Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Greg Smallwood
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Moon Knight #1 (2016) is a book that really does the “Fist of Khonshu” justice. The character has always been a commentary on the mental stability of vigilantes and a mystery heavy book. This new series sets itself apart from the ‘Marvel NOW!’ series in that it feels like a series that will cohesively follow a steady plot rather than give readers a collection of disjointed stories (which was a cool take on Moon Knight don’t get me wrong, but it was filled with too many single issue stories). The last series touched on some cool aspects such as what if someone was out to replace him as Moon Knight and gave us some glimpses of how Marc Spector sees the world through his warped mind, but the premise of this issue feels like a well realized combination of both of those ideas. This book gave me a ‘Twelve Monkeys’ vibe where the main character is caught between knowing what is reality and what is false. The premise of this book is really interesting as we find Marc Spector woken up confused and powerless as a patient in an insane asylum questioning reality and the validity of his memories. For us readers this seems to be a great way to strap us in for a ride full of mystery and excitement that I am excited for in particular.
The book starts with Marc Spector waking up and then being punched and beaten by his asylum nurses. He then is savagely treated, heavily medicated and given electro shock therapy while he deals with his memories and questioning the validity of a reality he remembers as the Moon Knight. Meeting and talking with a few strange patients in the asylum we find that this leads to Marc questioning his past but he can’t seem to trust himself or the others. He is then brought to his doctor where she tells Marc Spector that he has actually been a patient in the insane asylum since he was 10 years old which really throws Marc for a loop. Still skeptical, he tries to figure out what is reality while he dons a quickly made Moon Knight costume and we figure out that the question of what is reality is still up in the air. Greg Smallwood does amazing pencil work in this book and it reminded me vaguely of a cross between David Finch’s work and Ben Templesmith’s dark aesthetics, which is a good indication of more great art to come. There is a large splash page that really stands out for me where we find Moon Knight on the roof of the asylum with a beautifully warped New York/Egypt mix in the background. Jeff Lemire is a notable writer these days who produces mind-blowing, cerebral stories and is working on a wide line of current books such as Descender, Bloodshot: Reborn and Old Man Logan. I have been noticing that Lemire draws inspiration from cult films & pop culture while putting his own personal spin on things and I can’t seem to get enough when it comes to Lemire’s writing. I am excited to see where this story goes and my mind is already racing with theories as to the situation Marc Spector finds himself in. This book is fantastic and any Moon Knight fan would be missing out by not picking up this series.
~ T.J Head