Real Name: Philip Russell;
born Philip Russoff
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Algon, Buck Cowan, Lt. Lou Hackett, Topaz
Enemies: Committee, Max Grant, Moon Knight, Taboo
Known Relatives: Grigori
Russoff, Baron Russoff; (great, great grandfather,
deceased); Baroness Russoff (great, great grandmother, presumably deceased);
Maria Russoff, Baroness Russoff (mother, deceased);
Gregor Russoff, Baron Russoff (brother, deceased);
Laura Russoff Russell, Baroness Russoff (wife, former sister-in-law, deceased);
Jack Russell (the Werewolf, formerly Jacob Russoff, nephew and step-son), Lissa Russell (niece and step-daughter);
Louisa Russoff, Baroness Russoff (first wife of Grigori)
Aliases: Algon, Phillip Russell, Philip Russoff
Base of Operations: Westwood, California
First Appearance: Marvel Spotlight I#2 (February, 1972)
Powers/Abilities: Philip Russell has no exceptional skills, though he is not one to run away from a fight, and he has some fighting skills.
(Werewolf by Night I#14 (fb) - BTS) - Philip Russoff had been lovers with Laura, but they broke up under unrevealed circumstances. Philip introduced Laura to his brother, Gregor, and after the two were married, Philip relocated to the USA and Americanized his name to Russell.
(Werewolf by Night I#14 (fb) - BTS) - After Gregor was killed, Laura found Philip and the two fell in love once again. A year later, they were married. Laura's children by Gregor, Jack and Lissa, remained unaware that their step-father was also their uncle.
(Werewolf by Night I#14 (fb) - BTS) - Approximately fifteen years later, certain people--possibly members of the criminal group known as the Committee--learned that Gregor had been a werewolf. These people blackmailed Philip, threatening to reveal this information unless he paid them. Not wishing to allow Laura to be dragged through the mud again, Philip paid the people.
BTS - Philip was apparently forced to employ Max Grant, an agent of his blackmailers, as a chauffeur.
(Werewolf by Night I#14 (fb) - BTS) - Rethinking the situation, Philip attempted to stop payment to his blackmailers.
(Marvel Spotlight I#2) - Grant sabotaged the brakes on Laura's car, causing her to be severely injured in the resultant collision. Before she died, Laura told Jack about her true father and the werewolf curse, but she also described her true love with Philip and made Jack promise never to hurt him. Laura died soon afterwards, after which the Werewolf attacked and slew Grant. Philip arrived at an arranged meeting place, intending to pay Grant the ten thousand dollars. Obeying his mother's wishes, the Werewolf allowed Philip to leave unmolested, though he remained filled with doubt over Philip's potential involvement in Laura's death.
(Marvel Spotlight I#4 (fb) - BTS) - After Laura's death, Castle Russoff was left to Jack Russell in her will, though Philip became the trustee. Philip sold the castle to Miles Blackgar, who had it shipped stone by stone from Europe and rebuilt on an island off the Monterey Coast.
(Marvel Spotlight I#3) - Two months later (possibly topical), after the Werewolf had fought off a motorcycle gang that had attacked Lissa Russell, Philip discussed Jack's absence and behavioral changes with the police, expressing concern for his missing step-son.
(Marvel Spotlight I#4) - Buck Cowan, wishing to write an article on the legendary Darkhold, distracted Philip so that Jack could sneak off to explore Castle Russoff.
(Werewolf by Night I#1) - Philip forced Lissa to tell Jack to meet her, so Marlene Blackgar and her agents could recover the Darkhold, which Jack had taken from the Castle.
(Werewolf by Night I#3) - Lissa overheard Philip's phone conversation with the Committee, during which he told the other party he had given Grant all the money he could, and that Laura's estate had not been worth quite as much as they had thought. This further convinced Lissa that her step-father had been involved in her mother's death.
(Werewolf by Night I#8) - Philip received another phone call from the Committee, during which he told the other party that he was through dealing with them and that they should never call again. Lt. Lou Hackett then arrived, asking Philip questions about reports of a Werewolf.
(Werewolf by Night I#9) - After the Werewolf was incapacitated by Sarnak, Jack Russell was picked up by the police, after which Lt. Hackett contacted Philip Russell and had him come pick up his step-son. Philip criticized Jack's behavior--such as running around town half naked, and told Jack he'd never get another cent of his mother's money if he didn't shape up.
(Werewolf by Night I#10) - Two agents of the Committee--Bruno and "John"--arrived at Russell's house, punching Philip out and kidnapping him.
(Werewolf by Night I#11) - The Committee had their own Professor Mako hook Philip up to a nerve-impulse charger, torturing him when he refused to tell them where Jack was.
(Werewolf by Night I#12) - After repeated shockings, Philip finally agreed to tell the Committee how to find Jack.
(Werewolf by Night I#13 (fb) - BTS) - The Committee passed both Philip Russell and the information on Jack's location to Taboo.
(Werewolf by Night I#13) - Topaz assist Committee agents in capturing Jack. They threw the Werewolf in the cell with Philip, who refused to back down from the enraged creature. Vaguely remembering the promise to Laura Russell, the Werewolf turned its anger on the door to their cell, breaking free. The Werewolf, followed by Philip, confronted Taboo and Topaz, but Topaz's powers went out of control, and she transferred Philip's life force into Algon. Taboo's virtually mindless son arose, reanimated by Philip's life energy, and followed Taboo's instructions to slay the Werewolf, while Philip collapsed in a heap.
(Werewolf by Night I#14) - The Werewolf battled Algon until
daylight turned Jack Russell back to human form. When Topaz refused to kill Jack
Russell, Taboo cursed her and banished her and Jack from his mosque. They took
Philip back to the Russell home, where Topaz found that his body housed the
unconscious spirit of Algon. Topaz destroyed Algon's spirit and the Werewolf
returned to Taboo's mosque, where it fought Algon until both it and Taboo
perished. With their death's Philip Russell's spirit returned to his body and
made a full recovery.
After Jack returned, Philip cleared the air with his step-children, revealing the Committee's involvement in Laura's death. Philip and his step-children decided to put the past behind them and move forward with a healthier relationship.
(Werewolf by Night I#17) - Philip greeted Jack and Topaz when they returned from Europe, and Jack and Philip continued to try to rebuild their family.
(Werewolf by Night I#25) - A wounded Jack Russell arrived on his father's doorstep, where Lissa and Philip took him and treated his wounds. Jack stayed at his step-father's house for much of the next month while he healed.
(Giant-Size Werewolf by Night#3) - After having been away for over a month, supposedly on a "short" business trip, Phillip returned to his Westwood home and found that Jack had moved back in three days earlier. Explaining that he couldn't tell them before because it was an emergency, Phillip revealed that he had gone to Transylvania because he had heard reports of a mysterious plague of murders that had been committed in the town in which he and his brother and been born and he was afraid that it might have had something to do with his brother's curse. Finding the Russoff family's baronial summer home had been ransacked, he had stayed to investigate and to see that the house was cleaned and repaired. Then he revealed that the people from the village claimed to have seen a band of Gypsies up at the house and that there had been a blonde girl in the company of the Gypsies. When Jack announced that he was going to take the next flight to Europe, Phillip reminded him that that night was the first night of the full moon but Jack and Lissa insisted on going anyway.
(Werewolf by Night I#32 (fb)) - Philip informed Jack that as
the Werewolf he had nearly killed his own best friend, Buck.
Later, the Committee sent the Moon Knight to bring in the Werewolf to them, and he waited at Philip Russell's house for Jack to arrive. However, when Moon Knight attempted to capture Jack, Philip grabbed the mercenary, holding him long enough for Jack to flee the building.
Comments: Created by Gerry Conway and Michael Ploog.
The Werewolf curse remains dormant within Philip. Gregor
activated it within himself via reading the Darkhold, and it was passed down to
his descendents, but his brother remains unaffected. However, I don't really
have any way to explain why Philip would be so young without any magical
influences if his brother was an adult in the 1930s. Perhaps Maria had Philip at
a much later date...who knows...perhaps there is more to this story. The easiest
explanation would be if Philip were just lying about being Gregor's
brother...the whole story just doesn't quite ring true to me, especially with
Philip paying off Grant AFTER Laura's death. I guess he could have been paying
them not to drag the rest of his family (and perhaps his own name) through the
That whole bit was added/changed from the status quo by Marv Wolfman, though it was NEVER actually confirmed that Philip had actually brought about Laura's death, as Jack had suspected him of doing.
Regarding the discrepancy in the ages of Gregory Russoff and Phillip Russell, it's important to note that in the original WBN series no such age difference was apparent. Since Gregory was the son who inherited the title of baron, he must have been older than Phillip but there is no indication of him being MUCH older. As far as I can tell, Phillip, Gregory and Laura were meant to be about the same age when they first got involved. Any idea of a vast difference in their ages comes from attempting to integrate the changes in the Russoff family's history which Mark Gruenwald introduced during the "Saga of the High Evolutionary" back-up series in the 1988 Annuals. Without those stories claiming that "Baron Russoff" was a werewolf in the 1930's, the timeline of the Russoffs could easily accommodate Marvel's sliding timescale without having to make Gregory be much older than Phillip.
Speaking of which...what the heck ever happened to Philip? AFAIK, he was last seen trying to hold back Moon Knight to prevent him from capturing Jack. Did I miss something?
As far as I know, Phillip Russell hasn't appeared in any Marvel story since the first WBN series was cancelled. However, he does (sort of) make an appearance in an issue after #32. WBN #37 ends with a two-page epilogue during which Jack, as he's about to turn into the werewolf, says "mental goodbyes" to the four people in his life who counted: Lissa, Phillip Russell, Topaz, and Buck Cowan. Each of these four characters gets two panels of images and a brief description of who they were to Jack. Phillip's panels show him a) smoking a pipe and b) drinking from a mug while reading a newspaper. The story doesn't say for sure but I got the impression that those panels were meant to be showing what those characters were doing as Jack said his mental goodbyes to them. Would they count as appearances?
Once Marv Wolfman took over, Philip Russell gained an extra "L", becoming Phillip Russell.
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe entries on the Werewolf did not take into the information revealed in Werewolf by Night I#14 into account.
Thanks to Donald Campbell for pointing out the GS Werewolf#3 appearance that I had missed.
Jeff Parker confirmed that the Gregor and Maria Russoff in Mystic Arcana: Scarlet Witch#1 were intended to be Jack Russell's parents, and that Maria's full name is/was Laura Maria Russoff.
Profile by Snood.
No known connection to:
Langen Russell of Earth 2099 AD - Stark-Fujikawa, marketed Femsmile, killed by Vendetta--Punisher 2099#19
Maria Laura Russell
Philip Russoff had been lovers with Laura, but they broke up under unrevealed circumstances. Philip introduced Laura to his brother, Gregory Russoff,, while she was on a holiday vacation. After the two were married, Philip relocated to the USA and Americanized his name to Russell. Gregory and Laura moved into the Russoff family castle, of which she became Baroness.
(Mystic Arcana: Scarlet Witch#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Laura Maria became part of a sorceress coven, including Margali Szardos and Lilia Calderu.
(Mystic Arcana: Scarlet Witch#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Laura Maria gave Gregory the Lunar Pendant, which enabled him to better control his lupine transformations, as well as to turn fully into a wolf while retaining his own mind. Gregory also allied with Laura Maria's sorceress coven, including
(Mystic Arcana: Scarlet Witch#1/2 (fb)) - Laura Maria, Lilia, and Margali joined their powers and sensed that the young Wanda Maximoff would someday be very powerful, straddling the worlds of magic and science, and that her powers would begin to manifest in two days. They prepared to meet her on that day.
(Mystic Arcana: Scarlet Witch#1/2) - Per Laura Maria's
guidance, Gregory chased the young Wanda and Pietro Maximoff back to their home
on a miller's land. Gregory then returned to Castle Russoff where he met Laura
Maria. Soon after, Lilia brought Wanda to Castle Russoff, and the women tried to
convince her to join their coven, offering for her parents to stay in the
cottage behind the castle. When
Taboo and the zobop
Damballah (Josué Koulèv) interrupted the meeting, intending to obtain the
Serpent Crown (which Lilia had mystically summoned from its frozen resting
place), Laura Maria reanimated the dead to oppose them, but Damballah then
unleashed his snakes against her. Gregory activated the Lunar Pendant,
transformed into a werewolf, and attacked Damballah's serpents. The struggle was
interrupted by Chthon,
who communicated to them from his own realm, banished the Serpent Crown back to
its resting place and Damballah back to Haiti (to prevent Set's influence from
affecting Wanda, for whom he had plans). Before disappearing, Chthon told all
those present that they would bear children of occult significance.
Gregory spoke with Taboo, learning of his Darkhold copy and wondering if it contained pages missing from the original that might cure him of lycanthropy. Taboo told him there would be a steep price, but that if he agreed they would meet in Istanbul one year from that day to arrange the transfer.
Gregory and Laura Maria had a son, Jacob. After two years of an idyllic life, Laura became pregnant again (this time with Lissa). By this time, she had begun to grow suspicious of the three days and three nights each month that Gregor would spend locked within the castle's tower.
One night lightning struck the tower, shattering its wall, and the werewolf Gregor escaped, making it into the local village and killing its carpenter. A group of villagers had discovered evidence that Gregor might be a werewolf. They came to Castle Gregor to confirm their suspicions, claiming to be seeking Gregor's aid against what they believed was a demon, hoping that his knowledge from reading arcane texts would be of some help; they found the tower empty. The following night a hunting party came across the werewolf Gregor and they shot him down, using silver bullets.
After Gregor was killed, Laura found Philip and the two fell in love once again. A year later, they were married. Laura's children by Gregor, Jack and Lissa, remained unaware that their step-father was also their uncle. Approximately fifteen years later, certain people--possibly members of the criminal group known as the Committee--learned that Gregor had been a werewolf. These people blackmailed Philip, threatening to reveal this information unless he paid them. Not wishing to allow Laura to be dragged through the mud again, Philip paid the people. However, he had second thoughts and cancelled the payment, causing Committee agent Max Grant, to sabotage the brakes on Laura's car. Laura was critically injured in the ensuing crash, and she barely had time to tell Jack about his true father and the curse of the werewolf before dying. Laura left Castle Russoff in Jack's name, but Philip was the trustee, and he sold the castle to Miles Blackgar.
At least in her younger years, Maria had certain magical powers, which were much greater on the Castle Russoff estate. There she could teleport herself and others, and some of her paintings could be used as warp portals. She used entrancement charms to bend men to her will, and she could project magical bolts. She could reanimate the dead to serve her will
Not quite sure how to resolve the Mystic Arcana story with past stories. Something happened to turn Laura Maria completely from the path of magic. Perhaps Gregory's efforts to use the Darkhold stripped her of her power and occult memories, or perhaps Jack's death so traumatized her that she vowed never again to use her powers, keeping secret her previous knowledge of his lycanthropy and maybe even making herself think that she had never known at all.
--Marvel Spotlight I#2 (Werewolf by Night I#14 (fb) - BTS, Mystic Arcana: Scarlet Witch#1/2, Marvel Spotlight I#2 (fb), WwbN#14 (fb) - BTS, Marvel Spotlight#2
Marvel Spotlight I#2, p4, panel 4 (Laura)
p26, panel 1 (Philip, face)
Werewolf by Night I#9, p11, panel 5 (Philip)
Mystic Arcana: Scarlet Witch#1/2, p2, panel 2 (Laura Maria with Gregor (as a wolf))
Marvel Spotlight I#2 (February, 1972) - Roy & Jean Thomas, Gerry Conway (writers), Mike Ploog (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Marvel Spotlight I#3-4 (May, June, 1972) - Gerry Conway (writer), Mike Ploog (pencils/inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Werewolf by Night I#1 (September, 1972) - Gerry Conway (writer), Mike Ploog (pencils), Frank Chiaramonte (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
#3 (January, 1973) - Gerry Conway (writer), Mike Ploog (pencils), Frank Chiaramonte (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
#8 (August, 1973) - Len Wein (writer), Werner Roth (pencils), Paul Reinman (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
#9-10 (September-October, 1973) - Gerry Conway (writer), Tom Sutton (pencils/inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
#11-12 (November-December, 1973) - Marv Wolfman (writer), Gil Kane (pencils), Tom Sutton (#11) & Don Perlin (#12) (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
#13-14 (January, February, 1974) - Marv Wolfman (writer), Mike Ploog (pencils), Frank Chiaramonte (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
#17 (May, 1974) - Mike Friedrich (writer), Don Perlin (pencils/inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Giant-Size Werewolf by Night#3 (January, 1975) - Doug Moench (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Sal Trapani (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Spotlight I##25 (January, 1975) - Doug Moench (writer), Don Perlin (pencils/inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
#32 (August, 1975) - Doug Moench (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Howie Perlin (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Mystic Arcana: Scarlet Witch#1/2 (October, 2007) - Jeff Parker (writer), Juan Santacruz (penciler), Raul Fernandez (inker), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Last updated: 11/11/11
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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