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Moon Knight #14

Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2008
By: Bryant Frattalone

Mike Benson
Mark Texeira
Marvel Comics
ďGod and CountryĒ (part 1)

Plot: Marc is back on the job in earnest with a little help from his new informant and the ever present Khonshu.

Commentary: Weíve finally shifted gears on Moon Knight with a new scripter over Charlie Hustonís co-plots and a classic Moon Knight art team of Texeira and Saltares. We have the same vibe of lunacy and madness underneath all the proceedings but the execution has become more mainstream and pointed. The book has not lost its dark and noir feel, it has just become an easier and cleaner read thanks to the injection of fresh blood. And oh yeah, the real blood is still here too. The new creative team is pulling no punches and, if anything, Moon Knight has gotten more driven and violent. Heís like a mad dog let off the leash for awhile. Thereís a great scene where he slices off a piece of a criminal and casts it at Khonshuís feet sarcastically as, ďÖan offering.Ē The mad dog is treating his spiritual sponsor as a mad dog too. Benson and Texeira maintain what has come before with Huston, Finch and Suayan, but now is the time to bring more clarity and definition around just who Moonie and his cast are at the moment. We check in with Frenchie and Rob at the gym and Marlene in the bedroom. Iím glad to see Marlene is looking pretty again. Albeit, Texeiraís women all tend to look alike but itís certainly better than the homeliness Mico Suayan brought to these characters during his run on the book.

Commenting further on the art I have a slight bone to pick. Everyone looks younger. Marcís been through hell and back and scarred in every way possible; mentally, emotionally and physically. So have his former friends and allies. Finch and Suayan brought this out in the art. The distinguishing scarring doesnít come out here. Oh sure, there is Marcís eye-scar but even that isnít very prominent. I understand Marcís had about two years to heal but still he should look more aged and battered than he does. The same goes for Frenchie and even Marlene to an extent. It was established previously that all these folks are approaching middle age. They look like younger college age people here. What Huston gave us in the scripts the other art teams gave us in the visuals. Maybe Texeira will get a better handle on these characters in the monthís ahead. I canít complain about the action scenes with Moon Knight however. Under Texeiraís pencil Moon Knight is truly a spectral avenger striking out of the cold night skies and battling amongst the hard-packed snow.

The Profile is prominent this issue. It looks like heíll be Moon Knightís main informant from here on out fulfilling the role Crawley used to in the original series. Iíll miss the tea-bag and the buzzing flies that were Crawleyís constant companions but The Profile has enough character and idiosyncrasies to make up for it. The first scene with him in this issue has him studying the Khonshu statue at Marcís home with what looks to be a knowing smile on his face. We canít help but wonder what he is finding out that Marc doesnít know? Thatís his job; to observe and profile. Is he profiling Khonshu? If so, I canít wait to hear what he comes up with. All through Hustonís run the true nature of Khonshu has been in play. Is he really a regal and malevolent spirit? Is he a figment of Marcís imagination? Is he the ghost of Bushman? Or, is he the product of Marcís fractured psyche, another split personality? The question is still not fully answered. It looked as if Huston was moving towards to last option but this issues editorial comments suggest that may not be the case now. Whatever the outcome is it still makes for engrossing speculation. The new creative team seems to have come at just the right time to shed a little more light on the adventures of Moon Knight.

Final Word: Itís still a wild ride for Moon Knight with some new creative forces bringing some refreshing focus textually and visually to the proceedings.



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