The unit's usual field commander is Warwolf, a werewolf whose transformations are triggered by the position of the planet Mars rather than that of Earth's Moon thanks to an ancient Roman curse. Gorilla-Man, a human adventurer whose mind was trapped in a gorilla's body after killing the previous Gorilla-Man in the jungles of Kenya in 1954, contributes his superhuman strength and agility to the unit's missions. Clone of Frankenstein, an intellectual genetic twin of the original Frankenstein Monster, has had his left arm replaced with a hi-tech howitzer cannon to provide cover for his teammates and detonate large obstacles. Zombie, a stuttering corpse whose true identity is a mystery to even the highest-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, finds his intelligence deteriorating as his brain cells gradually decompose. The Living Mummy, a cursed chieftain who ruled the Swarili tribe of northern Africa over 3,000 years ago, still believes he is royalty and, as such, has very little patience with his fellow commandos. Vampire by Night, a powerful werewolf/vampire hybrid whose social skills leave much to be desired, uses her ability to transform into an arctic timber wolf to infiltrate enemy strongholds. Glob, an escaped convict whose body merged with the swamp in which he died upon exposure to radioactive waste, aids the unit with his phenomenal superhuman strength but annoys them with his newfound spirituality. Finally, Grogg, a massive dragon who lived underneath Russia (Bodavia?) for centuries, was outfitted with cutting-edge S.H.I.E.L.D. technology and serves as the unit's transportation.
The Howling Commandos operate out of Area 13, a top-secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base located in the heart of the densely forested Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. Originally under the command of "Dum Dum" Dugan, Area 13 (and the Howling Commandos) recently fell under the control of brash Special Field Officer Clay Quartermain when he was ordered by Colonel Nick Fury to relieve Dugan as Commanding Officer of the facility. Quartermain is assisted by Area 13's Technical Supervisor, agent Bradley Beemer. Also working out of Area 13 and assisting the Howling Commandos is "Buzz" McMahon, who pilots the monstrous Grogg via a combination of aircraft console technology and electrodes that directly connect McMahon with the dragon.
The Howling Commandos are currently involved in a mission to end the threat posed by the Lords of the Living Lightning (Triple L), a doomsday cult which sells hi-tech weapons to terrorists, rebels, and fringe groups in hopes of triggering an apocalyptic war. The cult's doctrine calls for near genocide of the human race so that the Lords of the Living Lightning can rule the remnants and create a new world order.