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WILEY WOLF

wolf_wiley_cb_werewolf1 wolf_wiley_cb_werewolf3 wolf_wiley_cb_werewolf2
 
Full Name: Wiley Wolf
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: D. J. Arneson, Bill Fraccio
Time Span: 1966 - 1967

ABOUT THE SERIES

Wiley Wolf, aka Werewolf, is an agent with the CIA.

To be more accurate, we are never given that acronym; we are told the organization was "Central Intelligence" with its headquarters, albeit a very secret one, in D.C. but to think that a large department like the CIA would allow another department to usurp two thirds of its name ... uhuh, it's the CIA.

When we meet Wolf, he is Major Wolf of the USAF and he is flying a jet over the frozen Arctic region on a secret mission (we are never told what) when his plane experiences an explosion in the engine; he calls it in and then tries to eject but that mechanism fails and he goes down with the craft. Miraculously he survives, being thrown out into the deep snow.

Coming to after a bit he finds himself surrounded by wolves, one of which is injured somehow. He decides to build a fire and wrap the hurting canine in a blanket (why was there a blanket on a single-seat fighter jet?) and he nurses the wild animal back to health. For the next six months he lives in that desolate area with that wild pack until another plane spots him and he is rescued. He takes the wolf, which he named Thor, with him.

It is upon arriving in D.C. that the Agency sends a beautiful blonde named Judy to escort him to HQ. That is a bit surprising to Wolf, as is the fact that the word of his survival has been kept a total secret - no one, including his friends and family, knew he was still alive - and they want it that way.

Central Intelligence wants Wolf to be an agent, based on the extraordinary feat of having survived so long in the northernmost part of Canada. It has a new division called Top Priority Unit One and it has chosen Wolf to be its sole agent. That new agent, codenamed Werewolf, would next undergo intense training. He becomes a highly skilled hand-to-hand fighter, expert marksman, and much more, all while being watched by Thor.

And then he is given the Werewolf suit, full-bodied, "the most complex piece of wearing apparel ever designed". One molecule thick so his body can breath in it but still somehow "impervious to every known chemical and gas" and able to "stop or deflect all but a direct shot from the high caliber rifle, even then the bullet will be rendered nearly harmless". Some other features are also incredulous.

Wolf has been "transformed into the world's most uniquely trained and equipped super-spy".

COMIC BOOKS, GRAPHIC NOVELS, AND MANGA

Number of Stories:10
First Appearance:1966
Last Appearance:1967

1 Trial By Nature Trial By Nature
Published by Dell Comics
Contributors: D. J. Arneson (writer), Bill Fraccio (artist)
Copyright: 1966

1st of 3 graphic adventures in Werewolf #1 (Dec. 1966) with 8 color pages.
This adventures tells how on a special USAF mission over the Arctic Circle, Major Wiley Wolf's plane crashes in the wilderness and he survives the next six months living with a pack of wolves, including one that he nurses back to health from near death.

2 Assignment Top Secret Assignment Top Secret
Published by Dell Comics
Contributors: D. J. Arneson (writer), Bill Fraccio (artist)
Copyright: 1966

2nd of 3 graphic adventures in Werewolf #1 (Dec. 1966) with 9 color pages.
Upon return to the States and flying to DC, Wiley Wolf is met at the airport by a woman from the CIA and taken to a secret headquarters. He is told of a new division in that organization, Unit One, and how he is to be their sole agent, codename Werewolf.

3 The First Howl! The First Howl!
Published by Dell Comics
Contributors: D. J. Arneson (writer), Bill Fraccio (artist)
Copyright: 1966

3rd of 3 graphic adventures in Werewolf #1 (Dec. 1966) with 14 color pages.
It is suspected that Russian engineers have placed intercontinental rockets on hidden pads in the interior or Cuba (this is two years after the Missile Crisis). It is Werewolf's job to get rid of them.

4 The Call Of The Sea The Call Of The Sea
Published by Dell Comics
Contributors: D. J. Arneson (writer), Bill Fraccio (artist)
Copyright: 1967

1st in a 4-part graphic adventure in Werewolf #2 (Mar. 1967) with 6 color pages.
After a recap of Werewolf's origin, including a couple of changes as well as some enhancements to Thor, they are sent to join a submarine crew to begin their next mission. This 'story' ends as they arrive.

5 Secret Mission Secret Mission
Published by Dell Comics
Contributors: D. J. Arneson (writer), Bill Fraccio (artist)
Copyright: 1967

2nd in a 4-part graphic adventure in Werewolf #2 (Mar. 1967) with 8 color pages.
The mission for Werewolf is to learn how the Red Chinese have devised a way to track all the US nuclear subs. He will do this by throwing himself into the ocean far from land.

6 The Chinese Water Devils The Chinese Water Devils
Published by Dell Comics
Contributors: D. J. Arneson (writer), Bill Fraccio (artist)
Copyright: 1967

3rd in a 4-part graphic adventure in Werewolf #2 (Mar. 1967) with 8 color pages.
Allowing himself to be captured by the Red Chinese, Werewolf scouts as much of the facility as he can but when he does not answer their questions, they shoot him out a torpedo tube.

7 Strange Reunion At Sea Strange Reunion At Sea
Published by Dell Comics
Contributors: D. J. Arneson (writer), Bill Fraccio (artist)
Copyright: 1967

4th in a 4-part graphic adventure in Werewolf #2 (Mar. 1967) with 10 color pages.
Werewolf discovers the secret to the Red Chinese ability to track all US nuclear submarines anywhere in the world - porpoises! He also finds a way to destroy their plans and foil the scheme of its creator, Sing Lo.

8 Jump To Danger Jump To Danger
Published by Dell Comics
Contributors: D. J. Arneson (writer), Bill Fraccio (artist)
Copyright: 1967

1st of 3 graphic adventures in Werewolf #3 (Mar. 1967) with 16 color pages.
Werewolf and his trusty companion Thor are sent into the Chinese mainland to rescue a US intelligence general held captive by that country.

9 The Day The World Almost Ended The Day The World Almost Ended
Published by Dell Comics
Contributors: D. J. Arneson (writer), Bill Fraccio (artist)
Copyright: 1967

2nd of 3 graphic adventures in Werewolf #3 (Mar. 1967) with 12 color pages.
Returning to the States from his latest mission, Werewolf and Thor are taking the slow route to recover, sailing on the SS Safehaven. Werewolf sees an atomic test taking place by the French on one of their Pacific atolls and he knows that the shock wave heading their way will somehow explode the two thousand nuclear warheads the ship is hauling back to the States. Werewolf is really under orders to accompany the ship's cargo. Things get, um, confusing.

10 Werewolf Werewolf
Published by Dell Comics
Contributors: D. J. Arneson (writer), Bill Fraccio (artist)
Copyright: 1967

3rd of 3 graphic adventures in Werewolf #3 (Mar. 1967) with 4 color pages.
A very short recap of the origin of Werewolf and his suit and his abilities, not to mention Thor's.

MY COMMENTS

I was shocked to find this series. Okay, I was told about it - I didn't find it myself. It was from the 60s and I would have bet a few bucks (not many, though) that I knew every spy comic book series from the US from that time period. There was little chance of there having been one I missed - until I was shown otherwise.

This is an odd combination of spy and costumed hero story not to mention a buddy team book with a man and his dog - well, 100% wolf, to be exact.

It did not last long - three issues spread over almost a year, and based on what I saw, it did not deserve to. The stories were way on the far side of outlandish, especially where the wolf was concerned. I mean, that poor wolf! And I never thought I would type those words.

GRADE

My Grade: C

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