As an avid comic book reader and long-time monster enthusiast I look forward to the release of comic book collections like Werewolf by Night: The Complete Collection Vol. 2 and thoroughly enjoy the reading experience that they offer. And, from time to time, collections come along that, thanks to a well-tuned combination of quality and quantity, offer fans an exceptional reading experience — Werewolf by Night is one of them.
So, what’s Werewolf by Night: The Complete Collection Vol. 2 about? From the publisher:
More howling great adventures starring Jack Russell — the Werewolf by Night! Whether it’s death in the cathedral, courtesy of none other than the Hunchback of Notre Dame, or murder by moonlight at the hands of another lycanthrope, the stakes are high for Jack! He’ll battle the Behemoth, team up with Tigra, melee with Morbius and fight Frankenstein’s Monster — but can he avoid the Hangman’s noose? Whether Jack’s in Hollywood or Transylvania, there’s no shortage of vampires, brutes and other terrors out to get him — but few can match the outright horror of the Soul-Beast! Yet Jack’s greatest fear remains the fate of his sister — can he spare her from his lycanthropic curse and the dread attentions of Doctor Glitternight?
Werewolf by Night: The Complete Collection Vol. 2 collects Werewolf By Night (1972) #16-30, Giant-Size Creatures #1, Giant-Size Werewolf #2-4 and material from Monsters Unleashed (1973) #6-7.
Initially, upon going into my reading, I was unsure of exactly how much I would enjoy this collection on account of the fact that this is the second volume, and typically, in my experience at least, quality, over time, decreases; thankfully, with Werewolf by Night, the overall quality of the series remains high. In fact, when reading Werewolf by Night: The Complete Collection Vol. 2, I felt as though the series had developed enough so that the writers and illustrators working on this series were able to create without restraint — all of the heavy lifting had been done, and now, creators were able to do whatever they wanted while maintaining the spirit of Werewolf by Night. One noticeable result of this unrestrained creating is interesting ‘villains’ and rich storytelling.
One of my favorite tales in this collection is actually its first, Werewolf by Night #16, which features the Hunchback of Notre Dame. And yes, I realize that the Quasimodo-inspired hunchback isn’t exactly an original character, but the fact that he is a knife-wielding hijacker of sorts certainly is. Throughout the entirety of this collection, Jack Russell — in his werewolf form, of course — battles with a slew of interesting baddies like the Soul-Beast and Doctor Glitternight, as well as familiar characters like Frankenstein. Interestingly, the Werewolf also goes toe-to-toe with The Living Vampire, Michael Morbius.
Overall, Werewolf by Night: The Complete Collection Vol. 2 is howling good time…get it? It’s a howling good time…Okay, pardon the pun; it had to be made. Regardless of my cheesiness, Werewolf by Night: The Complete Collection Vol. 2 is an exciting collection that benefits from its diverse team of creators. For fans of horror comic books, this is a must read.