Monday, 30 January 2017

Moon Knight [2016] #8 - Marvel Comics

MOON KNIGHT No. 8, January 2017
Publicised as a twenty-page periodical within which the titular character’s mind is finally “reaching its limit”, Jeff Lemire’s unfollowable script for Issue Eight of “Moon Knight” was probably achieving precisely the same result with its 32,562 readers. For whilst the Ontario-born author’s narrative contains plenty of punch-ups, as Jake Lockley both battles his way out of Police custody and dons the famous all-white cowled costume in order to confront the murderous Midnight Man, the plot is so haphazardly penned that it is impossible to know whether anything is actually real, or simply the “blurring and overlapping” of the super-hero’s multiple personalities.

Indeed, in many ways this third instalment of the “Incarnations” story-arc makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, with the action leaping from a murder suspect’s interrogation, to a film set, to a soup kitchen, to a roof-top hostage situation, back to a film set, and then ultimately on to the moon where “a space pilot named Marc Spector, who’s defending Humankind from werewolves” has “only minutes” before he too transforms into a lycanthrope. Hardly the sort of enthrallingly gritty writing which created the “great episodes of Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz”, and doubtless a big contributor to this title’s increasingly dwindling sales…

Perhaps “Night Shifts” most frustrating feature however, is that it begins so very well with ‘Spector's repressed alter ego’ Lockley falsely accused of killing eight people in a diner, and having to explain to Detective Emmet, as well as the recurring Bobby and Billy, why the Police found Moon Knight’s crime-fighting apparel “in the trunk of the taxi cab registered under” his name. This edgy, claustrophobic scene is incredibly enthralling, and genuinely builds up a sense of tension as the fake moustache-wearing detainee helplessly protests his innocence, demands to see his lawyer Matt Murdock, and becomes increasingly agitated as the evidence begins to stack up against him; “Sane?... When my officers dragged you in you were taking about werewolves attacking the moon.”

Sadly, this taught, nerve-wracking sequence is then ruined by Lemire scripting for film producer Steven Grant to interrupt the proceedings by calling “Cut!” and Francesco Francavilla’s wonderfully garish panels to be replaced by the infinitely cleaner-looking, yet arguably less atmospheric, drawings of Wilfredo Torres. Admittedly, both Lockley and the Italian comic book artist are soon once again the centre of attention, as the prisoner makes a break for it in order to “bring the real killer to justice!” But by then any ‘spell’ which the Canadian author cast has irretrievably been broken.
Writer: Jeff Lemire, and Artists: Francesco Francavilla, Wilfredo Torres, James Stokoe & Greg Smallwood


  1. I honestly feel that Moon Knight is a character that each successive writer and reboot dilutes further unfortunately. :(

    1. Unfortunately the sales figures for this title speak for themselves, PulpCitizen. This new series started so very well imjo. But here we are eight issues later and I'm still no-where nearer to understanding what on Earth is going on!?! In many ways I wish they'd just go back to the Mister Knight adventures I thoroughly enjoyed in the last series.