How Spider-Man’s enemy, the Wolfman, was named before his official creation


In the latest Comic Book Legends Revealed, find out how it was determined Marvel would have a Wolfman before knowing who the Wolfman would be.

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the eight hundred and nineteenth episode where we take a look at three comic book legends and determine if they are right or wrong. As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the three captions. Click here for the first part of this episode’s captions. Click here for part two of this episode’s captions.

NOTE: if my twitter page reached 5,000 subscribers, I will be doing a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed that week. Good deal, right? So will follow my Twitter page, Brian_Cronin!


Spider-Man’s enemy Man-Wolf was named before anyone knew who Man-Wolf actually would be.



I don’t want to give you the false impression that the comic book industry has always been this very stilted and appropriate type of business, but at the same time there are definitely some times that were MORE open than others, and one of the most prominent examples of this is the early 1970s. The reasons were twofold. The first is that Marvel Comics had VERY strong sales once they were free from their previous distribution deal (their previous distribution deal was through a distributor owned by their biggest rival, DC Comics, which limited the number of titles that Marvel was much less strict than at the start of the Marvel Universe, but once Marvel was released, the company was obviously MUCH freer) and had even briefly overtaken DC in market share in the late 1960s / early 1970s before moving ahead more or less well in the early 1970s, when both companies increased their prices along with their page count, but Marvel then lowered its prices (and page count) faster than DC (when you’re dealing in an impulse buying industry, the price point plays a major role) and pushed forward for more. Well. Once Marvel was ahead, it essentially suffered a “display space” war with DC throughout the 1970s. Both companies wanted as much rack space as possible to crowd out the other and the way to do it was to extend extend extend.

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Okay, so Marvel was booming back then, so that’s a major factor in the “wilderness” of the day, but another was the 1971 easing of the Comics Code Authority. When the comic book code went into effect, one of its biggest brakes was on the horror comics industry, as the code almost seemed written to specifically limit those titles, as these and the comics police cartoons tended to be what scared the public the most. In 1971, however, the Code was like, “Hey, whatever, okay, do monster comics if you will, as long as they’re in the lore of ‘classic’ monsters like vampires, mummies and werewolves. “

And once Marvel COULD make monster comics, they did monster comics like CRAZY. Roy Thomas has often talked about how Stan Lee would usually have a title in mind and say, basically, “Go do it.” Much of this concerned securities that could be deposited. Werewolf couldn’t be a registered trademark, but Werewolf By Night could be …

Dracula couldn’t be a trademark, but Dracula’s tomb could be …

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So, during the successful launch of Werewolf By Night, Stan Lee wanted another werewolf book and Roy Thomas recalled in TwoMorrows Comic Artist # 13 in an interview with Jon B. Cooke, “Stan just wanted a character called Man-Wolf. It was all that Marvel stuff flooding the market! If you’ve got Dracula, you can have Morbius. If you’ve got the werewolf, you can have the wolf-man. “

Over the years, there has been a dispute over who had the idea of ​​Man-Wolf ultimately becoming John Jameson, which he did in Amazing Spider-Man # 124…

In Back Issue # 44 of TwoMorrows, in an interview with Scott Williams, Gerry Conway said it was him, and while Roy Thomas once said (in that same comic book artist interview), “We didn’t have a concept for Man- Wolf, and Gerry and John Romita were trying to come up with something, my only input was to say, “Hey, make him J. Jonah Jameson’s son!” He was an astronaut, and he went into space, and he found a moon rock, and it turned him into a wolf! ‘ Just like Morbius was a sci-fi vampire, we could make Man-Wolf a sci-fi werewolf, ”he said. since noted (in his handy list of characters he created over the years that John Cimino maintains) that the one thing he definitely suggested was that Man-Wolf would get his powers from a moon rock, so he basically concedes that Conway might be right that it was Conway who said to use Jameson.

Thanks to Thomas, Conway, Williams and Cooke for all the great information!


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OK, that’s it for this episode!

Thanks to Brandon hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo, which I don’t even know anymore, but I’ve used it for years and you still see it when you see my old columns, so that’s fair enough to thank him again, I think.

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