Moon Knight #1 Review

By: Rob Neil Gruszecki

After the resurrection of mercenary Marc Spector and his subsequent insanity, the new shadow of the moon god disappeared. Years later, returning to the fray with Dissociative Identity Disorder, the vigilante known as Moon Knight rides in a slick stretch limo wearing a pristine and virgin white suit that makes his appearance a slap in the face of stealth and subtlety. Investigating a new murder case he will eventually uncover the truth behind his genealogy and the mysterious, alien nature of his condition.

Establishing an entirely new status-quo for the classic Marvel Character, the creative team of Warren Ellis (Global Frequency, Transmetropolitan, Gun Machine) and Declan Shalvey (28 Day Later, Deadpool) reinvent and reinvigorate an already bizarre and unique antihero of the 616 with the All-New Marvel Now Moon Knight. A crazed and multi-personality crusader patrolling the night to bring vengeance upon those who would cause harm to others, Moon Knight has always been an incredibly interesting fringe character whose adventures have been an excellent avenue for skewed or experimental storytelling. This new number one from the writer who created Red and the award winning artist who created Hero Killers, sets out to deliver even weirder and more outrageous tales of a confused and curious hero.

Warren Ellis’ skill as a comic writer have been lauded throughout the medium for years and his new foray into the ongoing tales of Moon Knight prove the writer’s bold talent and drive yet again with this incredibly captivating and shocking first issue. The delivery of the odd Moon Knight genesis is swift and furious in the first few pages and quickly switching gears we get an independant detective tale thrown into the mix that compliments the erratic nature of the character. Yet again the mystery changes pace into a dark horror which then unfolds into a cosmic and trippy sci-fi tease, rounding off the multiple personas of Moon Knight and wrapping them up with a nice, tidy bow. Ellis’ plans for the book are laid out subtly and he plants a sharp hook into the audience where as soon as you see the contents of the final panel you will be begging for the next installment.

Declan Shalvey was an exciting choice for the book as his rigid line work and gritty tone felt like a great fit. I had been fortunate enough to be exposed to his work in the pages of Conan the Barbarian and the recent arc in Deadpool and am now a tremendous fan of his designs and layouts. Shalvey really gets to play around with the characters in this book and one particular design for a crazed patchwork villain later on in the second half as well as a truly frightening appearance at the end make for some of my absolute favorite I have seen from him yet. Moon Knight is drawn with a slick suit and confident swagger that make his presence as cool as ever with Shalvey’s work in top form.

The colorwork on the book is perfect. Jordie Bellaire is a name that seems to be on the front of every brilliant comic on the shelves these days and what she does with Moon Knight is bold and fits the style of the book flawlessly. Neglecting to colour in anything of moon knight and instead establishing the world around him really places him on a page like a second layer, softly rested on the backdrop behind him. The nature of the character lends itself to an almost other-dimension existence and drawing attention to his removal from reality is a stroke of genius for the title and one that is even drawn attention to a few times in the book where he admits that wearing a bright white suit allows him to be easily seen by his enemies which he admits is his favorite part about it.

Moon Knight is a win in the Marvel camps on all fronts. Based on this first issue I predict that this new ongoing promises to become the next in the tradition of Brubaker/Epting Captain America, Waid/Samnee Daredevil and Fraction/Aja Hawkeye of consistently amazing monthly comic books.

Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician and Wednesday warrior

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