Thursday, 18 June 2015

Moon Knight #12 - Marvel Comics

MOON KNIGHT No. 12, April 2015
As the concluding instalment to a scintillating story-arc which arguably started in some ways with this title’s debut edition and the first appearance of Governor Adrian Warsame’s daughter, Issue Twelve of “Moon Knight” is a lamentably actionless, dialogue-heavy disappointment which seems to increasingly focus more upon the ‘frustrations’ of the superhero’s psychologist and her inept bittersweet courtship of Khonsu than it does the titular character’s return to the favourable side of his moon god. Indeed once the Egyptian deity has somehow spared a battered and bruised Marc Spector from plummeting to his death at “terminal velocity”, this comic’s narrative almost exclusively concerns itself with the doctor’s twisted torture of General Lom and the ultimate failure of Elisa’s plan to convince the former African despot to tell her where he moved the “hundreds of millions in looted gold and treasure” which “her father amassed”.

Admittedly the tense, claustrophobic and brutal interrogation sequence of an incapacitated chairbound military tyrant is especially well-written by Brian Wood and not only satisfactorily explains many of Doctor Warsame’s murderous machinations, but additionally provides quite the surprise in revealing her to be the daughter of a previous dictator “installed in 1968 by the Danish colonial warlords.” An origin which is a far cry from the “spin” of her being a “child brutalized in the bush”.

However as finales go, simply having the psychopathic physician revert back to “a poor little Horn of Africa girl again” and be defeated by a single well-thrown half-moon throwing dart is rather underwhelming. Especially when you consider how successfully manipulative the Akiman has been in the past and just what she has cost Moon Knight in order for him to defeat her.

Infinitely more successful is the quite wonderful artwork of Greg Smallwood, who despite the sedentary nature of the script, somehow manages to put a lot of energy and emotion into the characters he depicts. The freelance illustrator’s drawings of Spector being rescued from the icy waters of Norway by a fisherman is especially impressive, and just incredibly well-coloured by Jordie Bellaire.

Yet it is the American artist’s facial intensity of Warsame, as she descends into a savage temper and madness at Lom’s stubborn refusal to submit, where the Kansas-based penciller really impresses. Initially quite open-faced, Smallwood increasingly portrays Elisa with a furrowed brow, narrowing eyes and grinding teeth until he reaches the point where the woman is obviously seething with rage as she repeatedly clubs the helpless General about the head with her pistol.
Writer: Brian Wood, Artist: Greg Smallwood, and Color Art: Jordie Bellaire

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