Who Is Werewolf by Night? The Official Marvel Guide
Everything you want to know about Jack Russell: A werewolf hero with a strange family curse.
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WHO IS JACK RUSSELL?
Reeling from her husband’s death and armed with the knowledge of his curse, Laura gathered Jack and youngest daughter Lissa and took them to the United States where she married Philip Russell and established the family in California. Jack lived a comfortable life thanks to his stepdad’s money, but everything changed in MARVEL SPOTLIGHT (1971) #2 on the cusp of Jack’s eighteenth birthday. Later, it was revealed that Philip is Jack and Lissa’s uncle because he is Gregory’s brother. And if you think that’s complicated, wait for what happens next...
HOW DID BECOMING A WEREWOLF IMPACT JACK’S LIFE?
At first, Russell transformed during the full moon and the days before and after. He traveled the world encountering many new faces, all while undergoing the transformations he was subjected to by the curse. Early on, Jack became aware of his family’s history and even ownership over the Darkhold, a relationship that has only deepened since.
Since the end of his ongoing solo series, Werewolf by Night has been called upon by a variety of heroes to deal with more monstrous threats. He fought alongside the Sentinel of Liberty during Jack’s time with the Night Shift in CAPTAIN AMERICA (1968) #330-331. Russell also showed up to take care of Rahne Sinclair—also known as the New Mutant Wolfsbane—leading up to the birth of her were-child in X-FACTOR (2005) #222-224. When Daredevil needed to learn more about the Darkhold, Doctor Strange passed along Russell’s name leading to a meet-up in DAREDEVIL (2011) #32-33. Werewolf by Night is well-known to the heroes, but only called upon when darkness threatens the light.
SO, LONE WOLF OR TEAM PLAYER?
Also, during the Punisher’s time as a patchwork monster known as “Franken-Castle,” Russell helped introduce the former Frank to the Monster Metropolis community in PUNISHER (2009) #11-16 and FRANKENCASTLE (2010) #17-21. A whole city under Manhattan for supernatural creatures, Monster Metropolis is now an established corner of the Marvel Universe, often protected by Werewolf by Night and his ilk.
MEET THE OTHER WEREWOLVES BY NIGHT
More recently, in WEREWOLF BY NIGHT (2020), readers met Jake Gomez, a 17-year-old from the Hopi Reservation. His lycanthropy was passed down biologically, but his transformation is triggered by intense emotions, not the changing cycle of the moon. He came out the other side of a conflict with Life Pharmaceuticals but gained several new enemies in the process. Today, Gomez continues to hone his skills as the new Werewolf by Night, all while learning how to better control—and adapt—his animal instincts.
Russell also returned to the spotlight in this year’s WEREWOLF BY NIGHT (2023) #1. As it happened, both he and former flame Elsa Bloodstone independently stormed Doktor Nekromantic’s castle to save a girl named Charlotte. Instead, they fought off extradimensional beings called the Kings of the Suffering Wastes who wanted to take over their bodies and rule Earth. You know, fairly standard stuff for a werewolf and a monster hunter!
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