If Werewolf By Night is any indication of the direction the Marvel Cinematic Universe will take as it not only expands across galaxies and multiverses. Across Marvel’s vast catalog of characters, we are surely in for a treat in the phases going forward.
From the way it’s shot to the campiness of the special effects and monster makeup, it is truly a modern ode to the black-and-white monster films and teleplays of old. The special serves as a wonderful introduction to Jack Russell. He’s also known as Werewolf By Night the lycanthrope superhero, for fans who may be unfamiliar.
With a familial lineage straight out of Transylvania, comic Jack Russell’s powers as a hero are pretty straightforward. Werewolf strength, speed, and a side of absolutely losing it every full moon — though he’s typically in his right mind and in control of his shift most of the time.
Gael García Bernal, who previously starred as the titular swordsman in Zorro (2021) and as Hector in Coco (2017), is a fantastic choice for Jack. He’s the perfect blend of charismatic, mysterious, and off-putting — just the characteristics that, in my humble opinion, make for a great werewolf. Supported by a great cast of characters, including Laura Donnelly as Elsa Bloodstone and a stunning performance by Harriet Sansom Harris as Verusa, it’s a bloody (and gore-filled) good time.
From a storytelling perspective, this portion of the MCU — where there is space to give shine to lesser-known characters and explore subgenres like horror/suspense — is a delightful change of pace from the breakneck speeds with which we’ve kept up with the all-star teams of heroes like the Avengers for almost 15 years.
For fans familiar with Werewolf By Night and his various comic plot lines — featuring team-ups and brawls with fan favorites like The Hulk, Deadpool, and Moon Knight — lingering questions about his future in the larger MCU may remain.
For now, this self-contained adventure, just in time for spooky season, is well worth repeated watches until we know what’s next. Catch Werewolf by Night on Disney+, streaming October 7th, 2022!
For more on Marvel, check out our review of Ms. Marvel here!