It’s about damn time that Marvel Comics has really upped the game in their treatment of Moon Knight! The character has so much potential to be a break out star for the publisher, yet Marvel seems to drop the ball with every opportunity to elevate Moony to the next plateau of heroes. Now under the creative guidance of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev it finally appears that Moon Knight is finally poised to achieve that level of fanboy fervor that deserves.
Bendis and Maleev strip down the essence of Moon Knight and bring things back to basics to get to the most fun elements of what makes Marc Spector so god damn appealing. Gone is the confusing and off-putting scenario that showcases Marc as a raving psychotic lunatic grasping at imaginary visions to a much more believable and reasonable form of crazy. It makes a great deal of sense to use Marc’s mental condition in the fashion that Bendis has done so thus far with Spector’s psyche fragmenting itself into divisions associated with the three Marvel heroes he idolizes; Captain America, Spider-Man and Wolverine. It is a true stroke of genius on the writer’s part and is such an engaging aspect of this series as we watch Moon Knight try and strike a balance between Marvel’s three titular heroes and his own self.
Another brilliant move was in the decision to move Moon Knight from the East Coast to the West. While Moon Knight is certainly capable of dealing with the likes of some of Marvel’s most vile villains he is, in essence, a street level character and therefore should be used in those situations more sparingly. He is more effective when dealing with the underbelly of society; drug dealers, thugs, etc. It also serves to distance our hero from all the congestion that the eastern seaboard has to offer and frees Moon Knight up to become his own hero on his own terms, for the most part. Adding the Avenger Echo into the fray, and as a potential love interest, creates and interesting dichotomy between the two heroes and their past lives that they have lead.
The result of all these changes and tweaks ends in the culmination of the finished product I hold in my hands, which is an absolutely beautiful piece of super hero comic book storytelling. This is Brian Michael Bendis when he is on his game, utilizing his talents to portray to the reader a character who is unapologetically flawed but also endearing as well. The dialogue, which has always been a source of criticism in Bendis’ work, is sharp and witty here. He doesn’t meander amongst his cast as he is wont to do with conversation moments as he opts to drive home the point immediately making for a much more cohesive approach to his story telling.
And then the final piece of the puzzle, the art of Alex Maleev, who was born to draw characters like Moon Knight, who prey in the shadows on the streets — willing to partake in the dirt and grime that some of the upper echelon heroes may think they are above. Maleev is an artist who doesn’t feel the need to resort to flash preferring to add substance to his canvas. It is just a beautiful display of sequential art on display only to be highlighted by the ever impressive coloring provided by Matthew Wilson. Every panel of every page is just gorgeous and tells a story unto itself.
For possibly the first time Moon Knight is poised for greatness. You have a writer and artist churning out great work in synchronicity with a deeply fascinating scenario, introducing new characters like Snapdragon and a mysterious kingpin character who will both undoubtedly put Moon Knight through his paces. Oh yeah, don’t forget that psychotic lunatic of a hero Moon Knight himself! Not only does he have to contend with his mental issues but he is also an Avenger, one who has just happened to stumble upon the head of an Ultron! Great job and a round of applause to all associated with this issue.
Robert Tacopina is just your typical average everyday comic book fan. Robert is equally fascinated by both the print and digital formats and loves a multitude of titles. He spends his time waiting for next Wednesday by video gaming, reading, watching movies, following his sports teams, and desperately trying to spread the comics word. Proud to let his geek flag fly.