DC’s Mad Monk
An article was posted on this site fairly recently about some interaction between Spider-Man and a werewolf, specifically in a Disney/Marvel cartoon. And when you think about it, there’s almost a surprisingly amount of involvement with werewolves in the Marvel comics, given that they’ve roped in everything from figures of Norse mythology to cutting edge 21st-Century scientists in their range of heroes and villains. Perhaps the character of Wolverine has made it largely unnecessary, even if he’s not really a werewolf at all.
What you might not know, however, is that DC lore actually does include a very specific werewolf character. And the way DC Comics is suddenly expanding its modern reach, there would appear to be at last a small chance that we’ll see some version of the character on the big screen.
For a while, DC was playing catch-up to Marvel. Its films were lackluster, and really it was only keeping up with video games. The “Injustice” series has kept a wide array of characters relevant for years now, and similarly a Justice League online slot starring seven characters has been front and center on various gaming sites. Given that Marvel, too, had combat, mobile, and online slot games for a few years (before phasing out its slots), DC was more or less on even ground. At the cinema though, DC has lagged behind considerably, simply failing to generate the hits Marvel has.
That might have changed in 2017. Though Justice League was mildly disappointing, Wonder Woman breathed life into the idea that DC could at least establish individual heroes, and their villains alongside them. And given that we know there’s a forthcoming Batman film, there’s at least a tiny chance for some involvement of DC’s little-known werewolf: the Mad Monk.
Having the distinction as the first costumed villain of Batman’s, the Mad Monk (or just “Monk”) first appeared in the 1930s. He’s actually something of a vampire/werewolf hybrid, dressing in red and exhibiting properties of both sinister creatures (though he can fully turn into a wolf, so he’s perhaps primarily a werewolf).
In addition to just being a werewolf, the Mad Monk is actually a fascinating and very creepy character, and one whose back story reflects the fact that he was first written up nearly 100 years ago. The Monk was originally a New Orleans plantation owner after the civil war, named Louis DuBois. However, he and his sister were attacked by their own slaves and turned into undead monsters via a voodoo ritual, ultimately leading to Monk’s vampire/werewolf status. Eventually, the Monk and his sister Dala both moved to Gotham, where they became open enemies of Batman.
He’s still not a particularly well known character, but this is frankly a more interesting villain saga than most of what we see these days, and it might just be unexpected enough to represent a jolt for the DC/Warner Bros. film efforts. Regardless, he’s a fun character to look back on, and read if you can get your hands on some older comics.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!