Monday 8 March 2010

Man-Wolf. Creatures on the Loose #34.

Man-Wolf, Creatures on the Loose #34
As we all know, Marvel had not one but two werewolf "heroes" in the 1970s. Why? I'm not too sure but clearly they must've felt you can never have too much fur in this world.

Of the pair, I must confess I always preferred Man-Wolf.

Admittedly, the more commercially successful Werewolf by Night had the draw of Mike Ploog's artwork but, somehow, although I had a number of issues of that title (so it must have appealed to me), the tales have never stuck in my mind and, until that day when I repurchase them, I'm not going to actually remember what was in them.

Maybe it was because the Werewolf didn't look like a werewolf, he always looked like he had a coconut for a head. Sadly, I suspect the adventures of Coconut by Night wouldn't have been greeted with the same enthusiasm.

But Man-Wolf?

Now that was a different matter.

Originally drawn by the mighty Gil Kane for Amazing Spider-Man #124, like Gil Kane's Man-Beast in Warlock it actually looked like a wolf. It also wore the remnants of a bright yellow outfit, making it a super-hero werewolf. Not only that but, unlike the thoroughly supernatural - and therefore trad - Werewolf by Night, it was a science fiction werewolf, being astronaut John Jameson.

Creatures on the Loose #34, Man-Wolf
In truth, apart from those Spider-Man appearances, the only Man-Wolf tale I ever had was this one, Creatures on the Loose #34 but what an issue it was. Drawn beautifully by George Perez and scripted by the ever-reliable Dave Kraft, I always thought it was a cracker as the titular terror encounters a secret criminal organisation led by the bloke who runs the local petrol station.

Exactly what the secret criminal organisation actually does, I'm not that sure but they're clearly up to no good and my favourite part's always been when the one legged bad guy's about to shove our hero off a cliff while declaring he's not going to stand there outlining his plans for half an hour and give Jameson time to escape like they do in James Bond movies.

It did, at the time, seem a most refreshing attitude for a bad guy and one that most of Marvel's villains could learn a lesson and a half from.

Creatures on the Loose #34, Man-Wolf

1 comment:

Boston Bill said...

Heh, I was just looking for information on this comic myself. You see, this was my one and only Man-Wolf comic as well, so I never found out what happened to him after he turned back into Man-Wolf while riding a motorcycle.

Apparently, he turned into some sort of star-god character and got his story wrapped up in the Defenders. A LOT of stories got wrapped up in the Defenders!