Marvel knows how to revamp their characters. Case and point: the all-star team of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev on Moon Knight.
Comics You Should Be Reading is a feature here on the Outhouse where a rotating panel of Outhouse writers highlight some of the best, under-heralded books out today.
Moon Knight is written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Alex Maleev
Synopsis of the book: Marc Spector, a.k.a. Moon Knight, has made his way to LA where he currently produces a TV series loosely based on his Moon Knight origin and adventures. While in LA he finds himself caught in a mystery involving a mysterious LA underworld kingpin, an Ultron head and how the two connect. The street-level title deals with Marc Spector's ability to be an effective street level hero while having a multiple personality disorder and a new group of friends and allies.
Reasons why it's awesome: Brian Michael Bendis writes dialog better than anyone in the superhero business. The quality of words that come from the pages of Daredevil, Allias and Moon Knight help root their characters to the point that we feel like we are reading a story not based in a fictional world where superheroes exist, but rather, in our own world inhabited by extraordinary people. Bendis grounds his writing of Marvel characters so well that it's no surprise that one of Marvel's live action TV projects is a Jessica Jones series, which comes from the pages of Allias...written by Bendis. With Moon Knight, Bendis writes a story that appeals to both superhero fans, and to non-hero fans that are more inclined to read indie comics about private investigators or crime syndicates.
Oh, and did I mention his partner Alex Maleev helps out, too? Maleev does some of his best work when the panels are subtle: a guy driving into LA, two men speaking in the dark, Bullseye threatening to kill a man for information...ok, that last example wasn't part of a subtle panel, but it was still amazing. Maleev, as I mention in my Room With a Review: Moon Knight #3 post, helps set a seen by detailing the parts of the panel that don't seem to matter so much, such as Marc Spector's dress shirt and how it bends and folds. The little things add up in your mind without your mind knowing it (yet my super-sensitive mind did...you're welcome). Those small bits of detail help readers submerse themselves in a gritty real-world that could be happening right now! Like for reals!
Why is this book awesome? Because the creators create a superhero story that feels like it could happen...minus the Ultron head.
If you like __, then you'll like this book: Fans of Bendis and Maleev's work on Daredevil and Spider-Woman, plus Benids' work on Allias, will absolutely eat-up Moon Knight. As I touched on above, I also think Moon Knight is a good fit for fans of detective stories and low key grit titles such as Greg Rucka's Stumptown and Warren Ellis' Fell. Both of those titles include great dialog and characters that you can picture in the real world.
Best pick-up point: This series is still in its infancy. In fact, Moon Knight #4 hits comic shops today! I would definitely recommend picking up the first 3 issues before reading today's issue. Waiting for the trade may also be an option if you are having a hard time getting the first few books, but personally, I would not be able to wait several months to start reading this incredible series.
Final Thoughts: Isn't this feature supposed to be about books which are under-heralded? Does a Brian Michael Bendis book really need more press? Yes, and yes. This is definitely a big time book based on it's creative team; however, the main character is a lower level Marvel character which many readers may pass on since he isn't a prominent Avenger, or X-Men, or guy with radioactive spider powers. Moon Knight has everything a modern comic book should have: great dialog, top-notch art and a fresh take on a character in need of a revamp, in this era of reboots.
For more comic related posts and reviews by Dom, head on over to 365DaysofComics.com!
Written or Contributed by: Dom G