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Who is Werewolf by Night? Everything you need to know about the MCU hero and what it means going forward

At this year’s D23 Expo, Marvel finally unveiled the official trailer for its Halloween special, Werewolf at night. Directed by Michael Giacchino, not much is known about the plot, but from the trailer it appears to be a group of monster hunters fighting to find the werewolf among them. For a more casual fan of the MCU, you might be confused as to who or what Werewolf by Night even is. The obscure Marvel hero has been around since the 1970s, but here’s your chance to learn a little more about Marvel’s howling hero before he makes his MCU debut on October 7 on Disney+.

Who is Werewolf at Night?

Jack Russell, the Werewolf by Night, made his Marvel debut in 1971 Marvel Spotlight #2. And before you ask, his name is like A Tribe Called Quest or A Pimp Named Slickback – you’re saying the whole thing. Crazy as both of his names sound, he was actually born in Transylvania as Jacob Russoff. Rusell is a descendant of Grigori Russoff who was turned into a werewolf in 1795 after fighting Dracula. Grigori managed to keep the curse dormant for many generations until it was reactivated by Jack’s grandfather Gregor using powers from a copy of the Darkhold (in the MCU, the original Darkhold and his copy were destroyed by Wanda Maximoff).

At full moon, the curse turns Gregor and his offspring into wild werewolves with supernatural abilities. This includes enhanced strength, lightning-fast agility, and a stereotypical weakness of silver. The curse was passed from Gregor to his son Gregory and eventually to Jack. When Gregory dies during one of his transformations, Jack is moved to America, where his mother is later murdered by the… criminal commission after learning the family curse. In a fit of rage, Jack transforms into the titular beast to avenge his mother’s death.

In his solo series Werewolf at night (1972), Jack fights supernatural threats such as Dracula, while also fighting enemies who want to steal either his abilities or his family’s copy of the Darkhold. In the MCU series, Russell is portrayed by Mexican actor Gael García Bernal, best known for his work in Bad education and Pixars cocoa.


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The Midnight Sons

The addition of Jack Russell to the MCU can only mean one thing: The Midnight Sons. In the Marvel comics, the Midnight Sons are a loose group of mystical superheroes who work together to serve as the first line of defense against the Mother of Demons, Lilith and her children, the Lilin. The team was first assembled in the 1990s by Ghost Riders Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch and consisted of: Doctor Strange, Blade and the Nightstalkers (Frank Drake and Hannibal King), Morbius, Vengeance and the Darkhold Saviors (Sam Buchanan, Victoria Montesi, Louise Hastings, Modred the Mystic and Jinx).

You may recognize some of those names that currently occupy the MCU and beyond. Doctor Strange was last seen at the end of this year Multiverse of madness entering a dimensional portal opened by Clea, played by Charlize Theron. The vampire hunter Blade made a brief introduction as a voice cameo in the post-credits scene of The Eternals talking to Kit Harrington’s Dane Whitman aka The Black Knight. Mahershala Ali will play the iconic Marvel vampire hunter in his own solo film to be released on November 3, 2023. And then there’s Morbius, and the less said about it, the better.


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Werewolf by Night doesn’t join The Midnight Sons until around 2009 Marvel Zombies 4. Instead of the traditional Sons lineup, this iteration saw Russell team up with Morbius, Man-Thing, Daimon “Hellstorm” Hellstromand Jennifer Kale. Man-Thing also makes its MCU debut in the Werewolf at night special and was briefly seen in the trailer. It is not yet known who has been cast to play the classic Swamp Monster.

The Midnight Sons lineup changes quite often in the comics, but as of now the current team is Wong, Blade, Doctor Voodoo, Elsa Bloodstone, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight, Iron Fist, and Man-Thing. Many of these characters are already established in the MCU, such as Wong. The current Sorcerer Supreme has been in the MCU since the first Doctor Strange and is the current MVP of She-Hulk: Lawyer. Moon Knight also made his MCU debut earlier this year in his Disney+ solo series, played by Oscar Issac. Some characters like Iron Fist technically exist in the MCU canon, but outside of Daredevil, it seems like the rest of the Defenders are left standing on the sidelines. Finally, Elsa Bloodstone, a key ally and villain of Werewolf by Night, will also make her MCU debut in the Halloween special. The Immortal Monster Hunter is played by Laura Donnelly, who had a starring role in HBO’s the Nevers.

The Future of Werewolf by Night in the MCU

whenever Werewolf at night is in the current MCU timeline has yet to be seen, but from the trailer it has some great connections to the larger canon. In addition to future debuts from more Sons alumni, fighters from the TVA also appear in the trailer being ripped to shreds, presumably by Werewolf by Night. The appearance of the Time Variant Authorities leaves some bigger questions for the new season of Loki but it may have something to do with Jack Russell’s family history related to the Darkhold.

In any case, the field is set for another big team-up coming soon to the MCU, and Werewolf by Night could be another piece of the puzzle. How he fits in is a mystery that won’t be solved until October 7 when Werewolf at night begins streaming on Disney+.

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