Werewolf By Night #2 is written by Taboo and B. Earl, penciled by Scot Eaton, inked by Scott Hanna, colored by Miroslav Mrva, and lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino. It is published by Marvel Comics. Picking up on the tail end of Werewolf by Night #1, Jake Gomez is surrounded by cybernetically enhanced monsters. After suffering defeat at their hands, he retreats to heal his wounds and makes a connection to his past. Meanwhile, Red Wolf continues his investigation of the Hopi Reservation where Jake resides.
This issue delves further into Jake’s life, including his torrid relationship with his father and his struggle to control his werewolf abilities. In true Marvel fashion, his abilities come with setbacks. Just because he has werewolf strength and speed doesn’t automatically mean he has the edge in a fight. And much like Wolverine, Jake struggles with a bestial rage that threatens to consume him. Music helps, and in perhaps my favorite moment of the issue, Jake reveals that he listens to “Chop Suey” by System of a Down. If you ask me, there’s no better music to fight monsters by.
Taboo and Earl also peel back the layers of Jake’s childhood in a surreal flashback sequence, which also reveals the struggles he went through as a both Mexican and Indigenous kid. Other kids refer to him as one of the “Nine Little Indians” and finding his “tribe,” among other racist diatribes. This history sets Jake apart from many classic high school-aged heroes with more idyllic experiences, like Johnny Storm, or even Peter Parker.
Eaton gets to go full creature feature with his art. The monsters Jake fights look like they stepped out of the ’90s. They’re huge, furry, and have robotic hands and eyes. The only thing that’s missing is their action figure packaging. Eaton also draws Jake’s transformation for the first time, which has all the classic hallmarks of a werewolf film. His jaw distends and elongates. Fur begins to sprout over his body. He doubles in size. In the space of a few panels, this transformation is perfectly depicted and lends an air of horror to the book.
Eaton also draws a stunning dream sequence featuring Jake among other werewolves. He showcases the legacy of the curse that runs through Jake’s blood, juxtaposed with Jake’s inner monologue about how he wants to utilize his powers for good. Eagle-eyed fans will also notice a shoutout to Jack Russell, the original Werewolf by Night.
Rounding out the artistic team is Hanna on inks and Mrva on colors. The darker colors Mrva uses, in addition to Hanna’s inks, puts the “Night” in “Werewolf by Night”. Half the issue takes place in the night, which is represented by dark purples and blues. Jake’s dark brown fur also stands out in these scenes, helping to distinguish him from other monsters.
Werewolf By Night #2 takes a deeper look into the life of its title character, while also delivering a jolt of monster-filled action. Next week’s issue will pit Red Wolf against Jake, which should be a fun dustup.
Werewolf By Night #2 is available wherever comics are sold.
Werewolf by Night #2
Werewolf By Night #2 takes a deeper look into the life of its title character, while also delivering a jolt of monster-filled action.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.