Thursday, 5 May 2016

Moon Knight [2016] #1 - Marvel Comics

MOON KNIGHT No. 1, June 2016
Whilst many writers have readily captured the fact that “Moon Knight is one of the most terrifying and inspiring heroes in the Marvel Universe” Jeff Lemire’s narrative for this opening instalment to “Welcome To New Egypt” also quite plainly spells out that the man behind the mask, Marc Spector, is also dangerously “mentally ill.” Indeed this entire thirty-page periodical, “which is extra-sized by the way”, focuses upon the incarceration and dubiously brutal treatment of the “American rabbi’s wayward son” in an institution he’s supposedly resided in “since you were twelve years old.”

Admittedly such delusional doubts as to what is real and what isn’t have plagued the schizophrenic Fist of Khonshu before. But in his attempt to pen “one of the very best Moon Knight stories ever”, the Joe Shuster Award-winner must have persuaded some of his 60,938 strong audience that this time the unshaven rough-looking “masked vigilante” genuinely is a total lunatic by depicting the imprisoned inmate stood watching “exclusive [television] footage” of his supposed alter-ego “taking on his old nemesis, the sultry Stained Glass Scarlet” some miles away in Hell’s Kitchen… Or there again, perhaps fellow inmate Bertrand Crawley is quite right when he warns the mystified patient (and doubtless the occasional vacillating reader) not to “look at that rubbish… [as] It will putrefy your brain. And it is all part of the Big Lie anyway. Pure fabrication.”?

Fortunately despite spending the larger portion of his narrative on raising so many questioning doubts as to Spector’s sanity, the Ontario-born author also splendidly satisfies those fans of the crime-fighter who just want to see the former mercenary thump bad people up. In fact the bedsheet-wearing superhero’s brutal beating of the (supposedly) jackal-headed carers Billy and Bobby is something the two interns have had coming their way since the publication’s start when they give their distressed patient a bloody nose and “some extra medicine to help him sleep.”

Greg Smallwood’s pencilling for “the book you’d be insane to miss” is equally as impressive as his colleague’s storytelling, and it’s clearly evident from the outstanding opening panels of the titular character stumbling into an ancient Egyptian tomb during a starry night, just why Lemire thought himself “lucky” to have the “mind-boggling” American artist on board. It certainly seems true that whilst many “readers may have seen Greg Smallwood draw Moon Knight before, they [will] have never seen anything like what he’s doing in this new series.”
The 'Action Figure' variant cover art of "MOON KNIGHT" No. 1 by John Tyler Christopher

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