REVIEW: ‘Werewolf By Night,’ Issue 1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Werewolf By Night #1

Werewolf By Night #1 is written by Taboo and B. Earl, penciled by Scot Eaton, inked by Scott Hanna, colored by Miroslav Mrva, and lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino. It is published by Marvel Comics. Teenager Jake Gomez has inherited his family’s curse, which sees him transform into a wolf-like beast at nighttime. Jake is soon drawn into a conspiracy involving the science lab where he works, and several missing inhabitants from the reservation he lives on.

From the start, Taboo and B. Earl work to distinguish Jake from the original Werewolf by Night, Jack Russell. Jake is an Indigenous teenager who shies away from his werewolf abilities instead of reveling in them. He reminded me of Scott McCall from Teen Wolf and like Scott, I hope we get to see Jake grow into his heroic side.

The writers also populate Jake’s world with memorable characters, namely his friend/potential love interest Molly and his Granny Rora. Jake’s relationship with the women in his life is a driving force of the issue. Molly wants him to use his powers to help others, while Granny Rora urges him to not be consumed by his emotions when he goes full werewolf. Another Indigenous hero, Red Wolf, shows up in the wake of the Outlawed storyline which could pose an interesting conflict for Jake. Here is a hero who shares his experiences, but was sent to monitor and police young superhumans like himself.

Taboo and B. Earl also don’t shy away from the prejudice that Indigenous people face. In the opening issue, a bunch of drunken white men drive onto Jake’s reservation and start shooting at rabbits, while referring to Molly as a “redskin”. Later, Jake’s boss says that “Natives are made of sturdier stock.” It’s an example of the real-life microaggressions Indigenous people have to face-and with no werewolf powers to help them either.

Eaton, Hanna, and Mrva deliver a robust cast of characters. In his wolf form, Jake is MASSIVE: his fur is dark brown and a long hefty braid runs along his back. His eyes are blood red and narrowed in fury. In contrast, his human form is wiry and his shirts seem to hang off of him. Molly stands out due to her jet black hair (which has a purple streak), and Eaton also has the chance to design a new batch of monsters, as well as an adversary straight out of a horror movie.

Mrva utilizes a muted palette of colors that fits the supernatural vibe of the book. As befitting the titular character, many scenes take place at night and she colors the sky a purplish blue, which throws shadows everywhere and adds to the tension. It also makes a great contrast with Jake’s dark brown fur in wolf mode.

Werewolf By Night #1 is a timely update of one of Marvel’s classic horror characters, filtering the supernatural through an Indigenous perspective. Fans of classic horror films should definitely check it out as there’s plenty of promise with this character.

Werewolf By Night #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 

Werewolf By Night #1
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TL;DR

Werewolf By Night #1 is a timely update of one of Marvel’s classic horror characters, filtering the supernatural through an Indigenous perspective. Fans of classic horror films should definitely check it out as there’s plenty of promise with this character.