Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Human mutate and tech-user (possibly magically-enhanced)
Occupation: Head of the Committee
Group Membership: The Committee (especially Inner Council members "Shaved Head" and "Turtle Neck")
Affiliations: The Behemoth (Model Kay-Twelve), Geraldo Kabal, Ma Mayhem, Lawrence Tong
Enemies: Lissa Russell, Philip Russell, Taboo, Werewolf (Jack Russell)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "Excellency" (to his Inner Council); "Boss" (to Lawrence Tong)
Base of Operations: A house on Moonrise Hill and the "subterranean machinery complex" beneath it, located somewhere near Los Angeles, California
First Appearance: Werewolf by Night I#17 (May, 1974)
Powers/Abilities: Baron Thunder possessed a certain amount of superhuman strength,
enough to enable him to pick up a 6-foot long steel girder and bend it into a U-shape in only seconds. He was
also able to more than hold his own against the Werewolf in battle.
His durability was apparently also enhanced, or at least peak human, enabling him to withstand powerful blows without suffering any harm or seeming to feel any pain. However, he was definitely not invulnerable.
The fact that Baron Thunder claimed that Model Kay-Twelve was his personal creation suggests that he had the knowledge needed to construct "clay-like androids" of that particular type. If so, then he may have designed the Regenerators that were required to repair the Behemoth when it was damaged. Of course, given that nothing even close to an explanation has been provided for how the Behemoth functioned, I have absolutely no idea what sort of expertise would have been needed to create this bizarre type of android.
Baron Thunder was somehow able to control the Behemoth via his "personal commands" but how those commands were transmitted to the android's operating system was never revealed. Thunder's control did not appear to involve spoken words or hand gestures or radio signals from any type of electronic device, and he could control the android even when it was miles away from him.
Baron Thunder knew about the "werewolf rings" and what abilities they gave to whoever were wearing them. He may (or may not) have had an interest in (and knowledge about) other mystical items.
Limitations: If Baron Thunder's superhuman strength was derived from werewolf blood, then that could mean that he was strongest during nights of the full moon and weaker when the moon was not full. This could explain why he seemed (to me) to be weaker during his battle with Werewolf Jack than he was when he trained with Larry Tong. Then again, maybe I'm just underestimating the amount of strength that would have been needed to hold up a certain bank of machinery.
Weight: "380 pounds of granite muscle" (according to Jack Russell)
History: Few details about Baron Thunder's life have been revealed (including whether he was a real baron or just called himself one).
(Werewolf by Night I#20 (fb) - BTS) - At some point in his life, Baron Thunder somehow gained superhuman strength and durability. Werewolf blood may (or may not) have been involved in the process. (see comments)
(Werewolf by Night I#18 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Baron Thunder met the witch known as "Ma Mayhem" whom he believed to be California's most powerful witch.
(Werewolf by Night I#17 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Baron Thunder learned that Ma Mayhem was "a most intelligent werewolf-captor." This may have been the reason why they met in the first place.
(Werewolf by Night I#20 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Baron Thunder learned that "Ma Mayhem" was a false identity used by the witch. It has not been revealed if the baron met the witch in her "Mayhem" persona first and as her true self later, or vice versa. The witch came to have strong feelings for the baron, but it was never made clear if he shared those feelings or not.
(Werewolf by Night I#20 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Baron Thunder learned about the "werewolf rings" and what they could do for the people who wore them. It seems likely that it was Mayhem who told him about them, but it could have been the baron who learned about the rings on his own and later told her. Alternatively, maybe they each gained that knowledge separately, via their own sources, and later let each other know what they had learned.
(Werewolf by Night I#17 (fb) - BTS) - At some point in his life, Baron Thunder was apparently instrumental in creating the criminal organization known as the Committee which he headed. Thunder also established an "Inner Council" who acted as intermediaries between himself and the Committee's hired operatives. It's possible (but unconfirmed) that Committee members who were not part of the Inner Council were unaware of Thunder's existence or of the fact that their group even had a single leader.
(Werewolf by Night I#20 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Baron Thunder decided that he wanted to strengthen the other members of the Committee as he had been strengthened. In order to accomplish this, Thunder needed to obtain blood from a werewolf.
(Werewolf By Night I#17 (fb) - BTS/Werewolf by Night I#11 (fb) - BTS) - As the head of the Committee, Baron Thunder was presumably the person who authorized the hiring of America's leading investigation agency to find a real living victim of lycanthropy. Years of research and thousands of dollars in detective fees resulted in two dossiers, one on Jack Russell and one on Jack's sister, Lissa.
(Werewolf by Night I#17 (fb) - BTS) - Baron Thunder's wish to acquire some werewolf blood was the reason why the Committee took such an interest in Jack Russell. However, the baron kept his plans to himself.
(Werewolf by Night I#20 (fb) - BTS) - Baron Thunder hired lawyer Geraldo Kabal to handle the mortgage for his new home on Moonrise Hill.
(Werewolf by Night I#17 - BTS) - Baron Thunder monitored the radio transmission from Agent Tri-Delta-Five by which he reported to the Committee that Jack Russell had been sighted in the home of his step-father.
(Werewolf by Night I#17) - Seconds later, when the two members of the
Committee's Inner Council ("Shaved Head" and "Turtle Neck") who had received the surveillance
report came to him and tried to relay the new information, Baron Thunder interrupted them,
saying that there was no need for them to report because he had monitored the pertinent
transmission. Thunder then announced that Model Kay-Twelve would be dispatched, in time, to
capture Russell. When "Turtle Neck" wondered about using a test model, Baron Thunder turned
his chair to face them and asked if they were doubting him, the head of the Committee. "Shaved
Head" stated that they were not but then mentioned that their experts had lost Phillip Russell
to which the baron replied that they had only lost him to "that dead spell-wielding meddler,
Taboo." Baron Thunder then stated that their original purpose remained the same but "Turtle
Neck" then pointed out that they of the baron's Inner Council didn't even know the real reason
why they had been hunting Russell, only the "inane pseudo-economics" that they foisted off on
flunkies like Sarnak.
Baron Thunder responded by firmly stating that the reasons remained his own, then pushed one of the buttons on his chair's arm. Speculating aloud that the two of them perhaps needed convincing, Thunder pointed at a nearby door as it opened and began talking about his personal creation, Model Kay-Twelve, and how he was certain of its success. Now standing, Baron Thunder described the android that was entering the room as "a veritable mountain of synthetic clay-like muscle" whom he had named "The Behemoth" and then stated that he believed a demonstration was in order. As Thunder asked the two gentlemen if they had eradicated their disbelief, the android responded to his (unspoken) command by grabbing both men and holding them high above the floor, and the baron then concluded his question by asking if they would prefer their disbelief "dashed to the floor, along with (their) broken bodies?" When "Turtle Neck" frantically reassured the baron that they would NEVER doubt his judgement, Thunder had the android release the two men while reminding them to not forget that.
(Werewolf by Night I#17 - BTS) - "Weeks" later, Tri-Delta-Five (or someone who dressed like him) was still secretly watching Jack Russell while he was at Mallet Studios talking to movie producer Mr. Gabriel.
(Werewolf by Night I#17 - BTS) - Early the next morning, Baron Thunder and the Committee sent the android Behemoth to capture Jack Russell. The Behemoth arrived several minutes before dawn, smashed open the glass doors of Russell's apartment and entered, inadvertently distracting both Topaz and the Werewolf from their hours-long mental battle. The Behemoth grabbed the Werewolf by the neck and choked him until the Werewolf's claws ripped through its left wrist, severing its hand. The Behemoth continued its attack and soon lost its other hand but managed to trap the Werewolf beneath its right foot. As the Werewolf resisted the Behemoth's attempt to crush him, Baron Thunder, who had (somehow) been monitoring events from his base, decided that brute force would not be enough to capture the Werewolf so he (somehow) ordered the Behemoth to return to base. The Behemoth obeyed immediately and exited Russell's apartment, leaving behind both of its hands.
(Werewolf by Night I#17) - The next evening, "Turtle Neck" reported to the baron that the Regenerators were functioning perfectly (on the Behemoth). Baron Thunder realized that his men had unspoken questions about why he had ordered the Behemoth to return but he mentally reminded himself that one of the many resources he could bring into play was "a most intelligent werewolf-captor" who was just about to strike.
(Werewolf by Night I#18 - BTS) - Just before moonrise, Ma Mayhem arrived at
Jack Russell's apartment, disguised as a grey-haired older woman named Mrs. Lynn James and
claiming to be the new cleaning lady. After an unsuspecting Russell let her in, Mayhem turned
on her vacuum cleaner as she prepared to take care of Russell's unwelcome guest, LAPD detective
Lt. Lou Hackett. Russell saw her attempt to kill Hackett in time to thwart it but Hackett was knocked
unconscious in the process. Mayhem then revealed that the Committee had sent her to fetch him
and identified herself as "Ma Mayhem." She then revealed that it was the Werewolf who she
wanted and that that was why she had waited until the full moon rose to strike.
Seconds later, Jack transformed into the Werewolf, snarled and prepared to attack.
(Werewolf by Night I#18) - Meanwhile, back at Baron Thunder's headquarters, an underling reported that the restructuring of the Behemoth was proceeding on schedule. Baron Thunder acknowledged the report and expressed his confidence that Ma Mayhem would be succeeding where the clay-like android had failed. Hearing this, Lawrence Tong, the martial artist who was helping the baron by removing his cloak, asked, "That little old lady, Boss?" Thunder replied that that "lady" was California's most powerful witch and that she would succeed. Thunder then stated that their other concerns were his training. Now stripped to the waist, the baron held a steel girder in his hands and bent it into a U-shape in seconds, then asked Tong to show him what he had learned. The martial artist used a karate chop to break a brick while asking to be called "Larry." Baron Thunder then told "Larry" to pit his strength against him, and Larry delivered a powerful punch to his stomach. Seeing that the baron was unaffected by the blow, Larry stated that he was "built like a rock" and asked why he needed the werewolf so much, but Thunder stated that that was only his business.
(Werewolf by Night I#18 - BTS) - Ma Mayhem's attempt to capture the Werewolf inadvertently led to a second werewolf getting involved in their battle. When this new werewolf chose to attack the Russell Werewolf, Ma Mayhem realized that she wasn't prepared to face two of them at once and decided that she should retreat so as to inform Baron Thunder. However, before she left the area, Mayhem encountered Jack Russell's sister Lissa, realized that she was a potential werewolf herself and used sleeping gas to kidnap the teenager.
(Werewolf by Night I#18/Werewolf by Night I#19 (fb)) - The next day, when Jack returned to his apartment, he found a note from the Committee (pinned to his door by an odd dagger) informing him that they had kidnapped Lissa and demanding that Jack surrender himself to save her life. That afternoon, Jack spotted a piece of Mayhem's sweater snagged on a fence and found some "plastic flesh" attached to it.
(Werewolf by Night I#20 (fb) - BTS) - At about this time, Baron Thunder contacted Geraldo Kabal and offered him a considerable sum for a trunk filled with odd paraphernalia which had belonged to one of Kabal's former clients (presumably, the late Joshua Kane). Kabal did not immediately accept his offer.
(Werewolf by Night I#20 - BTS) - Jack Russell somehow learned that the person who was behind Lissa's kidnapping was "some kook holding the handle of Baron Thunder (who) was was evidently the head of some ad hoc fraternity called the Committee."
(Werewolf by Night I#20 - BTS) - On a night in the week following Lissa's kidnapping, Jack Russell went out to dinner with his friend Clary Winter. Just after they had ordered, lawyer Geraldo Kabal approached their table, confirmed that Clary's screen name was Melody Tune, and presented her with a small token of his esteem for her prodigious acting talent. As Kabal opened the box and revealed the odd ring that was inside, Jack was overcome by a strange compulsion that forced him to snatch the ring and jam it on his finger. As Kabal sat down beside Clary, Jack asked if he could have seen Kabal at Mallet Studios, and Kabal replied that he had been there tending to the disposition of a former client's possessions, a trunk filled with odd paraphernalia. When Kabal mentioned that a "Baron Thunder" had recently offered him a considerable sum for the trunk, Jack claimed to be a friend of the baron's who had been trying to get in touch with him but had lost his address. Once Kabal had obligingly helped Jack by giving him directions to the baron's new home on Moonrise Hill, Jack abruptly excused himself, telling Clary that he was sure that Mr. Kabal would see her home.
(Werewolf by Night I#20 - BTS) - Later that night, after arriving at the baron's place on Moonrise Hill, Jack was surprised when his unspoken wish that he could have the Werewolf's body and his human brain caused the ring to tingle as he transformed into the form for which he had wished. Werewolf Jack then entered the house, searched every room and found nothing. Angered, Werewolf Jack pounded on a wall and apparently triggered something that caused the floor to plummet downward. Alternatively, either Baron Thunder or Ma Mayhem may have activated the floor-elevator.
(Werewolf by Night I#20) - After avoiding any injury when the floor struck the bottom of the shaft, Werewolf Jack peered out into the gloom and immediately saw Lissa, wearing a tattered dress and chained to a nearby wall. Before he could free her, Werewolf Jack was confronted by Ma Mayhem in her true form; he lunged at her, but Baron Thunder, who had been standing nearby in the shadows, sucker-punched him in the side of his face with a "sledgehammer of a fist" and knocked him to the floor. Baron Thunder then told the "beast" to get on his feet because the Committee had use for him "and Baron Thunder is the Committee." Werewolf Jack sprang to his feet but before he could attack, Mayhem noticed the ring on his finger and called out to the baron to warn him that the Werewolf still had his human mind.
Baron Thunder began the battle by leaping at the Werewolf who evaded the lunge, then jumped on the baron's back, grabbed him around the neck and began pulling his head backwards. Despite the grip that Werewolf Jack maintained on him, the baron managed to lurch to his feet and then propelled them both backwards into a nearby bank of machinery, nearly breaking the Werewolf's back. With his foe nearly unconscious, Baron Thunder mocked him, stating that they would have his blood to strengthen the other members of the Committee as the baron had been strengthened, then he effortlessly heaved the Werewolf over his head and hurled him into another wall of machinery with enough force that it ruptured and began spurting flames. The baron then closed in for the kill but a desperate Werewolf Jack managed to slash out at him, striking with enough force to knock the baron back into another wall which also short-circuited and caught fire. Werewolf Jack attacked again, hurling himself headfirst at the baron but this only enabled the baron to get his head in a vise grip. As the baron increased the pressure he was applying to his foe's head, Werewolf Jack propelled them both back into yet another machine. However, this time the impact didn't just cause another fire to break out, it also destabilized the machine, which began to topple over.
Hearing the warnings cried out by the watching Mayhem and Lissa, Baron Thunder released his grip on the Werewolf and turned to catch the falling machine. Despite his strength, the baron was only able to hold back the flaming machine for a few seconds (during which Werewolf Jack scrambled away) before it crashed down on him and crushed him beneath it. Ma Mayhem rushed to the baron's side as he lay immobile and possibly unconscious and stayed there, kneeling over him as the flames spread. By the time Werewolf Jack had freed Lissa, the baron and Mayhem were surrounded by flames, and Lissa told her brother that there was nothing they could do to save the duo. The situation made Werewolf Jack wish that he had never changed into the Werewolf so the ring activated again to change him back into Jack Russell who then fled with Lissa.
Jack and Lissa escaped from the subterranean complex and then the now-burning house above it before the fires set off explosions that destroyed both structures.
Baron Thunder and Ma Mayhem presumably both died in those blasts.
Comments: Created by Mike Friedrich and Don
Quickly killed off by Doug Moench, Don Perlin and Vince Colletta.
There was a certain symbol that seemed to be associated with Baron Thunder. It appeared on the back of his big chair in WBN #17, on his cumberbund in WBN #17-18+20 and on the handle of the knife used to pin the ransom note to the door of Jack Russell's apartment in WBN #18-19. It looked to me like a demon's head with two curved horns sticking up from it but I suppose it could also have been meant to be a wolf's head.
One of the things that was never explained was exactly how Jack learned that "Baron Thunder" was responsible for Lissa's kidnapping. Sure, Ma Mayhem told Jack that it was the Committee who had sent her to fetch his werewolf self and she mentioned "the baron" twice while battling the Werewolf and there was that ransom note from the Committee that demanded that Jack surrender himself to save Lissa's life...but how did he learn that "the baron" was Baron Thunder? I mean, if you're the secret head of a criminal organization, that's not information that you'd want an enemy to be able to learn, is it?
Another thing that bugs me is the number of coincidences that just
happened to have occurred in WBN #20. Jack Russell just happens to take Clary to dinner in a restaurant where
Geraldo Kabal just happens to show her a certain mystical ring that triggers a reaction in Jack and Kabal just
happens to know where "Baron Thunder" lives? And once Jack arrives at Moonrise Hill, the house and the
subterranean machinery complex beneath it just happen to be deserted except for Baron Thunder, Ma Mayhem
and the captive Lissa? If that complex was the Committee's base, then why weren't any other members there
when Jack just happened to arrive in search of his sister? The only way that this makes any sense is if Thunder
and/or Mayhem somehow arranged for Jack to learn what he needed to know in order to lure him into a trap.
All in all, it seems like an implausibly-convenient way for a new writer to quickly wrap up the previous writer's
Also, in reading the summary, it seems pretty disturbing that Jack left Clary with the otherwise unknown Kabal to see her home. I mean, I guess it was the '70's, but if I met some weirdo with magic rings at a restaurant, I would not ask my date to look to him for a ride home.
Although it was implied, werewolf blood was never confirmed as being the source of Baron Thunder's superhuman strength. And if the blood was the source, was the process in which it was used to endow Thunder with that strength scientific or mystical in nature? The baron's close relationship with the witch Ma Mayhem could mean that it was a mystical ritual but the fact that the Committee mostly used technology to achieve their ends could mean that it was a scientific procedure.
Speaking of Ma Mayhem, a lack of information makes it difficult to assemble a precise timeline of their relationship. The fact that they clearly trusted each other indicates that they probably knew each other long before the Committee hired her to capture the Werewolf, but everything else is vague. Did the baron seek her out for her expertise? If so, was it her services as "California's most powerful witch" or as "a most intelligent werewolf-captor" that he needed? Did she help give him superhuman strength or did he acquire that strength through some other method and just needed Mayhem to replicate the results for the other members of the Committee? There was a lot of mystery surrounding this couple and no definitive answers were ever provided.
I'm also curious about the exact connection between Geraldo Kabal and Baron Thunder. I've assumed that Thunder hired Kabal to handle his mortgage because he really wanted to get his hands on Joshua Kane's artifacts and hoped that having a prior business relationship with the executor of Kane's estate would make that easier. Given the baron's interest in werewolves, the fact that he knew about the "Werewolf Rings" could mean that they were the reason for his interest in Kane's artifacts. If so, then it must have been quite a surprise for him to see that Jack Russell, of all people, was actually wearing one of them. However, the fact that it was Kabal who coincidentally was able to provide Jack with the information that led him to where the baron was waiting for him suggests that Thunder was using Kabal to a greater extent that was ever spelled out in the stories. Also, I found the idea of the head of the Committee having to take out a mortgage on his new home to be a bit odd...unless, of course, it was part of some scheme.
As I mentioned elsewhere, having Lissa, who was wearing pants and a midriff-baring shirt when she was kidnapped by Mayhem, end up barefoot and wearing a tattered dress while chained to a wall in basement is a peculiar choice. Aside from the fact that she was either forced to change her clothes or her kidnappers changed them for her, possibly while she was unconscious and definitely against her will, why would anyone want her to wear a tattered dress in the first place? The possible reasons are a bit icky to consider. Poor Lissa really has had a rough life.
Model Kay-Twelve's designation and the fact that it was described as a "test model" suggests that it was just one of a number of androids possessed by the Committee, but no other androids like it have ever been seen. The fact that the Behemoth seemed to have contained absolutely no known technology within its "clay-like" body made it sound more like a golem than an android. Additionally, the matter of how Baron Thunder was able to control the Behemoth via his "personal commands" that did not seem to need spoken words or hand gestures or radio signals from any type of electronic device was never explained. The explanation that best fits these facts would be that the baron could remotely control the Behemoth by the power of his mind, like a puppeteer controlling a puppet, but there was never even a hint that he possessed any such telepathic or telekinetic abilities or that the android had been designed with such a method of control in mind. On the other hand, maybe some of the clay that made up the android came from Mount Wundagore? Given the total lack of evidence, that's as good an explanation as any and better than nothing.
Profile by Donald Campbell.
Baron Thunder has no known connections to
The Behemoth has no known connections to
Lawrence "Larry" Tong has no known connections to
An android used by the Committee, Model Kay-Twelve was the personal creation of Baron Thunder who named it "the Behemoth." The fact that is was considered to be a test model suggests that it was an experimental prototype that had not been perfected. Nothing has been revealed about what other models the Committee may have had in their possession.
Model Kay-Twelve was described by Baron Thunder as being "a veritable mountain of synthetic clay-like muscle." It was about 10 feet in height and shaped like a muscular bald man with grey skin. Its head had human features (i.e., eyes, ears, nose and mouth) but there's no indication that any of these organs actually functioned. Its body was seemingly composed entirely of a "synthetic clay-like" material that was completely undifferentiated. Although it possessed a torso, legs and arms with hands that had fingers could move independently, the Behemoth apparently lacked any form of solid internal framework (like a skeleton) or any actuators that could be used to cause its arms, legs and fingers to move. Since its body also lacked any nerves (or wiring) that would normally be present in living (or robotic) bodies, exactly how the Behemoth controlled its movements is a complete mystery. However, the fact that the Behemoth was unable to control its hands once they had been severed from its arms indicates that there must have been some form of physical control connection present.
Although the Behemoth could not feel pain, its body could be damaged in ways that could limit its function. For example, when both its hands had been cut off, it could no longer grasp anything and could only use its arms and feet to attack. Not being alive, the Behemoth could not "heal" itself and it had to be placed in the Regenerators at Baron Thunder's headquarters in order to be repaired in a process called "restructuring."
The Behemoth was under the complete control of Baron Thunder, but how he exercised that control has never been revealed. Baron Thunder was able to direct the Behemoth's actions without speaking any vocal commands or making any signals with his hands, and he was able to order it to return to base via an "unheard command" even when he was miles away. It is not clear if the baron was directly controlling the Behemoth during its fight with the Werewolf or if he had just given it a command to attack and Model Kay-Twelve carried out that command on its own. However, the apparent lack of any electronic circuitry within it suggests that the android's actions were not controlled by an on-board computer of any kind, making the question of how it functioned AT ALL yet another complete mystery. Additionally, Baron Thunder seemed to be aware of how the battle against the Werewolf had progressed even though he was miles away at the time (but that could have been because agents of the Committee might have planted surveillance devices inside Jack Russell's apartment).
The Behemoth was first seen in action at the headquarters of the Committee. After two members of his Inner Council tried to tell him that Jack Russell had been sighted in his step-father's home, Baron Thunder interrupted them to state that Model Kay-Twelve would be "dispatched, in time, to capture Russell!" When "Turtle Neck" then asked, "A test model, excellency?" Baron Thunder demanded to know if he was doubting the head of the Committee but "Shaved Head" and "Turtle Neck" quickly assured Thunder that they were not doubting him. However, when they then mentioned some concerns they had about why they were hunting Russell, Baron Thunder responded to their need for "convincing" by pressing a button that opened a large door through which Model Kay-Twelve then entered the room. Presenting it as his personal creation whom he had named the Behemoth, the baron stated that he believed a demonstration was in order, as the Behemoth responded to his personal commands. While the baron was asking his underlings if they had eradicated their disbelief, the Behemoth picked them both up and held them high above the floor as the baron then asked if they would prefer their disbelief to be dashed to the floor along with their broken bones. Once the terrified men had sworn they would never doubt the baron's judgment, the Behemoth allowed them to drop to the floor.
"Weeks" later, on the First Night of the full moon, the Behemoth was sent to Colden House to retrieve the Werewolf but for some reason did not arrive until only minutes before sunrise. After punching in the glass doors to the balcony, the Behemoth entered Jack Russell's apartment to find the Werewolf and the empath Topaz who had been frozen in place in mental battle for hours. Distracted by the smashing entry, both of them turned to face the Behemoth, and the Werewolf, released from Topaz's will, immediately attacked the intruder and attempted to kill it. However, since the Behemoth could feel no pain, slicing off part of its head had no effect and the android swiftly grabbed the Werewolf by the neck with his left hand, pinned him to the floor and began to choke him into unconsciousness. Clawing desperately at the Behemoth's wrist, the Werewolf was on the verge of passing out when the hand suddenly opened as soon as it had been severed from its arm. Now one-handed, the Behemoth attacked with its right arm but the Werewolf avoided its grasp, grabbed that arm and sank his teeth deep into its clay-like arm. The Behemoth reacted by swinging its arm (and the Werewolf) into a wall, an act that caused its right hand to split off even as it stunned the Werewolf. Now handless, the Behemoth then stamped its right foot down on the Werewolf as he lay on the floor, but the Werewolf managed to catch it before it made contact with his body. At that moment, the Behemoth suddenly turned away from the battle, as if answering an unheard command, and it then quickly exited the apartment through the shattered doors, leaving both its hands behind. The Werewolf attempted to follow his "prey" as it sought to escape, but Topaz managed to stop him with her mental powers for the seconds that remained before sunrise turned him back into Jack Russell.
During the following day, the Behemoth made its way back to Baron Thunder's headquarters where it was placed into the Regenerators while Jack Russell's spent some time cleaning up his trashed apartment. Russell apparently managed to dispose of the Behemoth's left hand but, for some reason, did not bother to also remove the right hand.
That evening, "Turtle Neck" assured the baron that the Regenerators were functioning perfectly as they repaired the Behemoth. At the same time, Lt. Hackett paid a visit to Jack Russell at his apartment and stated that he believed a werewolf was there. Once inside, Hackett observed the mess and stated that the LAPD had heard reports that a behemoth had been on the rampage there the previous night. As Hackett knelt to examine the large hand on the floor, there was a knock on the door. Russell opened the door to reveal an older woman who identified herself as Mrs. Lynn James, the new cleaning lady. When Mrs. James asked if he'd had a wild party, Russell quickly agreed and claimed that one of the guests had even left a trick clay hand. However, any further discussion of the hand was averted when "Mrs. James" tried to kill Lt. Hackett and then, just as the full moon rose, revealed that she had been sent by the Committee to fetch the Werewolf.
Meanwhile, back at Baron Thunder's headquarters, where another detached hand was waiting, a minion told the baron that the restructuring of the Behemoth was proceeding on schedule. Baron Thunder acknowledged the report and stated that Ma Mayhem should now be succeeding where the clay-like android had failed.
The Behemoth has not been seen again.
- Werewolf by Night I#17-18
Lawrence "Larry" Tong
Originally from San Francisco, Larry Tong was a martial artist of Asian descent who was employed by Baron Thunder as his trainer and was trusted enough to be allowed inside the baron's headquarters. He presumably knew that Baron Thunder was the leader of the Committee, but did not seem to have been a member himself. He may or may not have been a criminal. The fact that he believed that Ma Mayhem was an older woman indicates that he was unaware of her real identity.
One evening, just after moonrise, Larry was in Baron Thunder's (secret?)
headquarters with his employer. As he removed the baron's cloak in preparation for their training session, Larry
overheard Thunder say that Ma Mayhem should be succeeding (at capturing the Werewolf) where the clay-like
Behemoth android had failed. Suprised, Larry asked, "That little old lady, Boss?" and the baron informed
"Lawrence Tong" that that "lady" was California's most powerful witch and that she would succeed.
then directed Tong's attention to their other concerns, his training, and demonstrated his power by bending a
steel girder into a U-shape in seconds. When the baron asked "Tong" to show him what he had learned, Larry
replied, "The streets of San Francisco taught me a lot, Boss!" as he used a karate chop to break a brick,
then asked to please be called "Larry."
Baron Thunder then told "Larry" to pit his strength against him, now, and Larry delivered a powerful punch to his stomach. Seeing that the baron was unaffected by the blow, Larry stated that he was "built like a rock" and asked why he needed the werewolf so much but Thunder replied that that was only his business.
Larry has not been seen again.
- Werewolf by Night I#18
house on Moonrise Hill
Baron Thunder's "new home" which looked, according to Jack Russell, "like a combination of a haunted house and a condemned tenement." The house was built atop an offshoot of a mountain, known as Moonrise Hill, which was apparently located not too far away from Los Angeles. Moonrise Hill was connected to the headland by a ridge of rock along which a path had been built.
Despite its spooky appearance, the interior of the house seemed to be completely innocuous but the floor in (at least) one room had actually been rigged so that, at a signal, it would rapidly drop down to a "subterranean machinery complex" beneath the house at a speed that could be harmful to normal humans. However, if this drop-away floor was meant to also function as an elevator and not just as a trap, then the speed at which it descended could presumably be controlled.
The subterranean complex had a bare stone wall to which damsels in distress could be chained but there were massive banks of machinery against all the other walls. The complex was also not well-lit, making it full of shadows in which people could conceal themselves when planning an ambush.
At some point, Baron Thunder acquired the property and hired lawyer Geraldo Kabal to handle the mortgage for his new home. The fact that the home was a recent acquisition suggests that either the "subterranean machinery complex" was already beneath the house or Baron Thunder had it built VERY quickly.
At some point after she had been kidnapped by Ma Mayhem, Lissa Russell was brought to the subterranean complex and chained to a wall. How she ended up wearing a tattered dress that was completely unlike the pants and midriff-baring shirt she had been wearing when Mayhem kidnapped her has never been explained.
One evening in the week following Lissa's abduction, Jack Russell just happened to encounter Geraldo Kabal at the restaurant where he had taken his friend Clary Winter out for supper. During their conversation, Russell was not only compelled to seize and put on a certain ring which Kabal had offered to Clary, he also, through an incredible coincidence, was able to learn from Kabel the address of Baron Thunder's new home. After abandoning Clary to Kabal's attentions, Russell drove straight to Moonrise Hill where he was surprised when his unspoken wish that he could have the Werewolf's body and his human brain caused the ring to tingle and transform him into the form for which he had wished.
Werewolf Jack then
entered the house, searched every room and eventually triggered the trap that sent him hurtling down into
the subterranean complex. One of the first things that Werewolf Jack saw was Lissa chained to the wall but,
as he approached her, a young blonde woman stepped out of the shadows. Showing him the mask that she
had worn as Ma Mayhem, the woman provoked Werewolf Jack into lunging at her, thereby causing him to
move into the path of a powerful punch thrown by Baron Thunder, who planned to shackle him. Spotting the
ring that he was wearing, Mayhem told the baron that Werewolf Jack was a werewolf in body only and lacked
the ferocity of the wolf. The two males then began to fight and, in the course of their battle, one or the other
of them slammed into the banks of machinery with great force, enough to cause short circuits that started fires
within the machines. The fourth time this happened caused the machine which they had struck to become
unstable and begin to topple over onto them.
Baron Thunder managed to catch the machine and hold it back for a few seconds, but his strength was not enough to hold it longer, and it crashed down on him, crushing him beneath it. As Mayhem rushed to the baron's side, Werewolf Jack freed Lissa, but by then the flames had spread and become an inferno, cutting the baron and Mayhem off from any chance of a rescue.
Seconds later, Werewolf Jack unintentionally activated the ring again and changed back into Jack Russell who then fled with Lissa up to the house and then outside to relative safety. Seeing that the whole place was gutted with fire, the siblings decided that they had to quickly get out of there and they had almost reached Jack's car when the first of a series of explosions occurred. As they sped away in the car, two more explosions took place, one in the now-burning house and a second that ruptured the side of the mountain within which the machinery complex had been located. Seconds later, a final massive explosion obliterated anything that might have survived the first three.
Note: Since only interior views of "the headquarters of Baron Thunder" appeared in WBN #17-18, it's possible that the baron's HQ and "the subterranean machinery complex" beneath the house on Moonrise Hill in WBN #20 were actually not the same place.
- Werewolf by Night I#17-18, 20
Machines that could be used to repair the Behemoth if it suffered damage. Absolutely nothing has been revealed about how they functioned except for what can be seen in these two images. The term "regeneration" usually refers to the biological process by which living organisms "replace a body part by a new growth of tissue" but it's hard to see how that would be applicable to a "clay-like android." However, the verb regenerate can also mean "to reform completely" so I suppose it could just be a fancy way to refer to some non-biological repair procedure.
The machines shown to be repairing the Behemoth in WBN#17 (seen in the image to the left) look somewhat different from the machines performing that function in WBN#18 (seen in the image to the right) but that's probably just because they were being depicted from different angles. Or maybe they were separate devices, in which case only the machines in the left image were actually called the Regenerators.
The presence of the detached hand on a nearby platform was never explained. It could be the Behemoth's left hand, the one that it left behind in Russell's apartment. If so, then either agents of the Committee snuck into Russell's apartment and stole it while he was out or they retrieved it from wherever Russell had disposed of it. Alternatively, it could be a spare hand, one of many replacement android parts that the Committee kept "on hand" for any repairs that might be required.
If the subterranean machinery complex beneath the house on Moonrise Hill was Baron Thunder's headquarters, then the Regenerators and the Behemoth were probably all there when the complex exploded and were presumably destroyed. However, if Baron Thunder's actual headquarters was located somewhere else, then the Regenerators and the Behemoth would not have been destroyed and, instead, they were just never seen again.
- Werewolf by Night I#17-18 (possibly BTS in WBN#20)
Werewolf by Night I#17, page 8, panel 1 (main image)
Werewolf by Night I#18, page 6, panel 2 (head shot)
Werewolf by Night I#17, page 7, panel 5 (naming himself)
Werewolf by Night I#18, page 6, panel 3 (bending steel girder)
Werewolf by Night I#20, page 11, panel 1 (fighting the Werewolf)
page 13, panel 3 (holding back machine)
pages 14-15, panel 1 (trapped by the flames)
Werewolf by Night I#17, page 15, panel 1 (Behemoth attacks)
page 16, panel 6 (Behemoth stomps)
Werewolf by Night I#18, page 4, panel 1 (abandoned right hand)
page 6, panel 4 (Larry Tong)
page 6, panel 5 (Larry striking the baron)
Werewolf by Night I#20, page 7, panel 1 (house on Moonrise Hill)
page 18, panels 4-5 (house exploding)
Werewolf by Night I#17, page 18, panel 3 (Regenerators are functioning)
Werewolf by Night I#18, page 6, panel 1 (restructuring of the Behemoth proceeds)
Werewolf By Night I#17 (May, 1974) - Mike Friedrich (scripter), Don Perlin (artist), Roy Thomas (editor)
Werewolf By Night I#18 (June, 1974) - Mike Friedrich (writer), Don Perlin (artist), Roy Thomas (editor)
Werewolf By Night I#19 (July, 1974) - Mike Friedrich (the story), Don Perlin (the art), Roy Thomas (the editor)
Werewolf By Night I#20 (August, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Don Perlin & Vince Colletta (artists), Roy Thomas (editor)
First Posted: 05/25/2020
Last updated: 05/25/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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