For years now I have read permutation upon permutation of Marvel comics Moon Knight. My very first introduction to the character was in The West Coast Avengers issue 39, published nearly 20 years ago, wow do I feel old.
The design of the character seemed unique with his hoodie instead of a normal mask and of course his cool Egyptian themed accessories. I didn’t know much but I knew I liked his design. Through the years the character has died too many times to count, he’s suffered from multiple personalities and so many retcons I just don’t know how anyone could take him seriously.
Then in 2006 a new Moon Knight series was released that was by far the best version of the character ever done. Drawn by David Finch and written by Charlie Huston the iconic designs returned and a new direction was created all with one line of dialogue “I don’t wear the white to hide myself, I wear it so they’ll see me coming.” The character was grim again gritty and beautifully drawn. Within a year that all went to waste as he got mixed up with Marvel’s Civil War crossover and basically lost traction. To be honest I lost interest and moved on.
Now in 2016 a new team of creators are taking their swing at the character, I can’t say I was hopeful at first but I had to try one more shot. Moon Knight #1: Welcome to Egypt here we go.
First things first the art work is really good, it’s not the norm for comics and maybe that’s why I like it. With Greg Smallwood on pencils and Jordie Bellaire on colors the mix of styles really gives Moon Knight #1 a great look. Starting with a highly detailed Egyptian fortress panel we see that Marc Spector (Moon Knight) is having a conversation with Khonshu (the Moon God).
The Lettering is done by VC’s Cory Petit, and while different from the norm it’s not really all that different in font than what I remember being used for Thor years ago. Still it’s a change. It turns out that Marc Spector has lost his power (again) and he is trying to find his way back to being Moon Knight, there is some dialogue that is meant to read almost psychological, but really it does come off as a bit cheesy.
As Spector awakes from what was apparently a nightmare the art style changes and we realize he is in the real world. Or at least in what appears to be the real world. Not only that by he’s locked up in an insane asylum (in theory) that comes with its own over the top medics that abuse Marc and treat him to some electric shock therapy, all under the nose of whomever is running the joint. There’s a lot of character development that is based around some pop psychology idea that Marc is insane and was never Moon Knight. This drives me insane because I’ve seen this story on almost every single Sci Fi television show ever made. The hero gets messed up and wakes up in a world where he/she is considered insane. It happened on Buffy, Smallville, and too many other shows to count, and it pisses me off every time. Please writers come up with something new because this is old way old.
Back to the book, basically Marc decides to escape, he fashions a new outfit from the sheets of his bed and breaks out.
He encounters both of the medics who earlier beat him to a pulp and he easily lays them out. Yay action! As he escapes his God is speaking to him telling him to run, telling him that things are not what they seem. Blah Blah Blah, you know what it’s not worth mentioning the rest.
The new series deserves a chance, the art is good, not great but good. The story could use some work, if writer Jeff Lemire thinks he can get away with rehashing a story almost any fan has watched he had better up his game. Still it has potential. I will read the second issue and probably the third just to make sure I’m not judging the series too quickly. I can tell you I don’t feel that swell of excitement like I did in 2006 but I am hopeful.