- —Jack Russell[src]
Jacob Russoff was the elder of two children sired by Gregor Russoff, a Transylvanian baron and scholar. Russoff's ancestor Grigory first brought lycanthropy (turning into a werewolf) upon the family when in 1795 he tried to avenge his wife, Louisa, by staking the vampire-king Vlad Dracula - he was bitten by a female werewolf in Dracula's service. Because his children were born before that event, Grigori's descendants did not immediately become werewolves themselves; however, the curse on the Russoff family only needed a catalyst to trigger it. In the mid 1950s Gregory Russoff, great-great-grandson of Grigori, acquired a copy of the Darkhold, which includes the secret origin of lycanthropy. By reading that passage, Gregory activated the curse and became a werewolf. He sent his wife, Laura, to her native America with their children for their own protection. Gregory was eventually killed by an angry mob.
Laura Russoff married again, to a man named Philip Russell. Jacob Russoff became Jack Russell, and with his sister Lissa was raised in Los Angeles. When he turned 18, the curse struck him in turn and he became a werewolf. It was revealed a year after Laura's death that Jack and Lissa's step-father was also their father's brother (thus making him their uncle).
For about two years, Russell became a werewolf by night during the full moon. He took precautions to lock himself up, but sometimes the wolf escaped. During that time, he never took a human life, although several of the persons he encountered were scarred or crippled.
Mysterious beings known as "The Three Who Are All" partially lifted Russell's curse: he could change shape voluntarily at any time and retain his human intellect while in werewolf form. He became an occasional crime-fighter, once encountering Iron Man in New York. Unfortunately, the curse still applied on nights of the full moon, when the wolf's mind supplanted Russell's. He designed a virtually escape-proof cell for those times.
Russell worked with Dr. Karl Malus, a medical researcher in L.A., to solve his problem. Malus instead used an experimental machine to subvert his will. The original Spider-Woman helped him escape, but a month later, he found that Malus's treatments had unintended consequences. He lost control over his transformations, and his werewolf form became even more lupine, with longer ears and snout, curved spine, and canine legs.
A devil-worshipping cult led by Schuyler Belial tried to capture Russell for use in a satanic ritual. If they sacrificed a werewolf and transfused his blood with theirs, they believed they would become werewolves themselves. For almost a year he fled from the cult. With help from Moon Knight, Russell finally confronted the cultists, and several of them died in the melee.
Returning to Los Angeles, Russell found that his werewolf side was becoming stronger each month. He contacted Dr. Michael Morbius for help, but he escaped and had to be subdued by the West Coast Avengers.
With more control of himself, Russell met Iron Man again while rescuing his sister from Morgan Le Fay. He joined Dr. Michael Morbius' new team, the Midnight Sons. Jack Russell remains a reluctant adventurer, though, hoping that one day he can lift the curse.
Shortly before the birth of Rahne Sinclair's son, Russell was drawn to New York City along with many other animalistic demons and gods. Unlike most of them, however, Russell tried to help Rahne and protect the child. After she gave birth, Russell took him away intending to raise him. Unfortunately, as soon as Tier hit puberty he was kidnapped by those who wanted him dead but soon reunited with his mother. Jack Russell stayed with them for a while.
Legion of Monsters and Franken-Castle
A new version of the Legion of Monsters was formed by Morbius and Man-Thing; they were joined by N'Kantu, Manphibian, and Jack Russell. They came together to protect monsters from the Hunter of Monster Special Force and send the monsters into the Morlock Tunnels to the Monster Metropolis. They first appeared when the Moloids that worked for Man-Thing found the decapitated parts of Punisher, who was sliced up by Wolverine's son Daken, and reassembled him as the Franken-Castle. Punisher joined up with the Legion of Monsters to help protect the Monster Metropolis from the Hunter of Monster Special Force where Franken-Castle fights the Hunter of Monster Special Forces leader Robert Hellsgaard.
Legion of Monsters and Elsa Bloodstone
Werewolf by Night and N'Kantu the Living Mummy fought the Dimensional Man and help Morbius with the monsters infected by a virus that turns them into mindless feral creatures. Elsa Bloodstone hunted an infected monster and meet the team, and soon was teleported to Monster Metropolis with a dead monster that was corrupted with the virus.
Jack went to Hell with Elsa in order to get information about the monsters going wild. He got mortally wounded by an explosion when leaving Hell, and was taken to Monster Metropolis, unconscious and in his human form for medical care. After solving the case, he was seen leaving with Elsa.
The Legion of Monsters later helped Red Hulk overcome the panicked monsters at the time when Red Hulk had journeyed to the Monster Metropolis. With the help of Doctor Strange, Red Hulk, and the Legion of Monsters discover that the spirit that has been bothering Red Hulk was the insane evil side of Doc Samson (referred to as Dark Samson) which hadn't passed into the next life. Using a ghost entrapment device, Red Hulk and the Legion of Monsters were able destroy the Dark Samson spirit by ripping the Dark Samson spirit in half. Red Hulk and the Legion of Monsters made a toast to honor Doc Samson after that.
Recently he was seen in an intervention organized by Agent Venom in order to convince the Fearless Defenders to disband. Here it was revealed that he actually dated Elsa Bloodstone for a short time.
Back to Monster Metropolis
Returning to the Monster Metropolis after the break-up of his Mercs for Money, Deadpool found Jack in bed with his wife, Queen Shiklah. Deadpool calmly grabbed an antique blunderbuss rom the wall and pointed it at Jack. Shiklah reassured Jack that as long as he was by her side that he would be safe. Deadpool promptly blew Jack's head off. Jack survived due to his lycanthropy, and his head eventually grew back, though for a time it looked like that of a cub.
Lycanthropy: Jack Russell can transform himself into a werewolf, which is a human/wolf hybrid of supernatural origin, through sheer force of will, usually by meditating on the image of a full moon. While in that form, he retains his normal intellect, is capable of speech (with some difficulty), and looks more like the classic werewolf. During a full moon, however, he changes involuntarily, loses his cognitive abilities, and looks more like a wolf than a human.
- Superhuman Strength: The Werewolf possesses superhuman strength. While in his intermediate form, he is able to lift about 1,500 lbs. His more wolf-like form, during a full moon, is somewhat more powerful and he is capable of lifting 1 ton. His strength also extends into the muscles of his legs, allowing him to leap, from a crouch, roughly 18 feet into the air.
- Superhuman Stamina: The Werewolf's musculature produces less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of an ordinary human, granting him superhuman levels of stamina. He can exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before fatigue begins to impair him.
- Superhuman Agility: The Werewolf's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Reflexes: The Werewolf's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are roughly twice as fast as those of the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Speed: The Werewolf's speed is similarly enhanced and is way faster than the finest human athlete, being nearly invisible during the night.
- Superhumanly Acute Senses: The werewolf has superhumanly acute senses of sight, smell, and hearing similar to those of an actual wolf. He can see part of the infrared spectrum and thus detect the heat signatures of objects or people in total darkness. He can smell other living creatures within 100 feet (when upwind) and follow a scent over nearly any terrain. He can hear the sound of a heartbeat in a cave at a distance of 30 feet.
- Superhuman Durability: The tissues of his body are considerably harder and more resistant to physical injury than those of an ordinary human. Jack is capable of withstanding low caliber bullets, great impact forces, falls from great heights, and exposure to temperature without sustaining injury.
- Claws and Teeth: The Werewolf's claws and teeth are extremely sharp and tough, enabling him to rend through a variety of substances including fabric, wood, cinderblock, and even some metals.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: The Werewolf is capable of regenerating damaged or destroyed areas of his body with much greater speed and efficiency than an ordinary human. Injuries that result in massive tissue damage such as bullet wounds, slashes, punctures, blunt force trauma, and severe burns heal completely, without so much as a scar, in a short amount of time. His ability to heal is at least 10 times that of a human. His ability to heal is so advanced that he can regenerate his own head after having it blown away by Deadpool.
The Werewolf is a formidable hand to hand combatant, although he has had no formal training. He also has some expertise in dealing with occult and supernatural forces.
The Werewolf has a special vulnerability to objects or weapons composed of silver. Silver is useful against many supernatural or demonic creatures due to its mystical purity. If he receives what would be a fatal injury to an ordinary human, such as being shot through the heart, with a silver bullet, he will die within a matter of minutes. If he is merely injured by a silver weapon, it will take him much longer to heal than it would from being injured by a weapon composed of conventional material.
- Jack Russell's sister, Lissa, was cured of lycanthropy soon after her first transformation at age 18 by the sorcerer named Taboo, who mystically took her curse upon himself.
- The character's name may be an unintentional pun. There is a breed of terrier called Jack Russell, both in our world and in Earth-616 - as specified by Crawley in Moon Knight Vol 3 #4.
- In Shadows and Light #3 it is hinted that Jack was molested as a boy by a man who dragged him into an abandoned building, it is also hinted that his attacker was taken to court and let off by a lenient judge.
- Werewolf by Night was one of the characters featured in the series of Marvel Value Stamps issued in the 1970's.
- In the early years of his curse, Russell looked more like the classic "Wolf Man" (as in the 1941 film). After his appearance in Moon Knight #29, he began to look more like a real wolf.
- The Werewolf was featured as Marvel Value Stamp (Series A) #7.
- 176 appearance(s) of Jack Russell (Earth-616)
- 11 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Jack Russell (Earth-616)
- 24 minor appearance(s) of Jack Russell (Earth-616)
- 6 mention(s) of Jack Russell (Earth-616)
- 9 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Jack Russell (Earth-616)
- 174 image(s) of Jack Russell (Earth-616)
- 9 quotation(s) by or about Jack Russell (Earth-616)
- 1 item(s) used/owned by Jack Russell (Earth-616)
Links and References
- Werewolf by Night series article at Wikipedia
- Werewolf by Night series review at Photon Torpedoes
- Werewolf article at the Marvel Universe
- Werewolf by Night article at the Marvel Appendix
- Marvel Directory