Real Name: Winston Redditch

Identity/Class: Human, secretly an occasionallly rampaging brute

Occupation: Scientist

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Hangman (Harlan Krueger), Werewolf (Jack Russell), Buck Cowan, Mrs. Redditch, Lt. Victor Northrup

Known Relatives: Mrs. Redditch (wife)

Aliases: The Brute

Base of Operations: Los Angeles, California

First Appearance: Werewolf By Night I#24 (December, 1974)

Powers: Superhuman strength.


History: (Werewolf By Night I#24)- Winston Redditch, research scientist, had postulated that by isolating the sections of the brain that control one's hostility, one could become a more benign, humane person. After developing two chemicals- one to suppress, one to enhance-- Redditch had planned to test it on a guinea pig, but realized it would be too difficult to gauge responses. He finally decided to test the benign solution on himself.


Unknown to Redditch, while his wife had been dusting the laboratory, she had mis-placed the benign solution to the right of the hostile solution. Mistaking the hostile for the benign, Redditch swallowed it. Immediately, he transformed into a massive, superhuman figure with white hair. Now possessed of a new personality, and claiming to have "slain" Redditch, he called himself "DePrayve", because he was depraved. On his way out of the lab, he beat his wife.

Departing the house, he ran into Buck Cowan and Jack Russell, who had come to him for help in curing Russell of lycanthropy with his chemical. DePrayve knocked both of them unconscious, and went out on a rampage.

As the day turned to night, Russell became the Werewolf, and stalked after DePrayve. Their fight caught the attention of Lt. Victor Northrup, who had been investigating the Werewolf's actions. Afraid of being shot, DePrayve ran; the Werewolf also ran, but was apprehended by the police.

(Werewolf By Night I#25)- After escaping the police, the Werewolf caught up with DePrayve, who was beating a man out on a date, claiming, "only evil is strong enough to claim pleasure". The two tusseled again, but the chemical solution wore off DePrayve, turning him back into Winston Redditch. The Werewolf hit him, giving him a bad concussion, then fled.

The next day, at a hospital, Redditch met Cowan and Russell, who admitted he was the one who had injured him. Redditch agreed to give them his benign chemical (hoping it would aid in his research), but it proved useless.

(Werewolf By Night I#26)- The following day, Redditch was captured from his hospital bed by the Hangman, who had observed DePrayve and the Werewolf's battle two nights ago, and now wished to kill DePrayve for being "an evil-doer". When the Werewolf appeared, Redditch lost control over his evil side, and before you can say "Incredible Hulk", became DePrayve once more. The Hangman put up a good fight, but not even his best punch could down DePrayve. The Werewolf, however, sank his claws into DePrayve's face, ending the fight. DePrayve fled, and later returned to being Winston Redditch, swearing to never use the chemical again.

Comments: Created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin; based heavily on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, created by my (distant) relative, Robert Louis Stevenson.

Wherever you are, Doug Moench, you are a genius. Your 9 years on Master of Kung Fu? Brilliant. Your Moon Knight stories with Bill Sienkiewiz? Poetry in motion. Your brief Captain Marvel run? Quite under-rated. But your Werewolf By Night stories...well, they beat Mike Friedrich's...

Okay, Moench deserves points for not trying to pass DePrayve off as something original-- the obvious "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" connection is mentioned at the outset-- but that doesn't make DePrayve any less of a cheap half-baked rip-off.

The story does pick up in part 3, once the Hangman gets involved, but otherwise, it's pretty dreary and repetitive. The preceding Atlas story and Dr. Glitternight stories that followed were much better.

Maybe one day, DePrayve and Mr. Hyde can go head-to-head, for the title of biggest R.L.S. rip-off of all time. Until then, DePrayve is condemned to the abyss.


Mrs. Redditch, DePrayve's wife, lived her life by the motto, "There is a place for everything, and everything in its place." Which was ironic, given that she inadvertantly created DePrayve by mis-placing the benign solution. -Werewolf By Night I#24-25 Of course, if Winston had simply labeled his beakers, we could have all been spared this mess.



by Prime Eternal

DePrayve has no known connection to:

Winston Redditch has no known connection to:

Nor does DePrayve's alias-- the Brute-- have any connection to:

Last updated: 11/19/02

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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