By Jim Beard
|Legion of Monsters:|
Werewolf By Night
Jack Russell is a restless creature.
Cursed with lycanthropy--werewolfism, the Transylvania-born wolfman has been stalking through the Marvel Universe since 1972 battling heroes, villains and himself. Now Jack's being sought after by some of the greatest creative talents in comics. Not too bad for a monster.
Writer Mike Carey (X-MEN) and artist Greg Land (ULTIMATE POWER) are poised to thrust Jack Russell, Werewolf by Night, back into the spotlight…or moonlight if you will. LEGION OF MONSTERS: WEREWOLF BY NIGHT, the first of three brand-new monstrous one-shots, redefines everyone's favorite Marvel werewolf for the 21st century in a dark, foreboding tale of mystery, horror and more than a few bloodcurdling screams.
Your friends at Marvel.com braved the forest, avoided the moon and risked life and limb to track down Carey in his bone-strewn lair for a quick and wolfish Q&A:
Marvel.com: Mike, how did you get involved with the project?
Greg Land had a long-standing yen to draw Jack Russell, and more importantly, a window in which it was possible to slot a script. Editor John Barber invited me to pitch. I jumped in with both feet.
Marvel: Err, we see those feet are rapidly growing hair--why the Werewolf By Night? What makes you so keen on him?
There's something very cool about the whole werewolf mythos: the beast within, the struggle between civilization and savagery, or between the id and the superego, or whatever you want to call it. It pushes a lot of buttons for me. And I had a head full of [novelist] Stephen Hunter, so the setting for this story just fell into place as soon as I started to think about it.
I also love the character, in both his original incarnation and in the Jenkins/Manco version. And I love writing horror. Throw in the chance to work with Greg and it was an easy sell from every aspect.
Marvel: One of the very coolest things about this Legion of Monsters event is that it's the original version of these classic Marvel characters being used. Did it help at all that Barber wanted you to use Jack instead of creating a new vision of the Werewolf?
Yes, I think it did. Part of the appeal was to revisit Jack a little further along in his life and look at the changes he'd been through. Plus, establishing a new werewolf protagonist in a single short story would have taken up a lot of narrative space. This just felt right.
Marvel: We're sure that all the Legion of Monsters one-shots are going to be howling successes so we'd like to know if given the chance, where would you take Jack Russell from here?
I think I'd take him on the road, and I'd have him meet a lot of the scary, nightmarish characters from the darker corners of the Marvel Universe. The challenge would be to do stories that were genuinely scary and unsettling, rather than stories that just play with horror staples in an anodyne way.
I'd also build up a new supporting cast, probably borrowing from Son of Satan (as done by Ellis and Manco) here and there along the way. And I'd revisit Nina Price's story: that character has loads of potential as a foil for Jack.
Marvel: Okay…moon is just now rising…I'd say our interview is done! Thanks, Mike!
LEGION OF MONSTERS: WEREWOLF BY NIGHT bites and scratches its way into your favorite comic shop on February 21st, followed by LEGION OF MONSTERS: MAN-THING in March, and LEGION OF MONSTERS: MORBIUS in April. Bring 'em all home to your cave, monster fans!
Oh but wait! There's more! Check out five pages from Skottie Young's Frankenstein backup story from LEGION OF MONSTERS: WEREWOLF BY NIGHT!