Monday, 4 May 2015

Moon Knight vol.1: From the Dead (Marvel NOW!) Review

Moon Knight vol. 1: From the Dead

Writer: Warren Ellis

Artist: Declan Shavely

Collects: Moon Knight #1-6

Background information:

See… Moon Knight… y’know what? I’ll just let the comic do the talking;

“Mercenary Marc Spector died in Egypt, under the statue of the ancient deity Khonshu. He returned to life in the shadow of the moon god, and wore his aspect to fight crime for his own redemption. He went completely insane, and disappeared.

This is what happened next.”


Let me make this totally clear; Moon Knight isn’t a Batman ripoff.

let's add "knocking" to the list of skills that Mr. Knight doesn't
See, on top of having Khonshu’s power, Marc is a total psycho. A schizophrenic with multiple personalities, he’s actually three different people in one. He’s Marc Spector; a human seeking redemption, Moon Knight; a pathological vigilante mutilating bad guys in the most brutal manner imaginable and Mr. Knight; a detective and concerned citizen who can liaise with cops at will, and wear what can only be described as a white bag on his head.

Okay, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way; there’s no real story to this volume. It’s six issues that are only connected by the characters in the book. It’s unconnected, pointless and does nothing to advance the character.

And you know what?

I don’t care.

I don’t care because this is one of the most entertaining bunch of “done in one” stories the 2010s have to offer. Moon Knight/Marc Spector/Mr. Knight take on a range of varied bad guys, from sick Frankenstein monsters, to ghosts, to dream creatures, to gangs and serial killers. Each story feels radically different to the one preceding it, making Moon Knight feel like a superhero for all stories. It indicates a great potential for sticking power in the series and I certainly hope it sticks around.

Moon Knight, like I said, is radically different from comparable characters such as Batman. Whereas Batman prefers to skulk in the shadows, Moon Knight wears all white with the express purpose of being seen by his enemies. Batman is a master strategist, Moon Knight seems to do everything by instinct. He’s his own character, and Warren Ellis lets him jump right off the page.

Well, you're in a fungus room with dead bodies flying overhead,
so... maybe.
That, of course is helped by Shavely’s art. He’s got this great visual technique where Marc Sepctor’s costume is the only thing in the panel that isn’t coloured. It sounded lazy when I first heard it, but looking at the book itself, it lets Moon Knight stand out in ways that I couldn’t imagine was possible. Coupled with some really smart panelling, and you have the best-looking book Marvel has ever produced.

Overall, though, I think this series works better as single issue than it would have in trade. Trade-waiters wait for trade for really one reason- they want the whole story; and since there’s no whole story to be had, it does rather feel like I could have saved a lot of time and money simply by buying this in single issues when the price drops online and be none the worse off for it. That’s not enough to discredit the book however, which gets a four and a half out of five white head bags.

**** ½

+ Moon Knight becomes a hero for all purposes.

+ An entertaining bunch of “done in one” stories.

+ Art is fantastic.

- Story goes nowhere.

Alternate Option: Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon

Much like this volume of Moon Knight, the first Hawkeye volume features fun, standalone stories.

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