By Christina Diem Pham
Blade and the Howling Commandos make their debut in an all-new “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man” during the two-part Halloween special and Disney Channel debut this Saturday at 9:00 a.m. ET!
In these episodes, our Spidey and his team fights side-by-side with the Daywalker while he slices Dracula’s blood-thirsty vamps. They also meet Werewolf by Night, the Living Mummy, Man-Thing, and Frankenstein’s Monster, known collectively as the Howling Commandos!
Now read on to find out a bit more about this (not so) lively bunch as we dust off the tomes of their comics history, and don’t forget to swing into action on the Disney Channel this weekend for a very spooky “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man.” In the meantime, you can check out a preview of the two-parter on iTunes now--thwip thwip!
|Blade in "Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man"|
First appearance: THE TOMB OF DRACULA #10 (1973)
Powers and abilities: Immunity to normal vampire bites, accelerated healing factor, and superhuman strength, senses and stamina.
Eric Brooks, or Blade, lost his mother at birth thanks to the wretched vampire, Deacon Frost. Frost took advantage of the mother’s labor problems, slaying her mercilessly, but little did he know that action altered the enzymes of her baby, making the young child immune to most vampire bites.
As an orphan, Blade knew how his mother was killed, but didn’t necessarily understand her death until he witnessed a vampire attack himself. From that point on, Blade was trained in combat while slaying the undead, although that did not come without drawbacks.
He fell victim to the criminal lifestyle for some time, but regained some sense eventually. His eyes were set on avenging his mother’s death, which meant searching for Frost in many parts of the world, in addition to bringing down the countless villains--vampiric or otherwise--he met along the way.
|Man-Thing in "Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man"|
First appearance: SAVAGE TALES #1 (1971)
Powers and abilities: Very sensitive to emotions and dependent on swamp environments; extremely strong and durable while objects can pass through or lodge in his body harmlessly; body able to rebuild itself.
Ted Sallis, otherwise known as Man-Thing, always had the book-smart thing going for him. For most of his life, Sallis preferred books and science over people, until he met the love of his life, who later betrayed him during an A.I.M. raid.
During that time, this man developed a formula A.I.M. wanted to get their hands on, but to their dismay, he destroyed everything he could. Sallis even injected himself with the one and only formula sample he had--and unfortunately for Sallis, it turned him into the Man-Thing!
|Werewolf by Night in "Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man"|
WEREWOLF BY NIGHT
First appearance: MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #2 (1972)
Powers and abilities: Superhuman strength, stamina, senses, and agility; healing factor; turns into werewolf under the moonlight.
Jack Russell became a werewolf when he was struck with the curse at age 18. His name, Werewolf by Night, came about when he turned into a werewolf during the full moon.
After Russell’s curse was lifted, he gained the ability to voluntarily change shape, all while retaining his human side.
Werewolf by Night has worked alongside many big-name heroes, including Iron Man and Spider-Woman.
|The Living Mummy in "Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man"|
First appearance: SUPERNATURAL THRILLERS #5 (1973)
Powers and abilities: Mystical senses, superhuman strength and durability.
N’Kantu, the Living Mummy, was born the son of a chief who had to endure obstacles to prove himself worthy of being a warrior and, perhaps someday, a king…but he was not so fortunate.
His village was ransacked while N’Kantu was enslaved. Eventually the villagers revolted with him as their leader, until the young fighter had been sprayed and paralyzed with an unknown concoction. From there, he was mummified.
Thousands of years later, N’Kantu escaped from his tomb when the liquid wore off. From there, he set out through different areas of the world, even joining the Legion of Monsters!
|The Monster of Frankenstein in "Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man"|
First appearance: SILVER SURFER #7 (1969)
Powers and abilities: Superhuman strength and stamina; resistance to extremely cold temperatures.
Created by Baron Victor Frankenstein, the Monster, also referred to as Adam, was infuriated with his inability to fit in with regular humanity. His deformity drove the Monster insane, which led to the death of Frankenstein’s bride and a life of tragedy.
The two were separated and eventually reunited, although Frankenstein was shot and killed. Later on, Adam befriends a woman, and they venture off together.
At one point, S.H.I.E.L.D. developed a clone of Adam to fight in their supernatural containment unit, nicknamed the Howling Commandos.
Despite his name, the Monster has served heroically through the years, teaming-up with Spider-Man, Howard the Duck, She-Hulk, and Nighthawk.