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Moon Knight #1 (This is a totally sane thing to do Spoilers)

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Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:19 pm

It’s a shame that Warren Ellis spends so many interviews bad-mouthing superhero comics, because he’s a really good superhero writer, and I’d even go as far to say that, as much as I love Transmet, Global Frequency and Fell, his superhero stories are his best work, Planetary in particular is the best thing he’s ever done for me. But it doesn’t matter so much what he says, more what he writes, and now he’s returned to Marvel to write a new Moon Knight series, and no surprise, it’s really bloody good. With this opening issue, Ellis, along with art-team extraordinaire Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire, takes a character that, even under Bendis and Maleev struggled to grab readers and puts a new spin on him, whilst at the same time remembering the past. This issue is only a teaser really, but I can’t wait to see what comes next.

The plot here is a done-in-one mystery that’s not really a mystery, but it expertly sets up what Moon Knight’s new status quo will be, and what Ellis’ take on the character is. We open with Moon Knight having returned to New York after his time in LA during Bendis’ run, and a blogger discussing this news with journalist friend and basically recapping the character’s origins, that he was a mercenary, blah blah, shot in front of a statue of Khonshu, blah blah, went crazy and became Moon Knight, blah blah. We then see Moon Knight making his way through the city, in a bad-ass all-white limo being driven by nobody, to meet the police.

I love the rationale Ellis uses here for why Moon Knight wears all white, it’s because he wants people to see him coming, and Shalvey and Bellaire’s art portrays that beautifully, as, when in costume, Moon Knight is coloured completely differently from the rest of the book. In fact, he’s not really coloured at all, he’s like a black-and-white character in a colour world, and looks amazing. The art throughout looks fantastic, as Shalvey unleashes some stylish layouts and techniques, but this colouring adjustment really stands out as something special. Speaking of the costume, in this issue, Moon Knight isn’t wearing his traditional cape and cowl combo, instead he’s in the all-white suit and tie that he wore in that one issue of Ellis’ Secret Avengers. From the covers of upcoming issues, it looks like we might see the traditional suit, but I personally love the new look, it’s something different, to go with this different-looking book.

Moon Knight meets up with the police, and in cool Ellis twist, the head Cop refuses to acknowledge him as a superhero, because then they wouldn’t be able to work with him. Instead, he’s just Mister Knight, a concerned citizen who wants to help. This is Ellis approaching superheroes in his own unique way, and it’s just cool touch. The case to be solved is a slasher, but Moon Knight quickly works out that there’s something different about it, it’s not random, and the fact that all of the killings are within one small radius leads him to believe that the criminal is hiding out underground in the tunnels.

Moon Knight heads below, where he finds the killer, a former SHIELD Agent who was blown up by an IED and left crippled, who has been killing people to take their limbs and organs and upgrade himself. Shalvey’s depiction of this shambling horror is appropriately creepy, and again, this is a uniquely Ellis villain. The way Moon Knight defeats this guy is also pretty unique, as he throws a ‘Moonarang’ at him without either him, or the audience seeing it. This is not going to be your typical superhero comic that’s for sure.

The issue ends with a flashback to before Moon Knight’s return to New York, with Marc Spector under psychiatric care. Interestingly, Spector’s doctor comes to him and tells him he’s actually not crazy, he really was possessed by the spirit of Khonshu. The nature of Khonshu, and how he has 4 aspects is what led to his split personalities, whether they be in the form of Steven Grant and Jake Lockley, or as Captain America, Wolverine and Spider-Man in Bendis’ run. This is a different take from a lot of the more recent Moon Knight stories, which definitely leant more on the ‘he’s fucking mental’ side of the character, but I think Ellis could be onto something here in really exploring the nature of Khonshu. Plus, there’s only so far you can go with an insane protagonist I feel. Of course, that doctor seemed pretty creepy, so he could just be crazy, at the very end, back in his creepy abandoned base, Marc Spector sees visions of Grant, Lockley, and a very creepy looking Khonshu. It’s going to be fascinating to see what side Ellis eventually falls on.

This was a spectacular opening issue, the art was beautiful, the dialogue strong, and the take on the character new and exciting. If you’re looking for a superhero title that’s a little off-beat, that’s in the same spirit as Hawkeye, then Moon Knight is perfect. Just don’t read any of Ellis’ interviews, they might drive you mad.
User avatar

Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:19 pm

Nobody else read this?

What the fudge you guys?
User avatar

Draco x

Fagorstorm

Postby Draco x » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:50 pm

Good review but I hope they bring back Marlene and Frenchie as the one thing I hated about Bendis' run is how they were basically ignored and cast aside for lame supporting characters. As for the suit thing, I genuinely hope Ellis ditches the Rosarch/ Crime Master look that Moon Knight is currently wearing and go back to his original cape and cowl attire.
User avatar

HNutz

Rain Partier

Postby HNutz » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:27 pm

Punchy wrote:Nobody else read this?

What the fudge you guys?


I think it sold out at my LCS. :(
User avatar

guitarsmashley

Regular-Sized Poster

Postby guitarsmashley » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:51 pm

I read it today, I had no clue who anyone at the end was but the book was completely and utterly beautiful.
User avatar

alaska1125

dINGO

Postby alaska1125 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:54 pm

Draco x wrote:Good review but I hope they bring back Marlene and Frenchie as the one thing I hated about Bendis' run is how they were basically ignored and cast aside for lame supporting characters. As for the suit thing, I genuinely hope Ellis ditches the Rosarch/ Crime Master look that Moon Knight is currently wearing and go back to his original cape and cowl attire.

I actually disagree with your opinion on the new look. I've only read the preview, but I kind of love the new direction based on that.
User avatar

Draco x

Fagorstorm

Postby Draco x » Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:55 am

alaska1125 wrote:I actually disagree with your opinion on the new look. I've only read the preview, but I kind of love the new direction based on that.


Fair point but I don't get the impression it's going to be permanent for some reason. Overall I hope Ellis brings back Marc's original supporting cast.
User avatar

Rikk Odinson

Society Member

Postby Rikk Odinson » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:30 am

I really freakin' dug this book.
User avatar

AngusH

crash test dummy

Postby AngusH » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:07 pm

With no previous exposure to the character, I thought this was OK. Art was great, the story was... interesting. I'm onboard for #2 at least.
User avatar

Stephen Day

Wrasslin' Fan

Postby Stephen Day » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:09 pm

I loved the way that all of Moon Knight's past problems with multiple personalities were brought together and explained. It was just a beautiful was of using past continuity to move forward.

MikeinLA

Rorshach Test Subject

Postby MikeinLA » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:26 pm

I enjoyed it a great deal. It did a great job introducing the character's new status quo, and gets bonus points for doing it in a single story. I also liked the fact that Ellis didn't write Spector as overly cynical or quippy, which I got more than enough of in his Avengers OGN.
User avatar

avengingtitan

Rain Partier

Postby avengingtitan » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:26 am

I enjoyed the story. The art was another matter. It just felt like it wasn't finished. I know they were going for the whole "white" look but they took it too far. It didn't have enough depth to me.
User avatar

Chesscub

WTF is this rank?

Postby Chesscub » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:49 pm

avengingtitan wrote:I enjoyed the story. The art was another matter. It just felt like it wasn't finished. I know they were going for the whole "white" look but they took it too far. It didn't have enough depth to me.


I loved the spread with him going down into the sewers.
User avatar

Arion

Twenty-Something

Postby Arion » Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:08 pm

Punchy wrote:It’s a shame that Warren Ellis spends so many interviews bad-mouthing superhero comics, because he’s a really good superhero writer, and I’d even go as far to say that, as much as I love Transmet, Global Frequency and Fell, his superhero stories are his best work, Planetary in particular is the best thing he’s ever done for me. But it doesn’t matter so much what he says, more what he writes, and now he’s returned to Marvel to write a new Moon Knight series, and no surprise, it’s really bloody good. With this opening issue, Ellis, along with art-team extraordinaire Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire, takes a character that, even under Bendis and Maleev struggled to grab readers and puts a new spin on him, whilst at the same time remembering the past. This issue is only a teaser really, but I can’t wait to see what comes next.

The plot here is a done-in-one mystery that’s not really a mystery, but it expertly sets up what Moon Knight’s new status quo will be, and what Ellis’ take on the character is. We open with Moon Knight having returned to New York after his time in LA during Bendis’ run, and a blogger discussing this news with journalist friend and basically recapping the character’s origins, that he was a mercenary, blah blah, shot in front of a statue of Khonshu, blah blah, went crazy and became Moon Knight, blah blah. We then see Moon Knight making his way through the city, in a bad-ass all-white limo being driven by nobody, to meet the police.

I love the rationale Ellis uses here for why Moon Knight wears all white, it’s because he wants people to see him coming, and Shalvey and Bellaire’s art portrays that beautifully, as, when in costume, Moon Knight is coloured completely differently from the rest of the book. In fact, he’s not really coloured at all, he’s like a black-and-white character in a colour world, and looks amazing. The art throughout looks fantastic, as Shalvey unleashes some stylish layouts and techniques, but this colouring adjustment really stands out as something special. Speaking of the costume, in this issue, Moon Knight isn’t wearing his traditional cape and cowl combo, instead he’s in the all-white suit and tie that he wore in that one issue of Ellis’ Secret Avengers. From the covers of upcoming issues, it looks like we might see the traditional suit, but I personally love the new look, it’s something different, to go with this different-looking book.

Moon Knight meets up with the police, and in cool Ellis twist, the head Cop refuses to acknowledge him as a superhero, because then they wouldn’t be able to work with him. Instead, he’s just Mister Knight, a concerned citizen who wants to help. This is Ellis approaching superheroes in his own unique way, and it’s just cool touch. The case to be solved is a slasher, but Moon Knight quickly works out that there’s something different about it, it’s not random, and the fact that all of the killings are within one small radius leads him to believe that the criminal is hiding out underground in the tunnels.

Moon Knight heads below, where he finds the killer, a former SHIELD Agent who was blown up by an IED and left crippled, who has been killing people to take their limbs and organs and upgrade himself. Shalvey’s depiction of this shambling horror is appropriately creepy, and again, this is a uniquely Ellis villain. The way Moon Knight defeats this guy is also pretty unique, as he throws a ‘Moonarang’ at him without either him, or the audience seeing it. This is not going to be your typical superhero comic that’s for sure.

The issue ends with a flashback to before Moon Knight’s return to New York, with Marc Spector under psychiatric care. Interestingly, Spector’s doctor comes to him and tells him he’s actually not crazy, he really was possessed by the spirit of Khonshu. The nature of Khonshu, and how he has 4 aspects is what led to his split personalities, whether they be in the form of Steven Grant and Jake Lockley, or as Captain America, Wolverine and Spider-Man in Bendis’ run. This is a different take from a lot of the more recent Moon Knight stories, which definitely leant more on the ‘he’s fucking mental’ side of the character, but I think Ellis could be onto something here in really exploring the nature of Khonshu. Plus, there’s only so far you can go with an insane protagonist I feel. Of course, that doctor seemed pretty creepy, so he could just be crazy, at the very end, back in his creepy abandoned base, Marc Spector sees visions of Grant, Lockley, and a very creepy looking Khonshu. It’s going to be fascinating to see what side Ellis eventually falls on.

This was a spectacular opening issue, the art was beautiful, the dialogue strong, and the take on the character new and exciting. If you’re looking for a superhero title that’s a little off-beat, that’s in the same spirit as Hawkeye, then Moon Knight is perfect. Just don’t read any of Ellis’ interviews, they might drive you mad.


I don't think you can say Planetary is necessarily a superhero title. It's more of a sci-fi book with superheroic elements in it.

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