|MOON KNIGHT No. 4, September 2016|
Inauspiciously sat within the confines of a toilet cubicle inside Gena Lander’s brightly-lit diner, the Moon God Khonshu could just have easily been scolding writer Jeff Lemire, as opposed to this comic’s titular character, when he berates him for wasting “precious time eating pancakes” and directly enquires “what do you think you are doing in here?” For whilst this fourth instalment in the “Welcome To New Egypt” story-arc starts off well enough with a vicious fist-fight between Mister Knight and the crocodile-headed Sobek, it’s likely the vast majority of this book’s 40,012 strong audience weren’t terribly impressed with the narrative’s subsequent seemingly endless portrayal of Marc Spector either aimlessly wandering through the dune-filled streets of “a New York City covered in sand and pyramids”, or supping upon starch-based batter and “warm coffee”.
Admittedly, the early revelation that a concerned local cop is in reality an ancient Egyptian deity who was waiting for the “Son of Khonshu” so as to “eat you and then expel you at the feet of King Seth”, makes for a pulse-pounding punch-up; especially when it results in Jean-Paul DuChamp bleeding to death on account of having his throat partially ripped out by the ‘Splashing One’. But the former mercenary’s savage revenge upon Frenchie’s reptilian murderer, dynamically pencilled by Greg Smallwood, is over within a heartbeat of panels, and leaves the twenty-page periodical’s pace disappointingly wanting until the “Marvel Worldwide” publication’s very conclusion when the “retrograde sanitarium” escapee is surprisingly struck by a crescent moon throwing blade hurled by his alter ego, Moon Knight..?
Equally as disheartening is the Doug Wright Award-winner’s sudden and senseless removal of Gena from his script. The tough no-nonsense Brooklyn informant has fought right alongside the Fist of Khonshu since this “deep-dive into… Marc Spector(s)… fractured psyche” started, and yet Lemire frustratingly has her abruptly decide to stay behind in her prefabricated fast food establishment, meekly accepting that because “the sand (is) rising out there” the establishment will probably become her tomb; “Well then, so be it. Better here than out there.” Such a fatalistic acceptance of her demise makes absolutely no sense to so strong a personality, and it is hard to reconcile this Lander with the woman who previously smacked Mister Knight over the head with a large stick when she erroneously thought he was a pursuing hound-headed hospital orderly.
|Writer: Jeff Lemire, Artist: Greg Smallwood, and Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire|