Werewolf by Night will bring a number of new supernatural characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, from Gael Garcia Bernal‘s titular lycanthrope to the massive heap of vegetation known as the Man-Thing. But the most important may be Laura Donnelly‘s Elsa Bloodstone. The entire special will take place at Bloodstone Castle, where a group of monster hunters fights for a mystic artifact.
Though it appears that the hunt for the artifact will turn into a struggle to survive — especially when Russell’s alter ego is unleashed — the Bloodstone family legacy may play a part in the story and even set up future supernatural MCU projects.
Elsa Bloodstone’s Comic Book History
Elsa made her first appearance in the Bloodstone limited series in 2001, which was written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning with Michael Lopez handling illustrations. She was the teenage daughter of legendary monster hunter Ulysses Bloodstone, who was granted immortality when a mystical meteorite lodged in his chest. Elsa proved to be just as adept at monster hunting as her father, as she ultimately slew the demonic vampire known as Nosferatu. Ironically, she was helped by Dracula, who not only is a character in the Marvel Universe but also comes into conflict with other heroes — namely Blade.
More irony abounds concerning Elsa’s original appearance; she was blonde-haired and blue-eyed, which drew obvious comparisons to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. However, both Abnett and Lanning said that they hadn’t watched an episode of the popular TV series prior to writing the comic, and said that they were “determined to steer clear of Buffy at least while we’re doing Bloodstone.” In any case, this may have inspired Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen to take a different track with her in the highly popular Nextwave series.
Gone were Elsa’s blonde locks and youthful spirits, replaced by a mane of flaming red hair and a seemingly unending well of sarcasm. She put her monster-hunting skills to use alongside Monica Rambeau, Aaron Stack/Machine Man, Tabitha “Boom Boom” Smith of X-Force, and a mysterious man named the “Captain”. The five work as agents for the Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort (or H.A.T.E.), battling superhuman menaces of all shapes and sizes. However, it turned out that H.A.T.E. was a front for the sinister Beyond Corporation, which itself was formed from the terrorist organization known as S.I.N.I.S.T.E.R. Nextwave promptly departed H.A.T.E. and took a massive vehicle called the Shockwave Rider in lieu of severance – battling their former employers as well as other supervillains.
Eventually, Nextwave disbanded and Elsa went back to monster-hunting. She joined the all-female team of superheroes known as the Fearless Defenders, alongside fellow supernatural heroine Clea Strange and the Valkyrie Brunnhilde. Recently, she was among a number of supernatural beings recruited by Doctor Strange’s partner Wong to free the Sorcerer Supreme’s soul from the clutches of the demonic Mephisto. But the most surprising team Elsa ever joined was a group of Avengers… formed by none other than Doctor Doom! The Fantastic Four’s adversary had undergone a shift in personality due to a psychic wave and sought to redeem himself, forming his own Avengers in the process. It goes to show that Elsa is a team player, despite her prickly personality.
Like her father, Elsa possesses a fragment of the Bloodstone, which augments her strength and speed and even grants her a healing factor. She is also immune to vampire bites, as the Bloodstone will poison any vampire that comes into contact with it. Though she’s a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, her true skill lies in firearms. She is an expert markswoman, able to identify and shoot targets at great distances, and is rarely seen without her twin pistols or hunting rifle (or both). Though there have only been glimpses of Donnelly in the Werewolf by Night trailer, her take on Elsa may wind up being as formidable as her comics counterpart — and given Elsa’s penchant for joining teams, the Midnight Sons could be in the MCU’s future.
Werewolf by Night will be available to stream on Disney+ on October 7.