Now that Vertigo has established a new twist on vampires in the hit comic American Vampire, the DC imprint has another fresh take on traditional monsters, with Cullen Bunn's new six-issue werewolf comic, Wolf Moon.
Bunn, who's creating Wolf Moon with artist Jeremy Haun, is becoming one of the more prolific creators in comics. Currently working with both DC and Marvel, the writer is establishing himself as a virtuoso of villains, writing top-selling titles about well known bad guys like Magneto, Sinestro and the brand new version of Lobo.
With Wolf Moon, Bunn's putting his talents to work on werewolf mythology, exploring the idea of a the monster affecting a new individual with every cycle of the moon.
With the first issue out this week, Newsarama talked to Bunn to find out more about the new series and why this approach offers such a unique take.
Newsarama: Cullen, you've just launched a new Vertigo comic called Wolf Moon this week, and its focus is werewolves. Why did werewolves interest you as a writer?
Cullen Bunn: Werewolves are one of my favorite monsters, and I wanted to tell a story that cast them in a very violent and scary light.
I’ve always felt like one of the things that is most terrifying about a werewolf, though, is that there’s an innocent person trapped under the fur and fangs and muscle. They have lost control and are doing horrible things. Do they remember what they’ve done? If so, how does that affect them? This book gives me a perfect platform to explore that with a number of characters.
Nrama: What's this werewolf like? How would you describe your approach to the creature, and the way he looks?
Bunn: The Wolf in this story is a huge, menacing, violent, deadly creature. It is suppressed most of the time, having only three nights a month to cut loose. When it gets that chance, it goes wild. Unlike a wolf in the wild, this creature does not hunt for food. It hunts and kills for pleasure. It is evil through and through.
Nrama: There have been a lot of takes on werewolf mythology, and I'm sure you did some research on those. But what do you think makes this werewolf story unique?
Bunn: In this story, lycanthrope is not transmitted through a bite or curse. Instead, the condition seems to “jump” from person to person randomly. One month, a fast food employee in Kansas becomes the werewolf by the light of the full moon.
But the next month, someone completely different becomes the creature. It makes it very hard to track and kill. Why does it move like this? Is it a defense mechanism? I explored a lot of American folklore to find some legends that fit right into this monster’s origins.
Nrama: Who is the main character, Dillon Chase — how would you describe his role in the story, and his motivation?
Bunn: Dillon is hunting the Wolf. He’s obsessed with finding it and killing it before it hurts anyone else. That’s no easy task. Dillon won’t give up, though, because he knows firsthand how this monster destroys those around it. He was, himself, infected with the Wolf at one time, and he lives with crushing guilt over what he did during that time.
Nrama: In the first couple issues, we get to know the supporting cast. How would you describe the people around Dillon in Wolf Moon?
Bunn: Dillon has surrounded himself with other people who have an interest in seeing the Wolf destroyed. Cayce, who has some emotional scars after an encounter with the creature, and Mason, who has physical scars after he met the Wolf. We’ll also be meeting some other hunters who have very different approaches than Dillon. And we’ll be seeing a number of people who have seen their lives turned upside down when the Wolf appeared.
Nrama: Then to finish up, Cullen, is there anything else you want to tell fans about Wolf Moon?
Bunn: I think this is a book that dances long the line between what you have come to expect in a werewolf story and a completely new take on the legend. If you like werewolf stories, this is for you. If you like horror (and I mean both visceral and psychological) then you will like this book. And if you want to read something different when it comes to the werewolf legend, we’re offering some pretty unique legend- and world-building. I hope you give it a shot!