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Marvel’s ‘Werewolf by Night’ Is Out Tonight! So … Who Is He?

Gael García Bernal in Werewolf By Night

It’s time to meet Jack Russell! (Yes, like the dog.) We’re getting ready to enjoy the spooky season with the Marvel Cinematic Universe special Werewolf by Night on Disney+, and with it comes the introduction to a new character in the franchise: Jack. Also known as, well, Werewolf by Night.

The special was directed by Michael Giacchino (yes, that one) and is set to introduce us all to Jack as a character, but you’re probably wondering who he is. And with his inclusion in the Marvel world comes lots of fun lore for fans to explore.

His comic history is one that should excite the Van Helsing (2004) fan in us all (okay just me? fine) and takes us back to Jacob Russoff’s—who changed his name to Jack Russell—ancestor named Grigory. When Grigory wanted to avenge his wife, he stalked the vampire-king named Vlad Dracula. Truly, the names in the world of Werewolf by Night are inspired.

Grigory gets bitten by a female werewolf working with Dracula, and from there, the rest is history. Well, sort of. His children were already born, so it wasn’t exactly an instant thing, but the curse of Jack’s family made it so that becoming a werewolf could be triggered. And what triggered it you ask? The Darkhold! It all comes back to that cursed book.

Who is Werewolf by Night?

So now that we know the history of Jack’s family, let’s talk a bit about how he ended up being the Werewolf by Night. His father, Gregory, was a nobleman but was also the one who got a copy of the Darkhold that brought about his werewolf abilities. When he read about lycanthropy, it triggered it. So I guess if Gregory hadn’t read that passage but Jack saw Van Helsing (2004), that could have triggered it? Or was it because it was the Darkhold that it worked? Does Van Helsing exist in the MCU like The Big Lebowski does? Sorry, anyway.

Jack’s father sent his family away and was then killed by a mob, and Jack’s mother remarried a man named Phillip Russell (hence the name change), and so, the curse seemed to have died with his father—that is, until Jack turned 18 and became the Werewolf by Night.

Basically, he’s a werewolf. But he does have connections to characters in the MCU that have fans excited.

Moon Knight?

A character with a longstanding relationship to Moon Knight, Jack Russell is an interesting addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while fans have been waiting to see the two together, it doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon. “Moon Knight first appeared in Werewolf by Night in the comics years ago,” Giacchino told ET Canada at D23 Expo. “That’s what everyone is thinking. Yeah, there’s no immediate plans for anything like that.”

So … don’t give up hope, but maybe don’t instantly think that is the next step for either of these characters. Either way though, getting to meet Jack Russell/Werewolf by Night just in time for Halloween is going to be the best of frights!

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast.