Werewolf By Night #1 (of 4)
Writers – Taboo and B. Earl
Artist – Scot Eaton
Taboo and B. Earl introduce a new Werewolf by Night to the Marvel Universe. This incarnation is a young teenager named Jake, a Native American living on the Hopi Tribal Lands in Arizona. He’s been working with his girlfriend, Molly, to chase away big game hunters off the reservation. He does this not only to protect the land he loves, but it’s also a way to release the anger and hate he holds in his heart and soul.
Molly wants Jake to use his powers to go after Life Pharmaceuticals, but Jake is unable to do so because he is employed there. Jake and his co-worker Frank are custodians at the company and are requested by Mr. Wagner, an executive with the corporation, to help clean up a mess in one of the labs. Jake overhears the CEO talking about test subjects being brought in later that night and to have the lab prepared for their arrival. Molly was right about the misgivings she had about the facility and what happens behind closed doors.
Molly and Jake sneak onto the property of Life Pharmaceuticals that evening and Molly uses night vision binoculars to spot a pair of vehicles on the road to the facility. Jake, already transformed into the Werewolf by Night, takes out one vehicle by charging at it and flipping it on its side. Jake approaches the other vehicle and opens up the back and is shocked to find its full of missing people from the reservation. Before Jake can act, he’s stopped by a trio of creatures, one of which is a cybernetically enhanced werewolf that asks, “Who the f*&k are you?!”
When I heard Werewolf by Night was coming back, I assumed it was Jack Russell in a brand-new adventure just in time for Halloween. As I started reading this comic, I was a little disappointed that wasn’t the case but by the end of the issue, I was hooked on Jake’s heroics, the story, and where it’s going next issue. I was just as shocked as Jake was when it was revealed what the contents of the vehicle held inside. Sitting in a warm home with a hot meal and shower, we tend to forget how the other half lives and we need start doing a better job of helping our fellow men and women in dire situations. We see reports on the nightly news of human trafficking, but we don’t do anything to help those people that are exploited and mistreated. We failed those that were on this land long before we were and we do nothing to help them today, when they need assistance. This comic book isn’t afraid to be socially conscious, to show us the problems we choose to ignore or pretend aren’t happening, or to show us who the real monsters in society are in our own backyard.
You might have missed this issue when it was released but you should do yourself a favor and pick this one up. I really enjoyed Scot Eaton’s art and the full-page depictions of the snarling, brutish, and nasty Werewolf by Night in all his monstrous glory. One part of the story that I enjoyed the most was a legend Jake’s grandma tells him and Molly about the woman and the red wolf and the gray wolf. It is a cautionary tale and a reminder of how we should live our lives on a daily basis.
I give this first issue 4 full moons out of 5.
Werewolf by Night #2 will be released on Wednesday November 25, 2020. The synopsis for the next issue – “NIGHT OF THE CREEPS! Jake’s attempt to get to the bottom of his company’s questionable practices leads to an all-out monster brawl! As Werewolf by Night gets in over his head, Red Wolf and the law are getting closer! With Jake’s entire life in chaos, the only way out may be to fully embrace the secret history of the Werewolf by Night!”