Saturday, 25 April 2015

Moon Knight #9 - Marvel Comics

MOON KNIGHT No. 9, January 2015
It is somewhat hard to overlook the sheer stupidity of Marc Spector’s behaviour in Issue Nine of “Moon Knight”. Having previously stopped his therapist's hired assassin from murdering a visiting African dignitary, and then found himself being hunted by the American authorities because she informed them as to how mentally unbalanced he is, the ex-mercenary decides to visit the ‘good’ Doctor’s remote residence. But rather than attend in his guise as the masked vigilante and seek retribution and revenge, the Fist of Khonshu instead simply attends to undergo another session of hypnosis, almost as if nothing has happened between the patient and his physician.

What then follows is a bizarre 'dreamscape' within which the insane superhero holds a well-crafted 'couch' conversation with Wahalla and tries to dissuade her from attempting another “extrajudicial killing” of General Lor. Ordinarily such a massively heavy dialogue laden comic book would arguably struggle to fully immerse its reader. But Brian Wood’s writing is extremely engaging and there’s a real naïve desperation to Spector’s plea for his Doctor to let him help her so “we can expose Lor together.” However having revisited the attack upon the psychiatrist's village and once again witnessed the military leader 'murder' her mother and sister, the former marine’s appeal unsurprisingly falls upon deaf ears.

Disappointed in his therapist’s refusal to change her mind, the American rabbi’s son makes it clear that she won’t be able to recruit him to her cause… and that is when Wood’s storyline takes an unexpected twist for the better as all the arrogance and confidence of Doug Moench’s co-creation is suddenly sucked out from the former Secret Avenger. For the physician has known all along that her patient would never join her cause. But desperately needing allies, the hypnotherapist has somehow managed to use their treatment session to convince Khonshu that she is a “winner” and would prove a far better ‘fist’ than “some damaged man who can’t decide whether or not to save a little girl from a murderous warlord.”

Equally as jaw dropping as this comic’s conclusion is the wonderfully vibrant artwork of Greg Smallwood and colorist Jordie Bellaire. Whether it be the cool white sharply pencilled scenes set within the doctor’s cliff top sanctuary, the dark blue and grey sweeping grandeur of the Valley of the Kings at night, or the micro-panelled action-packed fiery orange pages of war-torn Akima, the illustrations are almost worth the cost of this magazine’s cover price alone, and as well-drawn as each page’s composition is well-designed.
Writer: Brian Wood, Artist: Greg Smallwood, and Color Art: Jordie Bellaire

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