‘Werewolf by Night’ gives Marvel a chance to unleash its monster-ous side

Flexing different muscles, Marvel’s “Werewolf by Night” is a nifty Halloween-timed special designed as a black-and-white homage to the Universal monster movies of the 1930s and ’40s.

Told with wry humor while tapping into unexplored quadrants of comics lore, it’s a bit too gory and scary for younger kids but a gift to fans that raises enticingly monster-ous possibilities.

Guided by the widow (Harriet Sansom Harris at full tilt) of monster slayer Ulysses Bloodstone, the group must vie to earn the prize in a contest that could turn them from predators into prey.

Those on hand for this macabre Hunger Games include Jack Russell (Gael Garcia Bernal), who fans will immediately identify as the werewolf of the comics.

He’s pursuing a very different agenda – and thanks to Man-Thing, another Marvel character from the early 1970s, not the only monster unleashed.

The hunters also include Bloodstone’s estranged daughter Elsa (Laura Donnelly, adding to her butt-kicking resume after HBO’s “The Nevers”), who covets the stone despite bad blood with her stepmother.