Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dead of Night featuring Werewolf by Night#1

Review by Neill McLaughlin


Dead of Night featuring Werewolf by Night #1 starts off snarling and bleeding from the gums, just like a true werewolf story should. One glance to the opening page, you realize this is not your father’s protagonist and by the time you finish this book, it hits you like a claw slash to the gut.

Werewolf by Night first appeared in Marvel Spotlight #2 in 1972, later gracing the pages of many other Marvel books; such as Moon Knight, Marvel Comics Presents, and Doctor Strange. Throughout the years, Werewolf by Night took on many different authors and artists but never really sank its teeth into the mainstream Marvel universe. All the fans could hope for was a slight mauling, that is, until now. Unlike the Marvel superhero facsimile, this Werewolf by Night is raw and cuts to the bone. This is what a REAL werewolf book is all about… savage, smart, and sickening!

Writer Duane Swierczynski & artist Mico Suayan are relatively new to Marvel but have already shown surprising talent during their short run so far; Swierczynski comes from a crime novel background and is the current writer of Cable and Immortal Iron Fist, while Suayan penciled issues #9-12 of the recent Moon Knight series. While Cable has had its ups and downs, I did enjoy his Moon Knight Annual; which revolved around a serial rapist and the women he violated, giving you a surprising and fitting end. Swierczynski knows the visceral visage of humanity and is not afraid to tell you just how brutal your fellow man can be, and Suayan illustrates like he was conducting a murder scene. With Dead of Night featuring Werewolf by Night, Swierczynski crafts a spooky campfire side tale that lures us closer to the beast than ever before and keeps us on the edge of our logs with every turn of the page. Suayan’s brooding pencil work and attention to detail underline the classic werewolf horror within the pages, as well as, giving us conflicting feelings of sorrow and fear at the same time. When combined together, the writer’s anonymous, literal disdain and the artist’s disturbing, emotional artwork; you get a werewolf story that plays like a serial killer film.

Dead of Night featuring Werewolf by Night #1 not only eviscerates your entrails for the entire world to see, it actually takes the time to display them in front of you, while giving a fresh look into the eyes of both man and beast.

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