When asked to name his favorite movies, books and TV series featuring werewolves, Cullen Bunn quickly rhymed off half-a-dozen without batting an eye. But the fan-favorite writer behind creator-owned hits like “The Damned” and “The Sixth Gun” says his new series, “Wolf Moon,” features a monster nothing like previous incarnations of the big, bad wolf.
Vertigo Comics recently announced the six-issue miniseries, which is illustrated by Jeremy Haun, will be released on December 3 and CBR News connected with Bunn to discuss the world of “Wolf Moon” and its main character, Dillon Chase.
Bunn teased details about the other hunter pursuing the series’ vicious and violent beast and revealed that the true monsters may actually be the book’s human characters. Currently writing both “Sinestro” and “Lobo” for DC Comics, as well as “Magneto” for Marvel, Bunn also shared that Chase is different than these classic super villains turned leading men, but definitely qualifies as an antihero.
CBR News: In order to avenge his family, Dillon Chase has to kill another human being and become a werewolf. This isn’t a traditional werewolf story, is it?
Cullen Bunn: That’s actually not quite right, but what I like about the question is that no one really knows what to expect from this story.
In “Wolf Moon,” we follow Dillon Chase, a man who is hunting a werewolf, and in order to kill the werewolf, he needs to kill the host — an innocent human host — too. That’s pretty standard stuff for a werewolf tale. What makes “Wolf Moon” different is that the werewolf is never the same person twice. The Wolf spirit moves from person to person with each full moon, so if Dillon doesn’t kill it during the three days that it manifests each month, there is almost no way to know where it will show up next.
As for Dillon becoming a werewolf, that’s something that’s already happened. Dillon was one of the many people who were temporarily possessed by the Wolf. During that time, he killed his family. So he’s hunting the werewolf to avenge his family, yes, but he was the monster when that horrible event occurred.
Wow. Like I said, this isn’t a traditional werewolf story, is it? [Laughs] What is the ultimate werewolf story as far as you’re concerned? For me it’s a toss-up between “An American Werewolf in London” and “Teen Wolf.”
Movie-wise, yes, “An American Werewolf in London” ranks right at the top for me, with “Dog Soldiers” being a close second. When it comes to books, “Animals” by John Skipp and Craig Spector is a favorite, as is “The Wolf’s Hour” by Robert McCammon and “Cycle of the Werewolf” by Stephen King. Also, I don’t remember much of it, but I remember a show in the ’80s called “Werewolf” that I liked quite a bit.
Before he became a werewolf, what was Chase like? And what about now? Has the killing and the howling at the moon changed him?
Chase was a typical guy before the Wolf entered his life. Now, he’s a man who is struggling with a lot of guilt and a lot of rage. That’s one of the key elements of this book. Every person who is possessed by the Wolf sees their lives turned upside down afterwards.
Magneto, Sinestro, Lobo — of late you have been writing plenty of protagonists who are antiheroes at best, while at worst, they’re super villains. Is Dillon Chase the same kind of main man?
Chase could definitely qualify as an antihero. Unlike some of the characters you mention, though, Dillon feels as if his hand is forced. He wants to see the werewolf dead, and to make that happen he has to hunt down and kill an innocent person.
How does the werewolf Chase is hunting jump from body to body with each kill?
Without revealing too much about the werewolf, I’ll say that I drew upon American folklore to put a new twist on the creature’s legend. Yes, the Wolf jumps from person to person, but it will not be in the way readers might expect.
Does each victim react different to the affliction?
Absolutely. One of the phrases repeated in the book is, “The Wolf doesn’t just reshape flesh and bone. It reshapes lives.” We’ll see several individuals, both those who have become the Wolf and those who were close to a person who became the Wolf. In every case, the brush with the supernatural changed them in drastic ways.
Is wolfsbane, medication or exorcism a cure for the affliction in “Wolf Moon?”
It might seem like any of those things might work, but they won’t. Silver has an effect on the Wolf. Again, I’m merging American folklore and werewolf legend there. But it won’t be a one-shot-one-kill scenario. This creature is big and powerful. And vicious and violent.
Who is the other character hunting the werewolf Chase is hunting that is teased in the solicitation?
Who says there’s only one other hunter? [Laughs] Not gonna spoil that just yet, but the other hunter is the sort who would kill anyone, including Chase, if they got in his way.
Why did you choose Vertigo to publish this?
As a fan of so many of their books, I thought of Vertigo first for this series. I thought it would fit into their line-up, for its horror and viciousness, but also for the elements that set it apart from a traditional werewolf story.
Finally, what does Jeremy Haun bring to a project as a collaborator and artist?
I’ve known Jeremy for many years, and I love his work. I think he’s a tremendous talent, but it never shines through as much as it does when he is working on a horror title. I’m glad to finally be working with him. He doesn’t shy away from the action, horror, or violence. I know that there are scenes in this series that are just brutal for the artist. Thus far, he hasn’t tried to kill me. A lack of murderous tendencies always makes for strong collaborations. [Laughs]
“Wolf Moon” #1 by Cullen Bunn and Jeremy Haun is set for release on December 3 from Vertigo.
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