Moon Knight #1 (Marvel Comics)
Moon Knight has been a tough character to nail lately. It seems like no matter who gets placed on the book, be they Charlie Huston, Brian Michael Bendis, or even Warren Ellis, eventually they run out of steam. In fact, some might say that the different runs on the character are just as schizophrenic as Moon Knight himself. But that hasn’t stopped Marvel from trying, and this week brings us a brand new Moon Knight series from Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood. And unsurprisingly, Moon Knight #1 finds Lemire and Smallwood putting their own stamp on the life and times of Marc Spector.
Insanity has always been a big part of the Moon Knight character, but with this debut issue Lemire really drives that point home. The entirety of this issue finds Marc Spector in a mental institution. With his doctor and orderlies telling him that he was never the vigilante known as Moon Knight, who is Spector to trust? Why can he hear the voice of Khonshu, the Egyptian God who gave him his abilities? Is he really crazy? Has he been able to sneak out at night and pummel crooks like he thinks he has? Is he at the mercy of one of his enemies?
None of these questions are answered in this opening issue, but Jeff Lemire is still able to craft quite the compelling tale for Marc Spector. Lemire does a wonderful job of building up the paranoia around Marc, and even starts to turn the tables on the reader, causing us to question Spector’s sanity as well. While there isn’t a huge amount of action in this issue, the character work and premise from Lemire is really strong, and gives us a really great hook to jump into this series with.
Also strong is Greg Smallwood’s art, which adds a great level of depth to the feelings of losing control that Lemire puts into the script. Smallwood’s looser style is really well suited for this book, and the glimpses into the world that Moon Knight sees when he puts on his “mask” are fantastic. In fact, these moments alone make Moon Knight #1 a worthy purchase.
Moon Knight #1 is definitely one of the stranger premises for All New All Different Marvel, but I have to say, it’s also one of the stronger debuts too. Lemire and Smallwood have crafted a tight little mystery here, and it’s got the potential to be a really cool series in this line up. Sure, I’ll be waiting for Moon Knight to finally be beating the crap out of goons, but at the same time, this debut is really strong, and makes me really interested to see what happens in issue two.