Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Moon Knight #5 - Marvel Comics

MOON KNIGHT No. 5, September 2014
There are times when all a comic book collector just wants to do is pick up a title and enjoy a good old-fashioned fist-fight. They don’t need the writer to ‘wax lyrical’ about the lead character overcoming their flaws, weaknesses and personal demons. They simply desire twenty well-illustrated pages, crammed full of action, adventure and frankly, gratuitous violence, as their favourite hero overcomes extreme adversity by throwing more than a few punches and breaking a variety of heads.

With “Scarlet” Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey deliver just such an experience with ‘Mister Knight’ adopting a seriously no-nonsense approach whilst endeavouring to rescue an adolescent kidnap victim housed within a multi-storey tenement. This story really is as simply straightforward and direct as the masked vigilante’s limousine halting directly outside the boarded up apartment door, and its occupant immediately making his presence known to the helpless goon on guard-duty; courtesy of an ancient Egyptian sword. From then on in there is very little which is actually said, as Shalvey shoulders most of the story-telling burden.

Fortunately it is a task the Irish artist appears to relish as his illustration work is absolutely top notch. Rarely has any “Marvel Worldwide” super-hero, this side of Frank Castle’s Punisher, been so dramatically drawn flagrantly beating down the bad guys. Whether it be a sound jaw-shattering bashing with Moon Knight’s truncheon, a back-breaking tumble over the banister, or having the large flying drone circle and flatten a fleeing felon on the rooftop. It is all pencilled with incredible energy and violent flair.

The 2007 Eagle Award winner also manages to create a couple of quite memorable mini-bosses for Marc Spector to confront, lavishing plenty of extra attention upon both a bald, well-muscled, heavily tattooed ruffian and a meticulously groomed knife-fighter armed with a pair of ornate golden blades. These kidnappers are made all the more striking by colorist Jordie Bellaire momentarily stepping away from her all brown and grey palette and providing the thick-set thug with a wonderfully bright pink pair of combat boots and donning the duellist in a crushed velvet suit.

Indeed the only disappointment with this issue is that once ‘Mister Knight’ has literally discarded his stark bright white suit-jacket and rolled up his shirt sleeves, the abductee is rescued all too quickly and the comic concluded.
Writer: Warren Ellis, Artist: Declan Shalvey, and Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire

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