"Schreck" is a series that is not very fondly remembered by Warrenphiles today, though it was interesting despite being obviously inspired by the film "Night of the Living Dead," which was released just a few years earlier. It was a gory, austere horror-fest that allowed the readers to experience what would happen if large numbers of people in the world suddenly went murderously insane. Derek Schreck was a classic American hero, a former football player and brilliant natural athlete who later became a reporter (it was never revealed if he ever played as a professional, though he didn't seem to be a celebrity, and his lack of wealth seemed to indicate that this wasn't the case). Otherwise, we didn't learn much about the titular hero of the series, other than the fact that he was naturally suited for hunting killer lunatics.
The story could easily have occurred during the time it was published, the early 1970s, but analysis of the story and the rest of the Hunter Timeline made it clear that the series occurred in an alternate future timeline. Based on the time that Schreck later appeared as an old man in the "Hunter" series, my research has caused me to conclude that "Schreck" must have occurred from the year 2044-2046. The only real technological differences from our own era that indicated that the story took place in the future was the presence of the moonbases filled with nuclear weapons, and the fact that nuclear tests were now conducted on the moon. The fact that China was depicted as the only other world power next to the United States in this series was very prescient on the part of writer Doug Moench, especially when one looks at the growing political, military, and economic power of China in the year I write these words (early 2007). Thus, the U.S. being at odds with China was very logical.
The artwork in this series seemed to vary in quality between the four stories that comprised the entire series, with Vincente Alcazar being the main artist, with a helping hand from none other than the legendary Neal Adams in the first story only.
"Schreck" didn't exactly set the comics world on fire, but it was an interesting Warren offering from Doug Moench. It will be of most interest to horror fans who enjoy the type of stories seen not only in "Night of the Living Dead," but also great films like "28 Days Later." It is also of major concern to any creative mythographer who may be researching the Hunter Timeline, as Derek Schreck exists on an alternate future time track of the Wold Newton Universe [WNU], and the character crossed over not only with Demian Hunter, but also several other Warrenverse characters in EERIE #130.
"First Night of Terror"
Story: Doug Moench
Art: Vincente Alcazar and Neal Adams
In an alternate future (see Time Frame below for my conjectures on this), reporter Derek Schreck of the United States pulled up an astounding AP wire that he informed his co-worker, Lee, about…there were nuclear explosions on the moon. Lee realized that this must be due to the nuclear bases that China had stockpiled on La Luna, but it seemed much more intense than a regular nuclear bomb test. Grasping the immensity of the chaos, Schreck noted, "U.P.I. says the Chinese base must have assumed our base attacked them…they're caught in a chain reaction…and they've retaliated!"
Lee then mused that the rantings of the environmentalists to move nuclear bomb testing to the moon has finally backfired on them in a major way.
More flashes were detected, for a total of seven enormous nuclear explosions occurring on the moon, and Schreck noted that it would be a matter of time before the streaming radiation started affecting life on Earth [would this really happen with any number of such detonations on the moon? I think there was more to this situation than meets the eye, but I will let other creative mythographers who study the Hunter Timeline sort this out].
Within several months, the mutagenic effects of the radiation started becoming apparent on Earth…a plague of insanity suddenly broke out, with growing numbers of people becoming complete murderous psychopaths, their eyes acquiring a white glaze in the process; these psychopaths were referred to in the press as psychosomatic "werewolves," because for purely psychological reasons, they seemed worst when the moon was full. Schreck was still going to work during this time, and he asked Lee why they were still reporting for duty when the world was going insane around them…Lee responded that there was little else they could do. In the meantime, Schreck's wife Paula expressed concern about the moontaint (it was referred to by this name beginning in the next story), and Derek told her that he didn't want her going out anymore because of the mobs of insane people roaming about in the dark. "The radiation from the moon's not really any worse at night, but it seems to have a psychological effect! The paper's swamped with reports of psychosomatic lycanthropy!" [There were still supermarkets operating during the 'werewolf' plague? I guess the bottom line marches on].
As a result of the plague of insanity, the U.S. government established a euthanasia bureau, where armed agents captured and euthanised anyone who became afflicted with the moontaint. One day at work, Schreck noticed that a co-worker, a man named Gav, had a whitish glaze in his eyes, and he confided to Lee that he may have been afflicted by the moontaint. Lee opined that the man may simply be tired or under stress, and that they shouldn't report people to the euthanasia bureau on a whim. Suddenly, after a short time, Gav went insane, but instead of attacking others he shoved a letter opener into his own throat. Schreck was incensed, believing that they should have reported him to the bureau, but Lee retorted, "What's the difference…if the euthanasia squad killed him, or if he did the job himself?" [I think that Schreck meant that Gav could just as easily have tried to kill someone else, but this appeared to have been lost on Lee].
As Schreck was out one night (possibly to get food), he suddenly found himself surrounded by a small mob of 'werewolves'. Proving himself a terrific athlete and fighter (it was revealed in the next story that he was a former football player), Schreck battled his way through them, and fled back to his car. He managed to start the engine as several of the 'werewolves' pounded on his closed windows, and he quickly sped away from the area towards the home he shared with Paula, running over all of his attackers in the process. As Schreck drove around he noticed a man crucified to death on a tree, and he realized that this must have been a scientist…though the 'werewolves' simply ripped the average sane person to pieces, they often reserved more elaborate deaths for those they deemed scientists, especially if that scientist happened to be Oriental.
However, it turned out that one of the 'werewolves' had gotten into the back seat of the car, and attacked Schreck from behind with a knife. The car ended up crashing into a tree, completely wrecking the vehicle, but in the process Schreck managed to wrest the knife free from his attacker and stab him to death with it.
Making his way back to his house on foot, the dejected Derek Schreck was surprised when Paula turned off the lights just before he entered. Upon coming into the house, Schreck saw his wife standing before him nude, and she wanted to make love. Despite not being in the mood after what happened earlier that night, he acquiesced to his wife's advances, hoping to assuage her worries and his own tension. When she asked him why they weren't affected by the moontaint, her husband simply told her that certain humans appeared to be immune for some unknown reason, perhaps due to a genetic fluke. After the two had finished making love, and Schreck drifted into a light sleep, Paula got out of bed and walked into the other room. Eventually awakening, and wondering why the house was so quiet and dark, Schreck turned on the lights to look for his wife, when she suddenly attacked him with a meat cleaver…she had been affected by the moontaint. Managing to take her husband by surprise, Paula chopped off his right hand, and then ran out of the house (in the nude, natch). Reeling in shock and agony, Schreck managed to pull himself together, stop himself from passing out with sheer willpower, and he started a fire in the wood-burning fireplace. When the flames were high enough, he shoved his bloody stump into the fire, thereby cauterizing and closing the wound. Overcome by the pain, Schreck finally passed out [Derek Schreck was made of some mighty stern stuff…he seemed destined to become an adventurer].
Upon awakening, Schreck found the following notice inscribed on his wall, with his own blood: "You are sane, Derek Schreck, and we like sane people to show us their blood all over." Suddenly hearing "throaty laughter" behind him, Schreck turned around to see that Paula had returned, with her meat cleaver once more in her hand…but this time she was accompanied by Lee and a group of other people, all insane as a result of the moontaint.
A short time into the future, Derek Schreck, who had since replaced his missing right hand with a multi-purpose metallic cup (see the next story), had a pen attached to it and was writing about these preceding events, noting that it was ironic that his last name meant "terror" in German, that he planned to commit suicide after finishing his memoirs (a plot point never picked up on again), and that Lee and his fellow insane cohorts would make this his "first night of terror."
Comments: This story wasn't told in linear fashion, but I synopsized it in such a manner, to make it more coherent to my readers.
"Schreck" appeared to be a rush job, a four entry series thrown together by writer Doug Moench, who largely wrote for Marvel during the early 1970s but also dabbled with Warren when he had a spare moment. It was an early series for EERIE, and it started just after the "Hunter" series premiered, a series that Derek Schreck's world would be connected to before Demian Hunter's series fully ran its course (but after "Schreck" had ended). This series was hardly one of Warren's most memorable accomplishments, despite being an interesting early effort at producing a continued series.
The city that Schreck lived in was never revealed, with the fact that it was located somewhere in America was the only detail known. What was going on in the world beyond that city was never revealed in the series, though it was made clear that the moontaint was worldwide in scope.
The artwork was better than the writing, and Vincente Alcazar and Neal Adams really knew how to make the nude female form damn sexy, and the naked Paula was a pleasure on the eyes. Alcazar's art suffered without Adams' inks backing him up starting with the next story in the series.
None of the technology in this series was drawn to look "futuristic," including the cars, and the typing device that Schreck was seen using in his office looked like a generic but small typewriter rather than a word processor (this series was produced in the early 1970s, before anyone could anticipate word processors). The car that Schreck was seen driving looked like it was a standard '70s model, but such models may have become popular again by the 2040s. This artistic decision was probably a wise move, because the Schreck environment looks like it can fit into any time period from the early '70s to the early 2000s, and I do not think that Moench originally intended for this series to have occurred as far into the future as I believe it actually did.
WNU Connections: "Schreck" occurred in an alternate future time track of the WNU, and Derek Schreck was first brought into the "consensus" WNU as a result of the extremely elderly Schreck appearing in the "Hunter" series just before it ended, and shortly after the "Schreck" series ended, in EERIE #56. He made another major crossover appearance with other Warrenverse characters years later in EERIE #130, but that will be covered elsewhere in this index and in the index to "Vampirella and the Time Force" elsewhere on this site. For more info on Demian Hunter, see the index to "Hunter" elsewhere on this site.
Time Frame: It's my conjecture, based upon a careful reading of all four series that take place on the Hunter Timeline, that this story began in an alternate future of the year 2044, when the nuclear explosions on the moon first detonated, and it was about two years later when the moontaint first began afflicting the denizens of Earth. This would make the second part of this story, when Derek Schreck lost his right hand, to occur in the year 2046. This estimate is based on the fact that Derek Schreck was still alive, albeit very elderly, in Demian Hunter's time. In the next story, it was revealed that Derek Schreck was 25 years old, and thereby in the prime of his life in 2046.
Story: Doug Moench
Art: Vincente Alcazar
Derek Schreck, now sans his right hand, confronted a group of 'werewolves' in his home, one of whom was his former co-worker (and possibly boss) Lee, another of which was his wife Paula, all of whom were determined to kill him just as all moontaint-afflicted people did whenever they encountered a sane person. As the text briefly recapped, thanks to an accident that detonated all of the nuclear missiles from both the U.S. and Chinese bases on the moon, La Luna had been transformed into a radioactive sphere whose radiations were rapidly turning human beings into insane psychopaths (the text claimed that by now, 92% of the population of the Earth had been transformed into 'werewolves', but there is reason to believe this was exaggerated…see Comments below). The deranged Lee told Schreck that the small mob now confronting him wanted to open him up to determine why the moon didn't transform him into a 'werewolf' like the rest of them.
Acting in desperation to survive, Schreck grabbed a heavy metal poker from his fireplace with his left hand and struck his former best friend, knocking him aside. He then valiantly fought his way through the other 'werewolves' confronting him, and he managed to climb into his attic and bar the floor hatch with a heavy china cabinet. The 'werewolves' began breaking through, however, so Schreck hurriedly found a thick rope, tied a loop in the end of it, and flung it out his window around a tree branch. Swinging down from the attic, the determined Schreck (who was totally nude!) crashed into the window of his neighbors, George and Edna [don't ask me why he didn't cut himself to shreds in the process]. Running upstairs, he discovered, to his horror (in a particularly disturbing scene) that George and Edna were both afflicted with the moontaint, and the former had his wife tied from the ceiling upside down, with her head shaved and wearing a dominatrix uniform, while he fed her. George quickly got up and attacked the unexpected intruder in his home, but Schreck killed him by throwing the poker into his throat (upon witnessing this, Edna simply shouted, "Get up, George! I'm hungry!").
Running down the stairs, Schreck then encountered George and Edna's two teenage sons, who were both afflicted with the moontaint, and he quickly kicked the two of them aside. Leaping off of the stairway and swinging down to the floor on a chandelier, Schreck left the house and ran down the street with the mob of 'werewolves' in pursuit.
Climbing a wooden fence to escape, Schreck found himself face-to-face with another group of 'werewolves' sitting in front of a bonfire. Before they could descend upon him, though, several of them were shot and killed by an unseen savior, and realizing that they were facing an armed attacker, the 'werewolves' quickly fled. Finally succumbing to exhaustion and blood loss, Schreck collapsed unconscious.
Two days later, Schreck awakened alone in what appeared to be an infirmary. He noticed that a metallic cap with the capacity to insert multiple metallic implements, tools, and weapons into the end of it had been surgically grafted to his cauterized stump. Discovering a bowl of soup left for him [a spoon had been inserted into the end of the cap…but couldn't he have eaten the soup with his left hand?], and also a tape recorder, Schreck hit 'play' and was greeted by a female voice who explained his situation. He was rescued by a trio of sane people who sequestered him in the Municipal Asylum for the Insane, which was now used as a refuge by the sane. The facility was useful because it came furnished with a medical unit that had been used to graft Schreck's replacement "hand." The tape recording instructed him to take note of a shelving system that was full of common utensils such as spoons, forks, flashlights, etc., along with weapons such as blades and axes that could attach to the wrist cup. Also included was a metallic hand whose fingers could be manually placed around an object so as to grasp it, and the hand was also magnetic, the better to grasp metal objects with. The female voice assured Schreck that her eyes were "clear and bright," to signify that she lacked the white glaze that denoted the insanity of the 'werewolves', and as a result, Schreck decided to nickname her "Bright Eyes." Schreck also found himself locked within the facility, which Bright Eyes explained was necessary to keep him safe.
Shortly afterwards, Bright Eyes finally returned to the facility, and she turned out to be one of the most beautiful women that Schreck had ever seen (as well as Oriental, an important plot point for later in the story). She was accompanied by two armed and sane men.
Suddenly, Schreck felt a strong disdain for the sane men who accompanied Bright Eyes, and at first he didn't understand why…until she pointed out to the men that Schreck was now afflicted with the moontaint.
Comments: This story was mostly told in first person captions by Derek Schreck, though some dialogue was included.
This second entry in the series was quite disturbing with its level of gory violence.
The artwork by Vincente Alcazar was good, but it appeared to suffer without Neal Adams' inks.
This story claimed that 92% of the Earth's population had been transformed into psychosomatic 'werewolves' by the time period in this tale, but as I noted above, there is reason to doubt that estimate. If that many people went insane, there would have been few people around to fight the 'Demon Wars' later on that timeline, as shown in the "Hunter" series. It appears that writer Doug Moench didn't originally intend to connect Schreck's world with that of Hunter; the latter idea apparently came from Bill DuBay, who wrote the two Hunter stories where an extremely elderly Derek Schreck appeared.
Time Frame: This story took place immediately following the last story.
"Worms in the Mind"
Story: Doug Moench
Art: Vincente Alcazar
The moontainted Derek Schreck confronted the Oriental woman nicknamed 'Bright Eyes' and her two sane compatriots. Quickly acting upon the woman's orders, the two men managed to restrain Schreck and tie him down (in the first person narrative, Schreck kept metaphorically referring to the lunacy haze as "worms" in his mind, hence the title of this story…it was remarkable that these two men alone could restrain the insane Schreck, considering how he waded through groups of lunatics). Then, Bright Eyes administered an injection of a serum she had perfected…an antidote for the moontaint. As a result, Schreck not only found himself cured of the moontaint, but also vaccinated against any further recurrence of it. Bright Eyes then informed him that the antidote was imperfect…only about 50% of the people injected with it were cured or vaccinated…the other half were poisoned to death. She never injected herself, because she had yet to come down with the moontaint and she didn't want to find herself on the "wrong side of the 50," but Schreck obviously had nothing to lose by receiving that injection.
However, when Schreck and Bright Eyes walked outside of the infirmary, they discovered the latter's two compatriots stomped to death, with their machine guns stolen. Realizing that the 'werewolves' had broken into the facility, Bright Eyes ran to retrieve two hand guns she had stored in the infirmary, while Schreck went to collect the strap-on bandolier which carried all of the various implements that he used for his wrist cup. He inserted the sharp spike implement into the hand cap as a vicious weapon. As it turned out, he needed to use that weapon with all due haste, when a lunatic attacked him as soon as he ran to catch up with Bright Eyes…only to end up impaled on Schreck's spike. The dying creature managed to utter the word "Lepula" just before expiring, and Schreck wondered what it meant.
Re-joining Bright Eyes, she told Schreck that the two of them had no choice but to go on the offensive and hunt the invading 'werewolves' down.
Upon reaching the old therapy room, where Bright Eyes stored the canisters of antidote, the two warriors discovered a fire in front of the room. Guarding it was a female 'werewolf', wielding one of the confiscated machine guns, and upon seeing the two sane human beings before her, the 'werewolf' noted that she now gazed upon two more "sacrifices" for 'Lepula.' Bright Eyes quickly shot her and took the machine gun back.
The trail led to the chapel, and after entering it, Schreck and Bright Eyes saw a large group of 'werewolves' congregating together with some of them having an orgy right on the floor. Bright Eyes opened fire on them, killing most of them after emptying the magazine of the machine gun on them, and Schreck killed the few who managed to sneak under the fusillade.
Bright Eyes was extremely upset after doing this, and she confided to Schreck that she had previously hoped that she could administer the serum to large numbers of the population, thereby saving 50% of them and building an army of sane individuals to oppose the lunatics and eventually completely wipe out the moontaint. She then mused over whether the whole situation with the nuclear conflagration on the moon that spawned the 'werewolves' in the first place may have been God's will, as a 'sane' way of lessening the human population of the Earth.
Suddenly, the two adventurers were confronted by a chilling sight…Schreck's old co-worker, the moontainted Lee, standing in a hooded robe, alongside his new equally insane lover, Schreck's ex-wife Paula. The both of them decreed that they were Lepula, the moon-god, thus implying that the moontaint-creating radiation of the moon had been deified by the 'werewolves.' They also made it clear that anyone who did not follow the "path of the moonbeams" (i.e., the remaining sane) would be sacrificed to Lepula. And it also turned out [are you ready for this?]…that Bright Eyes was Lee's wife (the first person text explained that despite how close Schreck and Lee were in the office, the former never knew who the latter's wife actually was). Also, because Bright Eyes was Oriental, she was particularly prone to being crucified, since many in the world blamed the Chinese base on the moon for starting the nuclear conflagration in the first place. Bright Eyes begged Lee to let her administer the serum to him, but he refused and he fled with his new lover, thus causing Bright Eyes to break down in tears. As she did so, Schreck mused to himself, "Why I didn't feel the same soul-wrenching torment over Paula, I didn't really know! But I suspected Bright Eyes had something to do with it!"
Realizing that she couldn't bear to simply continue slaughtering all of the 'werewolves' rather than saving them with the serum, Bright Eyes collapsed into an embrace with Schreck. His feelings for her quickly growing, he noted to himself that he needed to tell her that his first name was 'Derek.'
Comments: Once again, a good portion of the story was told in first person narrative captions by Derek Schreck. We got to learn much more about Bright Eyes in this story, including her courage, compassion, and scientific acumen (though not her real name), but connecting her with Lee like that was a bit much. It's obvious that scribe Doug Moench was hoping to make readers care more about both herself and Lee as a result of the connection, and I will again let the fan boys decide if this particular coincidence was effective in accomplishing more emotional commitment by the readers or not.
This story introduced a serum for the moontaint, thereby offering a hint as to why there were still more than enough sane human beings on Earth to fight the 'Demon Wars' a relatively short time into the future on this timeline. See the Comments section in the next story.
The idea of the 'werewolves' worshipping the moon as the deity Lepula was never picked up on after this story.
The artwork by Alcazar was much more polished in this story than the last.
Time Frame: This story begins immediately after the previous tale.
"No Flies on Schreck"
Story: Doug Moench
Art: Vincente Alcazar
Derek Schreck and Bright Eyes were fighting off a 'werewolf' attack on the institute, a short sword attached to his wrist cup and a machine gun in one of his hands. He managed to blast several of the attacking lunatics into oblivion, as Bright Eyes dumped scalding water on them from a balcony, driving the rest of them off. Schreck attempted to make a joke to lighten up the situation, but Bright Eyes simply broke into tears. As Schreck noted, "She didn't laugh because she dedicated herself to saving lives and curing lunacy…and been forced into murder with the frenzy of a lunatic." He held her tight.
Later, Schreck was roaming the darkened streets of the unnamed American city that was now ruled by the insane, hunting for 'werewolves', doing everything he could to lessen their number. He hated to leave Bright Eyes alone at the institute, but he realized she would be safe there as he lived out his life hunting the maniacs that now ruled the streets, scattering the remaining sane people far and wide. Replacing the flashlight attached to his wrist cup with a heavy weighted truncheon, Schreck battled a few more 'werewolves' into submission, and followed one of them into the sewers.
Upon searching for his quarry, Schreck was shocked to come across a giant, obviously mutated rat. When the creature, which didn't fear humanity any longer, attacked him, the beast was shot and killed from behind him. That bullet was courtesy of a sane beautiful blonde woman who identified herself as Debra James. Debra was a biologist and last surviving member of a unit sent there by the government to investigate the mutations appearing in various animals, like the rats, since the moon became a radioactive sphere. She told Schreck that gross physical mutations were showing up in animals who sped through the generations fast, such as the rats, and even though humans had so far only shown psychological symptoms, it may be only a matter of time before they also began mutating in a physical manner (this was the first hint that the 'werewolves' would eventually evolve into the 'demons' of Demian Hunter's time…see Comments below).
Debra was attempting to capture one of the rats to study its level of mutation, but Schreck inadvertently put the kibosh on her efforts. To make up for this, Schreck shared the knowledge of Bright Eyes' antidote, and took Debra back with him to the institute, as she believed that the serum would make a wondrous addition to her work.
Upon entering the asylum, for which Debra was impressed, they seemed unable to find Bright Eyes, and after Schreck explained to Debra why he gave her that nickname ("I call her Bright Eyes because she was the first sane person I met since I lost my hand…and her eyes were not white like the maniacs…"), they suddenly found Bright Eyes…she had become afflicted with the moontaint and was feasting upon the flesh of one of the dead maniacs [since when were they cannibals?]. When Bright Eyes lunged at Schreck, he knocked her unconscious with a blow from his truncheon. Then, he and Debra tied her down in the infirmary and injected her with the serum, hoping that it would cure her instead of killing her.
Sometime later, as Schreck and Debra sat upstairs waiting, Bright Eyes appeared before them…alive and sane. Now that she was cured of the moontaint and found that she was lucky enough to be in the 50% of the people who were cured and vaccinated by the serum, she could continue her work. However, just then, she was suddenly murdered by being shot through the head by a 'werewolf' sniper who had learned to use such a rifle…and when Schreck looked out the window to see the sniper in the window of a building across the street, it turned out to be Bright Eyes' ex-husband, Lee. Going berserk with rage, Schreck yelled for Lee to shoot at him, and Debra managed to leap upon the nearly insane man and knock him out of the way of Lee's next bullet. Returning to his senses and grateful to Debra for once again saving his life, Schreck realized that he had no choice but to bury Bright Eyes, both literally and in his heart.
The next day, Schreck, with Debra at his side, was digging a grave for Bright Eyes, using the magnetic metallic hand attachment to his wrist cup to hold the shovel. A group of 'werewolves' approached the burial proceedings, but Schreck was prepared for this, and he easily dispatched all of the lunatics by blowing them to bits with remote-controlled explosives he lined the area with beforehand.
As Schreck and Debra stood over the remains of the lunatics before them, he suddenly realized that now it was only the two of them to carry on the battle against the 'werewolves' who were taking over the Earth. He didn't understand what the two of them had to gain in such a battle, and he believed that it was all over for them…and the planet.
Comments: This was the final entry in the "Schreck" series, and it appeared in the same issue of EERIE as the third story (#55). The series ended on a very bleak, open-ended fashion, almost as if Schreck was going to be awarded an ongoing series, so it was no surprise that the character was brought back in the "Hunter" series. The ending of the series may have seemed rather abrupt, with no clear resolution, though evidently not many readers clamored for its continuation. It would have given the readers a sense of closure to see the final fates of Lee and Paula, of course.
At some point after this story, Derek Schreck was captured via transtemporal warp to the mainstream WNU Earth in the year 1981, and temporarily made a minion of the evil techno-wizard Ten-Ichi as one of the 'Time Force' to be used against the wizard's archfoe, Vampirella. That story was chronicled in EERIE #130, and is indexed elsewhere on this site (in the Index for "Vampirella and the Time Force"). That story constituted Derek Schreck's second major crossover with other denizens of the Warrenverse.
Based upon an analysis of this series, it's possible to gain a basic understanding of how events unfolded across the entirety of the Hunter Timeline.
The nuclear war fought on the moon was obviously the conflagration that eventually spawned the demons as described in Hunter's origin story a few issues earlier in EERIE, even though that story implied that the war had occurred on Earth…it's quite possible that some nuclear missiles were indeed fired upon Earth at a later point in time, which may have exacerbated the 'werewolves' into quickly genetically evolving into the mutant race seen in the "Hunter" series. The MX missile seen in Bathory Castle in the last two-part Hunter story made it clear that some of these weapons were indeed sequestered on the Earth. The fact that animals with short gestation periods, such as sewer rats, were seen to be mutating physically was a hint that this would eventually occur to human beings, especially if they were later exposed to more radiation. Thus, it may be surmised that the nuclear war leading to the mutants of the Hunter Timeline started with the largely unknown situation that caused the detonation of various nuclear warheads mounted in both the Chinese and U.S. moonbases, which resulted in the moon becoming so suffused with radiation that it caused the moontaint back on the Earth. This led to the creation of the psychosomatic 'werewolves.' Then, at some point later, once the antidote developed by Bright Eyes greatly depleted the 'werewolf' population (possibly thanks to the efforts of Schreck and Debra James), the sane members of the human race took back the reins of government in short order. However, this led to a nuclear weapon somehow being detonated on Earth, and this resulted in the remaining moontainted people evolving into the mutant race that in turn led to the Demon Wars, finally culminating in Demian Hunter's time, and later, the time periods of Karas Hunter and Darklon the Mystic. That also explained the many other mutated animals that were seen during Demian Hunter and Karas Hunter's time periods; they started mutating many decades earlier.
Derek Schreck appears next in the Hunter story from EERIE #56, where he is many decades older. It was thus revealed that Schreck survived the war with the 'werewolves' and lived on well into his old age.
WNU Connections: The appearance of Schreck in the "Hunter" series (which occurred in the next issue of EERIE, though many decades later in time) officially brought Derek Schreck into the WNU, and established his timeline as an alternate future time track accessible from the mainstream Newtonverse.
As noted in the Index to "Hunter," the humans and animals of the WNU have a much hardier and more adaptable genetic structure than their counterparts in the RU…as a result, radiation affects them in much different ways than it would humans and animals in the world outside our window, who would simply become sickened and die, or give birth to harmful mutations, after such exposure.
Time Frame: This story began several days after the previous story, and took place over the course of a few days, late in the year 2046 (according to my previous conjectures).