|MOON KNIGHT No. 3, August 2016|
Reading far more like something better suited to the sublime stop motion animation skills of Ray Harryhausen than a super-hero based comic book narrative, Jeff Lemire’s writing for Issue Three of “Moon Knight” should certainly have entertained the title’s 40,752 strong audience in June 2016, with its brutal punch-up against a trunkful of reeking mummies, as well as a space sojourn on board Anubis’ star-faring raft, readily explaining just why this publication sold an additional five thousand copies more than it did the month before. Indeed, having arguably answered the question as to whether its titular character is mentally-disturbed or not by revealing his female psychologist as a crocodile-headed god, this twenty-page periodical goes on to depict a wonderfully engaging thematic journey through Egyptian mythology courtesy of Marc Spector allowing his “insanity [to] guide you.”
Admittedly the Joe Shuster Award-winner’s script does sporadically allow its audience a brief pause for breath, as the former mercenary momentarily collects his instructions from “the Moon God Khonshu” or conducts an especially touching sentimental verbal exchange with elderly Bertrand Crawley. But such sedentary conversations between the ‘insane’ crime-fighter, his mystical phantom-like patron and fellow escapees actually prove welcome interludes from all the fierce pulse-pounding action and additionally help break-up the occasional word-heavy speech balloons which populate the odd remarkably busy panel; "Careful, Gena. Not one of us can afford to have our brains scrambled any more than they already are."
The highlight of this third instalment to “Welcome To New Egypt” however, is undoubtedly Greg Smallwood's illustrative contribution. The prodigious American penciller somehow manages to imbue the entire cast of this comic with their own physical attributes, whether it be the painfully hunched shuffle of the tomb-rotting undead, the reptilian gait of a head-heavy crocodilian Soul Eater, or the tired world-weary walk of Mister “Creepy” Crawley. Whilst his breathtakingly detailed dimensional skies of the Othervoid, as well as New York City’s hieroglyphic-filled subways, are literal masterpieces. It certainly comes as little surprise that when interviewed, Lemire stated he felt “Greg has totally reinvented himself for this run. He was always an excellent artist, but to be frank, I was shocked when he started to send artwork for the series. I can’t even express how amazed I am by the work so far. This is some of the best comic book art I’ve ever seen.”