Monday, 9 July 2018

Moon Knight #196 - Marvel Comics

MOON KNIGHT No. 196, August 2018
Undoubtedly both reading and looking like an adventure from John Smith’s “Indigo Prime” series of stories “for British comics magazine 2000 A.D.” back in the early Nineties, this concluding instalment to Marc Spectator’s surreal visit inside the Collective Headspace of a malformed, absorbing multi-limbed creature must have proved as befuddling to the vast majority of its audience, as Paul Davidson’s highly-detailed panels were completely mesmerising. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a more mind-blowing narrative than the one penned by Max Bemis for Issue One Hundred And Ninety Six of “Moon Knight”, as the Fist of Khonshu’s different personas join forces with the ancient deity, and utilise the help of “every you you’ve ever dreamed of” to battle the “unrulier aspects of the Collective’s personality”; “Someone needs to kick some butt around here to keep things in line.”

This creation of a Moon Knight Corps really captures the imagination with its numerous members ranging from an Elven warrioress, a formidable-looking armoured incarnation and an orb-like satellite configuration, through to a diminutive cutesy ‘Man-Bat’, and is so very well visualised by the twenty-page periodical’s “self-taught comic book artist” that many a perusing bibliophile probably wished for the idea to be given it’s very own title. Certainly, a publication focusing upon the white-cowled ‘intergalactic police force’ resolving the Oedipal complex, cracking down upon the Collective’s angst quotient or fighting its suicidal and homicidal tendencies would arguably have been worthy of some quite considerable additional ‘screen time’, especially when a giant bloated toad-like Moon Knight helps lead the ‘lawmen’ in their battle against the horned, purple ogres of Maurice’s sentient virus which has been “trying to drive the Collective insane” and been subsequently “cordoned off [in] a hidden area…”

Perhaps this magazine’s one disappointment therefore is just how quickly its quirky story-telling brings Spector’s imprisonment within “the shared mindspace” to an end, and how seemingly simple it is to achieve as well. Jake Lockley’s moustached character has clearly been itching to punch someone in the face throughout the entirety of this adventure, and resultantly his sock to their insane loincloth-wearing host’s jaw is a rather self-satisfying experience. However, the fact that the well-landed blow also results in the “mass of flesh and brains calling itself the Collective” exploding in a grisly-pencilled quantity of bloody gestalt gore which then releases all the people trapped inside, seems far too straightforward a resolution for what initially appeared so very complicated a conundrum.

‘First published on the "Dawn of Comics" website.'
Writer: Max Bemis, Artist: Paul Davidson, and Colorist: Mat Lopes

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