Saturday, 11 February 2017

Moon Knight [2016] #9 - Marvel Comics

MOON KNIGHT No. 9, February 2017
Undeniably containing a narrative which “give[s] Marc [Spector] real depth as he struggles with his sanity”, as well as a fair bit of pugilistic action, it's sadly still not hard to see why Issue Nine of “Moon Knight” saw its distribution figure drop by over three thousand copies compared to the title’s sales in the previous month. In fact, despite the comic containing a “Moonie Missives” letters page which raves about the series’ “amazing run”, “singularly brilliant… direction” and “ingenious” writing, it’s arguably doubtful many of the book’s 29,205 readers found this finale to Jeff Lemire’s “Incarnations” story-arc little more than a badly overblown farce which didn’t actually resolve any plot-threads which had preceded it. 

Admittedly, the “All-New Hawkeye” author’s script does provide a little entertainment when it briefly summarises the fall of the Avengers and X-Men to “some insane mutation of rabies”, and depicts the titular character swapping blows with himself in a desperate effort to “acknowledge” his mental instability, accept it “and then move on.” But such a fleeting flash of interest or some momentary fisticuffs are hardly enough to bring such a long-winded ‘four-parter’ to a satisfying conclusion, nor, judging by the plethora of splash panels on display, simply populate a twenty-page periodical.

Disconcertingly, even the ‘return’ of regular artist Greg Smallwood to a more prominent role within the publication’s line-up is hardly a cause for celebration, as the graphic storyteller’s “classic comic book style with some modern flourishes” is restricted to simply depicting conversations the ex-mercenary is having with himself, and, once again, infuriatingly intermixed between the greatly differing breakdowns of Wilfredo Torres, Francesco Francavilla and James Stokoe. Indeed, in many ways this carousel of creativeness only adds to the sense that this book was simply cobbled together in order to fill out its page count, and it isn't until the “sketch” of “Space Pilot” Marc Spector and costumed crime-fighter Jake Lockley both vanish away into nothingness, along with the schizophrenic personas’ ‘guest-starring’ pencillers, that the title’s distractingly incongruous illustrations finally start to settle down; “Then I’m alone. All alone. And it’s so -- It’s so quiet.”
Writer: Jeff Lemire, and Artists: Greg Smallwood, Wilfredo Torres, Francesco Francavilla & James Stokoe

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