesn’t remember what goes on when he’s the werewolf. So how’s he narrating? Moench just does away with it, which is fine. I think in the early issues, they hinted at it being like a nightmare state. Whatever.

Moench might also move Buck Cowan’s house, or it could just be artist Don Perlin not doing much detail in his establishing shots. Perlin will be a thing to talk about, but first… Moench’s narration for Jack. He’s very intentionally writing it as a hard-boiled homage because nothing says hard-boiled like a blond-haired, blue-eyed surfer bro who’s Eastern European royalty and has a moneybags stepfather (slash uncle). I mean, maybe Jack does spend his non-werewolf times watching old Bogart and Brando movies and rocking out to the Stones—Jack ain’t no hippie, y’all—it’s not impossible since we never, ever see Jack do anything but werewolf out. But, also, no. Sure, Jan.

The story this issue involves the werewolf stumbling across an old nemesis of Topaz’s from India. Topaz forgot to tell anyone in getting back her “esper” powers (never called them esper powers before); she had to give her evil, womanly sinful side of her soul to the bad guy, Dr. Clitterhouse. Dr. Glitternight. Whatever.

The issue’s silly but okay, with Perlin leaning in on the long shots for action. He’s better at those. He’s also not bad at the slimy monsters. Wolfman Jack? Not great; slimy, tentacle monster, all good.

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