Name: Jacob Russoff (given name), Jack Russell (adopted name)
Occasional adventurer. Russell lives off a trust fund set up by his mother from
the sale of his father's estate.
Naturalized citizen of the United States with no criminal record
Place of Birth: Medias, Transylvania
Known Relatives: Gregory Russoff (father, deceased),
Laura Russell (mother, deceased), Phillip Russell (step-father), Lissa Russell
(sister), Louisa Russoff (great great great-grandmother, deceased), Grigori Russoff
(great great great-grandfather, deceased)
Group Affiliation: The Night
Base of Operations: Los Angeles, California
MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #2
History: Jack Russell was the elder of two children
sired by Gregory Russoff, a Transylvanian baron and scholar, who was turned into
a werewolf when Jack was still a small child. Russoff's ancestor Grigori first
brought the supernatural curse of lycanthropy (turning into a werewolf) upon the
family when in 1795 he tried to rescue his wife Louisa from the clutches of the
vampire-king Vlad Dracula and was bitten by a female werewolf. Because his children
were born before he was so afflicted, Grigori Russoff's offspring and the succeeding
generations were spared the agony of turning into werewolves themselves. The curse,
however, was mystically transmitted to Russoffs descendants, awaiting a supernatural
catalyst to trigger it. In the mid-1950s such a catalyst was found when Baron
Gregory Russoff, the great great grandson of the first Russoff to become afflicted,
acquired a copy of the Darkhold, the tome of evil mystical knowledge originally
scribed by the ancient demon Chthon. Among the many secrets of occult lore contained
in the fragment Russoff acquired was the origin of lycanthropy. The act of reading
the passage on werewolves supernaturally triggered the dormant curse in Russoff's
ancestry, and transformed him into a werewolf. For several months, Russoff transformed
on the three nights of the full moon and rampaged through the countryside, even
taking lives a number of times. Russoff sent his wife Laura to her native America
with the children to safeguard them. Russoff was eventually stalked and killed
by a mob of townspeople.
When Laura Russoff learned of her husband's death,
she remarried to give her children a father. The man she married coincidentally
was named Russell, the Americanized version of her first husband's name. Jack
Russell and his sister Lissa were raised in Los Angeles. When Jack reached the
age of 18, he became afflicted with his father's curse, and began to turn into
a werewolf on the three nights of the full moon. For about two years, Russell
ran rampant through the Los Angeles environs with the mind of a savage beast on
the nights of the full moon when he did not take strong enough precautions to
prevent himself from escaping confinement. Miraculously, in that time he never
took a human life, although a number of the persons he encountered have been permanently
scarred or crippled. As a werewolf, Russell encountered such bizarre persons as
the Moon Knight, the Hangman, Sarnak, Dr. Glitternight, the Hunchback, Tigra,
Finally, the mystical extradimensional beings known only as
"The Three Who Are All" granted Russell the ability to transform himself
at will into the werewolf regardless of the time of month, while retaining his
human intellect. With this ability, Russell embarked upon a career as an occasional
crimefighter, once encountering Iron Man in New York. He still had one major limitation,
however: on the nights on the full moon, his human mind still regresses to that
of a savage beast. To avoid tarnishing his already shaky reputation, Russell designed
a virtually escape-proof cell for himself for the three nights of the full moon.
time later, Russell contacted Dr. Karl Malus, a Los Angeles-based medical researcher,
in hope that the eccentric scientist might find a way for him to retain control
over himself on the nights of the full moon. Unknown to Russell, Malus was criminally
inclined, and instead of helping him, hooked Russell to an experimental machine
to subvert his will. With the aid of the original Spider-Woman, Russell escaped
Malus's clutches and put the scientist behind bars. A month later, Russell found
that Malus's treatments had hidden side effects. Months afterwards, Russell again
lost control over his transformations and even began metamorphosizing into a more
wolf-like state, with longer ears and snout, a curved spine, and lupine jointed
legs. Shortly after that, a devil worshipping cult led by a man named Schuyler
Belial became interested in capturing Jack Russell to use him in a ceremony to
bring the world under "Satan's" rule. The cult hoped to kill Russell
in a ritual sacrifice, then inject his blood into their own veins in an attempt
to become werewolves themselves. Jack Russell spent almost a year fleeing from
the cult, traveling about the country. At one point, the cultists captured him
and placed a thin homing transmitter on his scalp to enable them to keep tabs
on him. Russell eventually sought the help of the Moon Knight, and the two of
them managed to defeat the cult, despite the fact that it was the time of the
full moon and Russell had little control over his bestial self. Most of the cultists
were killed in the melee.
Returning to his home in Los Angeles, Russell
settled back into what passed for his normal life, taking care to lock himself
up on the nights of the full moon. To his dismay, his moon-influenced wolf-form
was increasing in strength with each passing month. Desperate, he contacted Dr.
Michael Morbius, a blood specialist, for help in curbing his bestial self. Breaking
free of his holding room one moonlit evening, Russell was subdued by the West
A few weeks later, in greater control of himself, he encountered
Iron Man again while rescuing Russell's sister Lissa from the clutches of the
ghostly sorceress Morgan Le Fey. Recently, the Werewolf was invited to join the
Shroud's new gang, the Night Shift. Jack Russell remains a reluctant adventurer
searching for the ultimate solution to the ongoing problems of being a werewolf.
Note: Jack Russell's sister Lissa was cured of lycanthropy soon
after her first transformation at age 18 by the sorcerer named Taboo, who mystically
took her curse upon himself.
Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
Eyes: (human) Blue, (werewolf) Red
Red, (werewolf) Brown
Strength Level: The Werewolf can lift (press)
approximately 1,500 pounds under optimal conditions when he is in his intermediate
form. On the three nights of the full moon, his strength is greater, and he can
lift (press) approximately 1 ton.
Known Superhuman Powers: As a werewolf,
Jack Russell possesses superhuman strength, agility, reflexes, stamina, and senses,
all derived from his partly wolflike supernatural form. He can spring from a crouch
about 18 feet straight into the air. His reflexes are about twice as fast as human.
He can run at a peak speed of 35 miles per hour for up to a half hour before tiring.
Russell can also use his strength at peak levels for about a half hour before
his ability level becomes impaired. His senses of sight, smell, and hearing are
as acute as a wolf's. He can see into the infrared portion of the spectrum, allowing
him to see the heat emissions of objects or people in total darkness. He can smell
the approach of other organisms within 100 feet of himself and trail the spoor
of his quarry across almost any terrain. His hearing is sensitive enough to detect
the sound of a heartbeat in a cave at a distance of 30 feet.
claws and teeth are particularly sharp and tough, enabling him to rend through
a variety of substances, such as fabric, wood, even soft metals and cinderblock.
during the three nights of the full moon, Russell retains his full human intellect
as a werewolf. He is also capable of speech during the same period, although speaking
is difficult, painful, and often hard to understand. Russell effects his transformation
into a werewolf through a conscious act of will, usually by meditating upon the
mental image of the full moon. Due to Malus's treatments, the Werewolf has a more
wolflike form during nights of the full moon, with a longer snout and ears, a
curved spine, and lupine jointed legs. Russell retains his original werewolf form
when he transforms at other times.
As a supernatural creature, the Werewolf is immune to conventional
injury: penetration wounds, exposure, burning, drowning and
suffocation, electrocution, etc. Such phenomena as these can
cause him physical injury depending on its severity. However,
his recovery rate is over ten times that of a human being.
When Russell transforms back to his human form he loses this
mystical immunity and recuperative power. The metal silver
is necessary to weaken or kill a werewolf, due to its mystical
properties of "purity," which are anathema to many
supernatural creatures such as werewolves and vampires. If
a werewolf is shot or stabbed and mortally wounded by a silver
bullet or blade, he or she will die within minutes.