Classification: Magical Items
Creator: Unknown (possibly Aelfric the Mad Monk)
User/Possessors: Aelfric the Mad Monk, Lt. Lou Hackett, Geraldo Kabal, Joshua Kane, Jack Russell
First Appearance: Werewolf by Night I#20 (August, 1974)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: Both of the "Werewolf Rings" could transform their wearers into werewolves, forms which are hybrids of human and wolf, and later change them back into their human forms. The werewolf forms assumed by the wearers of the rings possessed enhanced human physical abilities (strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, etc.) and may have had enhanced senses as well but this was not demonstrated. As werewolves, the wearers presumably had the same enhanced healing ability as normal werewolves. If so, then they could have recovered from any non-fatal wound ten times faster than humans would. The werewolf forms were presumably also vulnerable to magical attacks and to assaults involving silver but this was also not demonstrated.
The transformation power of each of the magic rings was activated by a simple desire (as opposed to intense concentration) on the part of its wearer. Unlike the transformations that "normal" werewolves experience, the change caused by a ring was painless, almost instantaneous and only affected the wearer's body. The wearers retained their normal human intelligence and personality.
Anyone who used one of the magic rings to become a werewolf would remain in that form until they wished to be human again. However, if a ring was removed (or knocked off) while its wearer was in werewolf form, he or she would instantly revert back to his or her human form.
Since both rings were only observed transforming their wearers into werewolves at night, there's no way to tell whether or not they could have also caused the transformations during daylight. The abilities of the rings were apparently not affected by the presence or absence of the full moon.
For some reason, Jack Russell "broke out in a queasy sweat at the mere sight" of one of the rings and was unable to stop himself from grabbing the ring and jamming it on his finger. However, once the ring was on his finger, his head began to clear and whatever spell had affected him was soon lifted.
For some reason, the werewolf that Hackett became when he used his ring was able to speak whereas the werewolf that Russell became when he used his ring was only able to growl. This could be because the enchantments on the two rings were slightly different or it may have been due to the fact that Russell was already cursed with lycanthropy when he used his ring.
While Russell did not gain the "ferocity of the wolf" when he used his ring to become a werewolf, Hackett acted in a more savage manner as a werewolf than he had as a human. This may have been due to the fact that Hackett used the ring to become a werewolf during a full moon or it may have just been the psychological effect of being able to release his true inner self which caused his savagery.
Nothing is known about the creation of the rings or about the materials from which they were (presumably) forged. For that reason, it is impossible to say for certain that the ring that Hackett was wearing when he fell into a vat of molten metal was vaporized along with him. If that ring was sufficiently durable, then it could have survived.
Both rings were identical in appearance and appear (to me) to have been designed with crests(?) which resemble eyes with vertical irises in their centers. Despite having the same colorist on both issues, the rings in WBN #20 appear as yellow eyes with green irises while in WBN #21 the rings are depicted as being dark green eyes with black irises.
History: Nothing is known about the origin of the "Werewolf Rings." Even their actual names (if they had any) are not known. Furthermore, nothing is known for certain about their history before they came into the possession of Joshua Kane.
(Werewolf by Night I#21 (fb) - BTS) - During his lifetime, Aelfric the Mad Monk supposedly gathered dozens of arcane paraphernalia, including pages from the Darkhold (Scrolls of Chthon), the "Werewolf Rings" and the Libro del Malditos. Aelfric presumably had these artifacts with him when he served in the Abbey of San Michael in 12th Century Spain.
(Werewolf by Night I#3 (fb)) - In 1149 AD, after Aelfric's secret devotion to "Satan" was discovered by his fellow monks, he was captured and burned at the stake by the local villagers. His scrolls (of Chthon) were thrown into the fire with him but survived undamaged and were found by scavengers later that night. The scrolls eventually ended up in the Vatican where they were rebound into the Darkhold.
(Werewolf by Night I#21 (fb) - BTS) - Aelfric's trunk and the sorcerous items it contained were either not found by the monks or were found but, for some reason, not destroyed. For eight hundred years the trunk and its contents passed from person to person until, in the late 20th century, they came into Joshua Kane's possession.
(Werewolf by Night I#21 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Kane found the two "Werewolf Rings" in Aelfric's trunk and discovered that they could transform their wearers into werewolves. However, Kane apparently never used the rings himself.
(Werewolf by Night I#20 - BTS) - At some point, the witch known as Ma Mayhem learned of the rings and how they could transform their wearers into werewolves who retained their human minds. She subsequently told Baron Thunder about the rings.
(Werewolf by Night I#21 (fb)) - When Kane decided to revise his will, he felt that he had to make certain that his lawyer, Geraldo Kabal, understood the irregularities of his last testament so that Kabal could facilitate the disposition of his estate. To that end, Kane brought Kabal to his home in Tugunga Canyon and showed him "a trunk, filled with arcane paraphernalia, which he claimed was over eight-hundred years old and which once supposedly belonged to a mad monk named Aelfric." Kane then reached into the trunk and pulled out the two rings and told Kabal that Lou Hackett should get one of the rings and that it would "suit (his) nature."
(Werewolf by Night I#21 (fb) - BTS/Werewolf by Night I#20 - BTS) - After Joshua Kane died, Kabal took both rings from the trunk and arranged for one of them to be delivered to Lou Hackett. Kabal kept the other ring for himself but was unaware of the magical powers of the rings.
(Werewolf by Night I#19 - BTS) - For some reason, Kabal apparently took all of the other sorcerous artifacts, put them into a trunk with his name-plate on it and then left that trunk in the prop room at Mallet Studios.
(Werewolf by Night I#19 (fb)) - While looking for Geraldo Kabal, actress Clary Winter came across the trunk with Kabal's name-plate on it in the prop room. Frightened by what she found in the trunk, Clary phoned her friend Jack Russell and insisted that he come to meet her at the studios. Once Jack did so, Clary led him to the prop room where Jack opened the trunk and looked at the glowing artifacts inside. At that moment, the moon rose and Jack began to transform into the Werewolf but Clary, unaware of his curse, assumed that he was "freaking out" because "something in that trunk must've sent (him) mad!" Clary fled but the Werewolf's pursuit of her was interrupted by an attack by two vampires which soon also involved the Raymond Coker werewolf.
(Werewolf by Night I#19) - The next morning, Jack Russell and
Raymond Coker returned to their human forms and Russell brought Coker to Kabal's
trunk. While looking through its contents, Coker found a book of which he had
heard, Libro del Malditos. As they both looked at a certain page, the words on
that page changed from Spanish to English and they read the following:
"There is but one cure for the curse of the wolf: that the cursed one find another werewolf and kill him under the full moon."
(Werewolf by Night I#20 - BTS) - Hackett somehow discovered that his ring could transform his body into that of a werewolf without affecting his human mind or removing his ability to speak.
(Werewolf by Night I#20) - One night, Hackett used his ring to
transform into a golden-furred werewolf so that he could stalk Jack Russsell.
While doing so, Hackett learned that Raymond Coker was also a werewolf.
Later that night, while Russell was out to dinner with Clary Winter, they were joined by an admirer of hers, Geraldo Kabal, who presented her with a ring as a token of his esteem. Upon seeing the ring, Jack succumbed to a compulsion to seize the ring and put it on. When Kabal mentioned that he knew Baron Thunder, Jack managed to get him to reveal the Baron's address and then he left. After arriving at Moonrise Hill and realizing that it would be difficult to enter, Jack wished that he could have the Werewolf's body while retaining his human mind and was shocked when he transformed into just such a creature. After searching the house, Werewolf Jack ended up in an underground complex where he found Lissa chained to a wall and was then confronted by Ma Mayhem and sucker-punched by Baron Thunder. Before the battle really began, Mayhem recognized the ring that Jack was wearing and called out to the Baron, telling him that Werewolf Jack's mind must still be human and lacking the ferocity of the wolf. During the resulting battle, some of the machinery in the complex was damaged, fires started and a large machine toppled over onto Baron Thunder, trapping him beneath it. After freeing Lissa and realizing that there was nothing they could do to save the Baron or Mayhem, Jack wished that he wasn't the Werewolf and, when he changed back to human form, realized that the ring was responsible. After helping Lissa escape, Jack was trapped by falling beams and had to change back into his Werewolf form to free himself. As Werewolf Jack leaped out a window, his hand slapped against the window-frame, knocking the oversized ring from his finger, and he changed back to human in mid-leap. The ring was left behind in the burning house which soon exploded.
(Werewolf by Night I#21) - After trying to reach Geraldo Kabal for a month, Hackett finally confronted Kabal in his home and demanded to know where his magic ring had come from. When Kabal refused, stating that, as the executor of Joshua Kane's estate, he had fulfilled the stipulations of Kane's will by seeing that Hackett got the ring but was not required to reveal the ring's origin, Hackett grabbed him and struck him across the face until Kabal agreed to talk. Kabal revealed that the ring had come from a trunk full of sorcerous artifacts which had supposedly once belonged to the mad monk Aelfric but which had come into Joshua Kane's possession. Kane had told Kabal that Hackett was to be given one of two (identical) rings because it would suit Hackett's nature. When Kabal revealed that the second ring had been taken from him by Jack Russell, Hackett put on his ring, transformed into the golden-furred werewolf, and killed Kabal. Wondering what the other ring would do, Hackett resolved to find Russell and get it from him. After tracking down the Russell and Coker werewolves, Hackett used his ring to transform into his werewolf form and attacked the other two werewolves. Their battle eventually led them to a foundry where Hackett confronted the Russell werewolf on a catwalk over some vats of molten steel and demanded the ring, then slashed him, causing him to fall over the railing. As the Russell werewolf dangled from the catwalk, Hackett began stomping on his fingers, trying to force him to let go and fall into the cauldron below. As the Russell werewolf was moments away from losing his hold, the Coker werewolf leaped down upon Hackett, knocking him over the railing and into the vat of molten metal where he was vaporized. Since Hackett had been in his werewolf form when he died, the act of killing him had cured Coker of his lycanthropy and he returned to his human form. Hackett's ring was presumably also vaporized in the vat.
Comments: Created by Doug Moench, Don Perlin and Vince Colletta.
Although it was commonly believed that the ancient trunk and the artifacts within (including the "Werewolf Rings" and the Libro del Malditos) had once belonged to Aelfric, no proof of this connection has yet been presented so it's possible that Aelfric never owned either the trunk or the artifacts.
Even if the trunk and most of the artifacts DID once belong to Aelfric, it's also possible that some of the artifacts (like the "Werewolf Rings" and the Libro del Malditos) were not acquired and added to the collection (or even created) until after Aelfric's death in 1149 AD. Some of the artifacts may even have been added by Joshua Kane.
Also, while it's almost certain that the "trunk filled with odd paraphernalia" that belonged to a former client of Geraldo Kabal is the "trunk filled with arcane paraphernalia" that Joshua Kane owned, it's not absolutely certain. While I consider it unlikely, it is remotely possible that Kabal had two different clients who each possessed their own collection of odd paraphernalia. However, the fact that Ma Mayhem recognized the "Werewolf Ring" worn by Werewolf Jack might indicate that that ring was part of the collection that Baron Thunder was trying to buy from Kabal. If so, then the fact that the ring definitely came from Kane's collection would mean that the Baron was trying to buy (what he thought was) Kane's collection from Kabal.
The fact that the words written in the Libro del Malditos physically change so that whoever is looking at its pages can read what is written on them may be the source for the idea that the Elder Demon Chthon enchanted the scrolls that later became the Darkhold so that anyone with a knowledge of the "dark arts" could read them.
The "Werewolf Rings" have no known connections to:
The Book of the Damned (Libro del Malditos) has no known connections to:
A collection of dozens of sorcerous artifacts which supposedly once belonged to Aelfric the Mad Monk. Except for the "Werewolf Rings" and the Libro del Malditos, all of the artifacts were only depicted as part of a jumble of objects in a trunk. Aside from the fact that they (sometimes?) emitted an eerie glow, nothing is known about whatever magical abilities these artifacts possessed.
--Werewolf by Night I#19 (21(fb), 19
Libro del Malditos
A very rare book which apparently deals with supernatural subjects.
No details about who wrote the book or when it was written were provided but what
was revealed was that only three copies of the tome ever existed and all had been
lost...until Raymond Coker and Jack Russell found one in Geraldo Kabal's trunk at
Mallet Studios. After they opened the book, the words on the first page at which
they looked changed from Spanish to English and they read the following:
"There is but one cure for the curse of the wolf: that the cursed one find another werewolf and kill him under the full moon."
As best as I can tell, "Libro del Malditos" is Spanish for "Book
of the Damned." This MAY indicate some connection to the Darkhold, which is
sometimes called the Book of Sins, but that's only speculation on my part.
Actually, since the Darkhold has also been named as the Book of the Damned...it's likely at least a partial copy.
Apart from whatever secrets are recorded within it, this tome also has at least two magical properties of its own. First, the language in which its contents are written physically changes to accommodate the linguistic ability of whoever is reading it. Second, the book somehow manages to open to a page containing an entry in which its readers would have an interest. Thus, when Raymond and Jack opened the book to a random page somewhere in the middle, they just happened to find themselves looking at a page about the only way to cure lycanthropy (werewolfism).
--Werewolf by Night I#19 (21 (fb) - BTS, 19)
Werewolf by Night I#21, page 4, panel 5 (Kane with both rings)
Werewolf by Night I#20, page 1, panel 4 (Hackett wearing ring)
Werewolf by Night I#20, page 5, panel 4 (Kabal's ring in box)
Werewolf by Night I#21, page 4, panel 2 (Kane with trunk)
Werewolf by Night I#19, page 18, panel 2 (Libro del Malditos)
Werewolf by Night I#19 (July, 1974) - Mike Friedrich (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Werewolf by Night I#21 (September, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Last updated: 12/19/05
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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