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Everything We Know About Laura Donnelly’s ‘Werewolf by Night’ Character, Elsa Bloodstone

Kind of like a Marvel-ized Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Elsa Bloodstone in Death of Doctor Strange Comic

Werewolf by Night is a new Marvel Halloween TV special from Disney Plus, centered on Werewolf by Night (a character sometimes referred to simply as Werewolf). There are two characters who have used the name Werewolf by Night in the Marvel comics—Jack Russell and Jake Gomez. While it was originally suspected that Marvel’s Halloween special would focus on Gomez, the special actually centers on the original Werewolf, Jack.

In the comics, Jack’s real name is Jacob Russoff, and there is a history of lycanthropy in the family. Jack’s father, Phillip, had anglicized his name to Russell, and Jack was unaware of his father’s history for many years. However, right before her death, Jack’s mother revealed to him the truth of his father’s identity. After her death, Jack shapeshifts into a werewolf for the first time to avenge her. While traditionally, he would only be able to shift on days there was a full moon, he also gained the ability to voluntarily shapeshift into Werewolf outside of the full moon cycle.

Michael Giacchino, who composed the score for The Batman, directed the special. Additionally, Gael García Bernal, known for starring in such projects as Old and Coco, plays Jack. In March, Laura Donnelly joined the cast of the special as Elsa Bloodstone.

Who is Elsa Bloodstone?

Elsa Bloodstone in Marvel Zombies #1
(Art by Ken Lashley)

It isn’t surprising that Bloodstone will star in Werewolf by Night, as she is a well-known monster-hunter in the Marvel comics. Bloodstone is the daughter of Ulysses Bloodstone, who was an immortal monster-hunter. Hence, Bloodstone boasts a lot of the same abilities that her father had. She has superhuman strength, speed, durability, and endurance, as well as healing abilities. Bloodstone also has immunity to vampire bites and her blood will kill a vampire if consumed. Some of Bloodstone’s powers were genetically inherited, but others are derived from the Bloodgem fragment she wears on a choker.

Bloodstone’s father raised her to be a monster-hunter, just like him. However, he was very abusive and forced Bloodstone to kill gruesome monsters when she was just a toddler. He also frequently left her alone with an android nanny (who would torture her if she couldn’t quickly answer any question about monster hunting). As an adult, she finds refuge with her mother in Bloodstone Manor and finds an ally in Adam the Frankenstein Monster. She also reconnects with her long-lost brother, Cullen, whom her father had banished to another dimension.

Bloodstone’s main passion is to free humanity from monsters. She completes her mission through numerous team-ups with other heroes throughout the years. For example, at one point, she joined Monica Rambeau, Tabitha Smith, Aaron Stack, and The Captain to fight Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction (UWMD). She was later summoned by Wong to join the Midnight Sons, alongside Blade, Doctor Voodoo, Ghost Rider, Iron Fist, and Man-Thing, a team that specialized in supernatural phenomenon.

Elsa Bloodstone in the MCU

Personality-wise, Bloodstone is frequently compared to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Despite the similarities, the writers who created Bloodstone claimed to have never watched a Buffy episode. Bloodstone is rather brash, stubborn, and is hyper-focused on her mission. However, she is still marred by the abuse she suffered as a child. This has led her to vow that she will never have children, as the Bloodstone responsibility is too heavy for one to bear.

The confirmation that Donnelly is portraying Bloodstone is quite exciting. For one, the award-winning Irish actress, known for The Nevers and Outlander, is bound to offer a unique take on the character. Second, Bloodstone’s appearance in Werewolf by Night opens up a slew of possibilities. With Marvel also set to debut Blade soon, this could hint at a Midnight Sons project in the future. Otherwise, it could potentially introduce the Monsters Legion team, which both Bloodstone and Werewolf were a part of, as well as Michael Morbius and Man-Thing.

Bloodstone is a complex character with a rich history in the Marvel comics. While it remains to be seen what exactly Marvel plans to do with their Werewolf by Night special, it may very well have larger connotations for the MCU. If Bloodstone were to appear further in the MCU, her history of leadership could signify a very big crossover and team-up of MCU heroes.

Elsa Bloodstone in Werewolf by Night

Laura Donnelly as Elsa Bloodstone in Werewolf by Night
(Disney)

Werewolf by Night premiered on October 7, 2022, and marked the official live-action debut of Donnelly’s Bloodstone. The Halloween special followed Bloodstone’s comic book storyline very closely. We learn that Bloodstone is the estranged daughter of the late Ulysses Bloodstone who returns to Bloodstone Manor after many years to claim her father’s powerful relic, the Bloodstone. However, the manor isn’t the semi-safe haven it was for her in the comics, as it has been taken over by her cold, evil stepmother, Verussa Bloodstone (Harriet Samson Harris).

There is no mention of Bloodstone’s biological mother, Elise, nor her long-lost brother, Cullen. It remains to be seen if they exist or are living in the MCU. What we do know is that the MCU’s Bloodstone now has the powerful Bloodstone, is the head of Bloodstone manor, and is following her comic book counterpart’s path very closely as she makes a career of being a monster hunter. She has also become affiliated with Man-Thing and Jack Russell (Bernal), meaning that a monster-hunter team-up could still happen in the future.

(feature image: Ig Guara)

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Rachel Ulatowski is a Freelance Writer, blogger, and aspiring author. As a Freelancer Writer she hopes to give readers the same comfort and enjoyment that she finds in all things nerdy and noteworthy, as a blogger she enjoys snarking on YouTubers and reality stars, and as a future novelist she hopes to raise awareness for child abuse through literature.