The Fangs of Werewolf by Night
Script by: Michael Fleisher
Pencils by: Steve Leialoha
Inks by: Jim Mooney
Colors by: Gaff
Letters by: Mark Rogan
Originally published: November 1980
The cover for this issue has real photos of movie monsters in the background, and it’s totally distracting. I don’t like when comics mix real photos with the art, it totally takes me out of the experience.
The issue opens with Spider-Woman a quick flashback to last issue, which I appreciate. Some time, possibly immediately, after the last issue and the recap end, Hornet and Dr. Malus meet up at Scotty’s apartment. Malus injects Scotty with a booster of his serum, making the Hornet stronger and crazier. As Scotty calls Spider-Woman to set her up in a trap, we’re treated to a not atypical shot of Jessica Drew naked coming out of the shadow. This comic book just can’t resist, can it?
Ok, so she falls into the trap — which isn’t that much of a trap, since she knows she’s going to fight the Hornet. She just doesn’t know how strong he’s become. Big, uninspiring fight ensues and then when the Hornet has the upper hand… he leaves? That’s just dumb.
So given this setback, or whatever it is, Malus decides that the Hornet needs help in destroying Spider-Woman and phones Jack Russell, Werewolf by Night. The whole exchange is insultingly bad, but basically Malus tricks Russell into coming to see him.
When Malus and Russell meet up, Malus hooks up a gizmo to Russell’s body that basically enslaves Russell and allows Malus to control his transformations into the Werewolf.
Meanwhile Scotty/The Hornet has kidnapped himself and left a note for Spider-Woman telling her to meet him at a movie studio lot. The lot is set up as an old-west town, which I guess is a nice stage for a showdown. Malus and the Werewolf are also there. There’s another fight with all three of them and Malus on the sidelines. The Hornet goes batshit crazy and takes off. Spider-Woman removes the Werewolf’s gizmo and uncrazifies him, and the Werewolf is then able to go beat up Malus. Spider-Woman goes after the Hornet, subdues him, and discovers that he is actually Scotty.
I wanted to like this issue, and it had some potential, but it kept sabotaging itself. The cliched Spider-Woman sexiness just ruins things for me, the bad dialogue and contrived setup to involve Werewolf by Night totally take me out of the story. The issue could have had a very powerful ending, but instead a final couple panels are tagged on in which we learn that Scotty will recover completely by resting for a few days. Ugh. Why ruin it? Scotty being evil and crazy could have been awesome, and he’s such a boring character normally. The book just ended up being a disappointment.