Writer: Charlie Huston
Artist(s): Tom Coker, Don Cameron & Dean White
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Plot: Moon Knight retains his M.O. while stepping in line with the government.
Commentary: If I was just a casual or new reader Iíd probably have dropped this book by now. The simple reason is that itís a bit unfathomable unless you are a long time fan of the character. Unless youíre up for something new and different youíll scratch your head so hard it hurts. That being said Huston makes good use of the Moon Knight cast in this few-months-later catch up tale but now is the time when a little clarity in the proceedings and the art would be a welcome change. Donít get me wrong, I actually prefer Cokerís style to the departed Mico Suayanís but things have been so convoluted in story and art the past few issues a cognitive and ocular breather would just be nice. The story isnít so much to blame this issue as it is basically catching up with each character in the cast and their current status quo and feelings about Marc Spector. The thing is if you havenít been reading, the art wonít tell you who these people are. Cokerís style is decidedly different than both David Finchís and Suayanís and thatís the problem. Itís such a departure and the computer generation and inking are so dark that you have to look over panels again and again to figure out who is who. Some captions would have gone a long way to alleviating the character confusion.
All that being said, I still like what Huston is doing and from the preview of issue fourteen on the last page it looks like weíll get some more traditional ďdark super heroĒ story telling with the return of Mark Texeira and Javier Saltares to these pages. The developments Huston presents in regards to most of our cast are surprising and intriguing. Huston can do mystery and tension well; he just needs an editor and artist who can translate his stream of consciousness in an understandable way. We catch up with Detective Flint who is saddled with keeping tabs and following up on Moon Knightís nocturnal raids on the underworld. This shouldnít be too hard as Moonie has taken to ďstampingĒ the foreheads of the wicked in bloody fashion. Just when it looked as if Huston gave Frenchie and Marlene their own lives he poses that Frenchie is still attracted to Marc. Love has nothing to do with it however and how this will play out is interesting. Marlene is drawn back into Marcís violent world in a violent manner and we see that Marlene herself may have more in common with Marc than we suspect.
The scenes that steal the show this issue are those where Huston uses the Profile to assist Marc in pulling the wool over SHIELDís psychiatric evaluatorís eyes in order to be accepted into the super-powered Initiative. Itís a great three character play. Weíre never quite sure until the end if Marc is actually manifesting all of his personalities or playing the doctor. The Profile is a fresh, original addition to the Moon Knight cast and his ability to read people and use what he learns to Marcís best advantage is a great development. Huston is giving Moon Knight new allies as appropriately scarred and twisted in their own ways as he is. I lamented the editorial decision for Moon Knight to be part of the Initiative but I have to admit, Huston makes this work! One last comment is that the best part of Cokerís art this issue is his depiction of Moon Knight with an eerily exaggerated cowl giving him a truly spectral appearance. Most artists would have exaggerated the cape but Cokerís experimentation gives us an inspired rendition of this nighttime vigilante.
Final Word: Points off this issue for some more muddied art but, Huston continues to engage us long time Moon Knight fans while putting his own mark on Marc. Where this goes next is anybodyís guess and thatís whatíll keep us coming back for now.
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