Werewolf #1, Sept 1967

Ah yes, the “only super hero super spy in the world” — apart from Harvey’s Spyman of course….

When Major Wiley Wolf (yes, really) crashes his aircraft in the Canadian wilds, he is presumed dead. However, he survives the crash and lives for the next six months with a pack of wolves, one of which, Thor, tales a particular shine to the major. Wiley’s boss, Major Hartley, refuses to give up on his pal and continues the fruitless search until, one day, Wiley and Thor are spotted and rescued.

Hartley realises that his old friend is not the same man he was and offers him up for a special assignment. Met at Washington airport by Judy Bowman of Central Intelligence, Wiley finds that he’s been volunteered, without his knowledge, to become Unit One’s single operative, codename: Werewolf!

An intensive regime of punishing training ensues as Werewolf learns to beat people up, pick locks, shatter planks of wood, and shoot accurately. A special hypnotic technique enables him to hold facial expression for long periods so as to effect a perfect disguise. Thor is part of the deal too: he has a minature receiver implanted in his head so he can react to Werewolf’s sub-vocal commands. Finally, Werewolf is given a special suit. And what a suit it is:

For his first “howl” Werewolf is sent to Cuba to smash a Russian missile outpost. He and Thor parachute to the scene and, taking on the appearance of a Cuban soldier and then a country yokel, he infiltrates the base with the help of a local intelligence contact — who just happens to be a nine-year old boy (shades of Joe 90!).

Attacked by military personel, Werewolf is grateful for his super-suit: bullets bounce off, and it affords him a degree of super-speed. Thor plays his part by disabling various soldiers, but before Werewolf can destroy the base, he is captured. Luckily the suit burns through the ropes that bind his wrists, and Werewolf uses a sub-vocal command to order in a spy plane to take photographic evidence of the missiles’ existence. He then orders Thor to blow up the base using a handy destruct swith that just happens to be sitting in the woods.

“Kabloom!”

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The third and final of Dell’s horror super-hero triumvirate is actually fairly competent. Well, relatively speaking anyway. How Wiley Wolf (oh, honestly!) survives in the frozen wilderness for six months without food, water, or a change of clothes is not explained. The reason for his becoming a changed man is, however. We’re told that Wiley began to think of himself as a wolf, and that wolves are a civilized breed, never taking more than they need to survive. Every once in a while, though, one wolf goes a bit bonkers and infects the others with a kind of kill frenzy (how scientifically accurate all this is, I dunno). Suddenly remembering that he is human, Wiley has an epiphany: “there [are] a lot of people in the world like insane wolves and I swore to do something about it.”

You have to love the idea of a suit that is just one molecule thick. Bet that’s a bugger to put on, all those ladders in his tights, etc! It’s also just about the easiest super-hero outfit in hsitory to draw — even the X-Men’s Havok had more detail. And, on wonders what the animal cruelty crowd would have to say about poor old Thor being thrown out of an airplane, even with a parachute!

The script is by Don Segall with art by Tony Fracchio and our old friend Tony Tallarico. Great art it ain’t, entertaining it most certainly is.

Images ©2010 Dell Publishing Co., Inc/the respective copyright holder