blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Werewolf by Night (1972) #32

Sbn32When I was a kid, this issue of Werewolf by Night was the most expensive because it featured the first appearance of “The Moon Knight,” a comic book weirdo. Werewolf proper hasn’t done any superhero crossovers, so Moon Knight could just be a seventies cosplayer. He’s not—he’s Marc Spector, mercenary, hired by The Committee to procure them one Jack Russell, werewolf. By night.

Moon Knight’s got a sidekick named Frenchie, whose first appearance has him threatening Topaz and Lissa. They’re hanging out at Topaz’s because no one wants to be around Jack because he almost killed Buck last night. The issue opens in the middle of the Moon Knight fight, and it’s immediately so bad I forgot all about Buck being dead, which I felt sort of bad about until it turns out Buck’s just in a coma.

Werewolf doesn’t have nards.

Don Perlin got his son, Howard, helping him with this issue’s art chores–Howie’s inking. There are none of the comparably charming long-shot panels in this issue. It looks pretty bad, start to finish, with Moon Knight a sore spot, ditto the close-ups. Everyone’s eyes are always looking in the wrong direction in the close-ups. Most of the issue—at least for the regular cast—is a soap opera; only all the emoting is done to the ceiling.

The issue ends with a cliffhanger, which means more of the same next time. Due to the expense, I never read this issue as a kid in my Werewolf phase, and when I got around to the Essential collection later… I don’t think I hung around this long.

Seems like it’s going to be a slog. Though—at one point—Doug Moench’s hard-boiled narration works for Jack. It might work for less than a page and only as a transition device, but it’s the first time the narration’s ever had a blip in the positive, so….

I’ll bet it’s still going to be a slog.

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