Giant-Size Werewolf #1: Review

Jul 1974
Tony Isabella, Don Perlin

Story Name:

Tigra the Were-Woman!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Giant-Size Werewolf #1 Review by (November 24, 2020)

Review: A Werewolf by Night special is used to introduce a character who would go on to become much more popular than WWBN ever would be. And that’s Tigra the Were-Woman; she started out as the failed Cat superheroine, whose origin was more-or-less a version of Captain America’s minus the World War context i.e. a volunteer given increased powers through a science experiment, then donning a costume to fight crime. But the Cat wasn’t very popular. In 1974, the Comics Code Authority loosened its rules against horror characters which led to Marvel jumping in with Dracula, Frankenstein, Man-Thing, Ghost-Rider, Son of Satan, and, relevant to our review, Werewolf by Night. He was a new thing: a continuing character who was a werewolf. And so Marvel presented a female were-creature created by Tony Isabella called Tigra. For one, she was more visually striking than WWBN; for two, werewolves had been around since 1935’s WEREWOLF OF LONDON but a were-tiger? That was new. Add to that the fact that Tigra was more human in her speech and reasoning than the purely animalistic Werewolf. And it probably didn’t hurt that she wore a bikini because, after all, comics of that era were mainly pitched to preteen boys. So, she went on to be an Avenger while Jack “Werewolf” Russell keeps losing gigs to John “Man-Wolf” Jameson. Oh yeah, the issue at hand. Here’s what we have: A routine origin story, featuring a mysterious lost race, and some scientific/mystical stuff to create a more horror-centric character and some absolutely horrid art. We all know about Vince Colletta but I always considered Don Perlin fairly uninspired too, especially coming after the distinctive artwork of Mike Ploog, who had a hint of Eisner about him. So, while Tigra is an interesting character her debut comic isn’t all that good. Oh, and if you run into Jack Russell, ask him why he thought walking on a beach in Mexico scant minutes before the full moon came out sounded like a good idea.

Comments: First issue titled GIANT-SIZE CREATURES; series becomes GIANT-SIZE WEREWOLF BY NIGHT for issues #2-5. Story one: First appearance/origin of Tigra. Greer Nelson’s previous history was in THE CAT #1-4; she will go on to join the Avengers in AVENGERS #211. Story Three: Reprinted from CREATURES ON THE LOOSE #13. Stories Two and Four: Text articles.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Giant-Size Werewolf #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

On a trip to Mexico, Jack Russell is walking along a beach at night when he spies a woman being pursued by Hydra agents; he tries to help but is knocked out. The woman, Greer Nelson, wears the ring of the Cat People and turns into Tigra the Were-Woman and beats up the Hydra guys. She goes to see if Jack is okay but the full moon rises and Jack becomes Werewolf; they fight until more Hydra agents arrive and fire a sonic shatter cone. The Hydra guys capture Tigra, knocking Werewolf out and leaving him on the beach….

Tigra recovers in a cage in a lab where Hydra is searching for the “Final Secret.” Tigra discovers they have her mentor, Dr Joanne Tumolo, a prisoner so she reflects on her past, to bring the reader up to speed. Policeman’s widow Greer Nelson was subject to an experiment by Dr Tumolo to help women achieve their full potential: she became a physical and mental marvel but bad guy Malcolm Donalbain tried to take control of the process to enslave women. Greer donned a costume and became the Cat, bringing Donalbain to justice. When she caught Hydra trying to kidnap Dr Tumolo, the Cat sprang into action but was shot with a deadly alpha radiation pistol. To save her life, Dr Tumolo revealed to her the existence of the Cat People, a race which had grown up alongside the regular human race. A combination of chemistry and magic saves Greer by turning her into Tigra, legendary champion of the Cat People, with the ability to temporarily assume her human form. Then Hydra captured the Cat People and is now trying to force Dr Tumolo to reveal the whereabouts of the Cat People’s doomsday weapon, the Final Secret….

The Werewolf, seeing Tigra as a sort of companion for his lonely existence, tracks her to the cavern lab where Hydra is holding the Cat People. Werewolf frees Tigra and together they fight Hydra and rescue the Cat People but Hydra corners them all. Dr Tumolo responds by releasing the Final Secret: the Black Plague. All of the Hydra men die horribly while the Cat People escape. Outside Werewolf is smitten with Tigra but she can’t discourage his affections until she resumes her normal form; Werewolf stalks off back to his lonely existence. Greer then turns back into Tigra, permanently this time.

“Waiter, There’s a Werewolf in My Soup!”
Writer: Roy Thomas. Pencils: Don Perlin. Inks: Mike Royer. Colors: ?
Synopsis: Roy Thomas relates how he came to create WEREWOLF BY NIGHT.

“Where Walks the Werewolf!”
Writer: Len Wein. Pencils: Reed Crandall. Inks: Reed Crandall. Colors: ?
Synopsis: Wealthy Martin is going blind; his doctor Craig accompanies him hunting where they shoot a wolf. Now Craig can try his experimental procedure to transplant the wolf’s eyes into Martin to save his sight. It does but the full moon turns Martin into a werewolf. A paranoid werewolf at that as he blames Craig for his predicament and also for stealing his woman. Martin goes over and attacks Craig but the sun comes up, Martin begins to change back to normal but he also starts losing his sight again. He leaps at Craig and goes over a cliff; it was the beast that resided in him, you see.

“Tigra’s Year”
Writer: Tony Isabella. Pencils: Gil Kane. Colors: ?
Synopsis: Tony Isabella relates how he came to create Tigra the Were-Woman.

Don Perlin
Vince Colletta
Petra Goldberg
Ron Wilson (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Greer Nelson)

(Jack Russell)

Plus: Joanne Tumolo.

> Giant-Size Werewolf: Book info and issue index

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