Longbox Junk Halloween 2023 Part 9 Werewolf By Night #27

  • atom | Male | Utah

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I write comic book reviews that NOBODY has ever asked for!

July 2024




Welcome to Longbox Junk, where you can find comic reviews nobody asked for!

We're up to Part NINE of our 2023 Longbox Junk Halloween Horror Marathon!
Not bad. . .not bad at all.  I didn't really plan it this way, but it seems this year's party has had quite a few werewolves in it.  So why not go ahead and invite another one?  Let's just hope he doesn't shed on the couch.
It's a Halloween Party! If the house is a rockin' don't bother knockin', just come on in!


Marvel (1975)

COVER: Gil Kane
All in all, pretty amazing!  Such a great Halloween cover!  I don't know WHAT that creature Marvel's hirsute anti-hero is fighting, but it's creepy, crazy, and altogether awesome!  It's a real eye-catcher that makes me want to get inside and find out what the heck is going on. So let's do just that!
SCRIPT: Doug Moench
PENCILS: Don Perlin
INKS: Don Perlin
We begin our tale at a beachside house in Malibu, where Jack Russell (AKA Werewolf by Night) and his friends Buck and Topaz are recovering from recent adventures in Transylvania.  
But it's the full moon! Topaz is unable to control Jack with her weakened mental powers and he transforms into the werewolf and disappears into the night. . .
Wandering along the beach, the werewolf spots a cave lit by a mysterious glowing light. He investigates and finds a tunnel leading deep into the earth, lit by a pulsating light.  Following the light, the werewolf is astounded to find a hidden temple, with a strange man wearing flowing robes casting some sort of incantation on a tiny, glowing version of his friend Topaz!
As the werewolf watches in silence, the mysterious figure finishes the spell.  The glowing form of Topaz grows until it explodes!  After the blinding flare ceases, all that is left in her place is a grotesque, tentacled creature.  
The strange magician spots the werewolf watching!  Now calling himself "Glitternight", he commands the twisted creature upon the altar rise and kill the trespasser!  As the tentacled beast rushes to attack the werewolf, Glitternight floats into the air, directing the battle from above!
The werewolf seems beaten by the arcane creature, which is strengthened by the light emanating from beneath Glitternight's cloak.  But he manages to fling himself out of the cave, holding the slimy creature and using it to break the fall!  As Glitternight tends to his gravely-wounded beast, the werewolf makes his escape. . .
When the sun rises, the werewolf transforms back into Jack Russell and he makes his way back to Buck's beach house, where his worried friends have been searching for him all night.
Jack tells the tale of his strange encounter to his friends, and is surprised to learn that Topaz knows exactly who Glitternight is, and she seems not to be surprised at all that Glitternight  has managed to fashion a creature from part of her soul that he has stolen!
With Topaz's revelation, explanations are in order.  And so she spins a tale. . .
Glitternight is a sorcerer, a friend of her deceased father. . .also a sorcerer, named Taboo.  Since she knew him as a child, Topaz thought that, by going to Glitternight, he could help her regain her weakened powers, and in doing so, Topaz could keep helping Jack control the werewolf.
Unfortunately, she found herself under Glitternight's evil power, which he used to draw forth a part of her very soul. . .which he captured within a crystal egg as Topaz watched helplessly.  And NOW (based on Jack's story), for some reason, Glitternight was there in California, looking for Topaz for some unknown reason!
Unknown to the three friends, as they discuss their new situation, Glitternight has emerged from the cavern and found them!  Taking the three of them by surprise, Glitternight uses a strange dark light to put them all to sleep.  When they awaken they find themselves captive in Glitternight's hidden lair!
Glitternight gleefully tells his captives that he plans on using Topaz's soul to create a creature of supreme evil and power from the hidden wickedness inside of Topaz.  A creature that will destroy her and anyone else that tries to stand in the way of his nefarious plans. . .BWAA-HA-HA-HAAAA!
BUT. . .
Outside, night falls.  And as the sorcerer goes on about his vague, yet obviously evil plans, the full moon rises!  Jack transforms into the werewolf, breaks his bonds, and leaps to attack Glitternight!
But this time, Glitternight is ready for the werewolf, using his magic to dodge its attacks, but accidentally throwing the werewolf into the egg holding the dark part of Topaz's soul, shattering it!
Rising from the shards of the broken prison, the dark soul shapes itself into a monstrous, disgusting creature, rising high into the cavern and setting its sight on a rematch with the werewolf!

And so, an epic battle between werewolf and monstrosity is joined!  As the two creatures fight and flail about the cavern, Buck and Topaz are freed.  Topaz realizes that Glitternight's powers are somehow preventing her from using her own weakened powers to aid Jack.
She understands that there is no choice.  If they are to survive, she has to use what little power she has to send Jack deeper INTO the werewolf, turning it into a savage, uncontrolled beast. . .undoing everything she's tried to do for Jack!
And, as Topaz releases Jack's mind from her own, the werewolf fully emerges, savagely attacking and defeating the twisted creature by gouging out its eyes and impaling it on a broken stalagmite!  
Glitternight shouts about having his revenge and drops a hint that Topaz's father may actually be alive before disappearing from the cavern.  The werewolf runs away down the beach without so much as a see ya later, leaving Buck and Topaz alone.
Topaz tells Buck that she's getting tired of helping a guy who just runs off all the time.  She's a little more concerned about an evil sorcerer that seems to be chasing her, has managed to steal part of her soul, and has hinted that her father might be alive, than babysitting an ungrateful werewolf.
The End. . .To Be Continued.
This issue is basically setup for a storyline that continues through the next three issues of Werewolf by night, which concentrate a bit more on Topaz and Jack's younger sister, Lissa, than on the werewolf himself.
That said, it's a pretty good read on its own!  Basically two knock down, drag out fights between the werewolf and a twisted creature formed from the dark part of Topaz's soul. . . with a little exposition and setup in between.  This issue is part of an ongoing continuity, but there's enough meat on the bone for any reader to pick it up and understand what's going on. 
 I'm a fan of the old Marvel style where they assume that ANY comic might just be someone's FIRST comic.  It makes even an issue like this one that is part of a past continuity and setup for a continuing storyline to be read on its own just fine, and leave the reader wanting to learn more.  It's something I feel that Marvel may have lost sight of over the years.
Don Perlin might not have been the BEST artist in the Marvel Bullpen, but he gives anything he works on a solid, reliable look.  Nothing too fancy, just good, solid comic art that tells the story.  There are a few standout moments here and there in this issue, but not many.  Perlin tells the story and sticks right to the middle of the road.  There's nothing wrong with that.  He made a decent career of it, after all!


Overall, what we have here is a quick, fun read.  It follows the old Marvel path of  assuming this is the readers first Marvel comic, and I like that a lot because I don't have any of the issues cited in editorial references, and only have one more in this storyline (#30), but was able to get what was going on just fine.  I guess sometimes you miss something without even knowing you miss it.  I miss that old Marvel reader-friendly style sometimes.
On it's own, this comic is a fine "Monster Battle" story that I can fully recommend to any fan of Marvel's Bronze Age comics that wants to step a little bit outside of the superhero box.  It's a little forgettable, but it's FUN. Sometimes you just want a little fun in your comics.  A werewolf fighting a giant tentacle monster? That ain't fine literature, that's fun!  
This issue will probably be a little hard to find on the cheap, but it's been collected several times and I DID find it in the wild at an antique store for the princely sum of five bucks, so it IS out there if you want to try and hunt it down.
UP NEXT. . .
Let's keep the monster fun going!  Because, why not?
It's Marvel's "Where Monsters Dwell" #14.
Featuring three Mighty Marvel Monster-Tastic Tales!
Be there or be square.
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