When Marvel first announced a new Moon Knight series from Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey last year, fans were pretty psyched. When Marvel announced that the beloved creative team would be done after only six issues last month, fans were sad and confused. While there's nothing we can do to help cheer them up, we can help a little bit with the confusion, as Robot 6 has statements from both creators on their departure today.
According to Ellis, his mission was simply to relaunch the character as a viable property, and he considers his mission complete. From his newsletter:
Issue 1 went to three printings, and 2 and 3 went to two printings, and so I consider that a job reasonably well done. The job has been, simply, reactivating Moon Knight as a productive property for the Marvel IP library. And, in personal terms, producing six single stories that held together, because I thought it would be amusing to provide a book that could be entered at any point and still give the reader a complete experience. Which goes against the grain a bit, because the modern commercial-comics reader has been very much entrained to expect long arcs rather than singles. I’m sure there are plenty of complaints out there about the lack of character arcs or long stories. But the book is still getting bought and reordered. So I guess we found an audience after all.
Well, we're glad he found it amusing.
Shalvey's departure was more of a reaction to Ellis leaving, according to his blog:
No matter who took over as the writer, if I stayed on the collaboration just wouldn’t be the same, and there would be a change in the work as a result, which would probably be unfairly blamed on the writer. I felt it would be better to step aside with Warren, leaving on a high note, making our run ‘Moon Knight Season One’ and let a new team do their own thing right from the first issue of the new arc.
Then again, maybe Shalvey just didn't want to do a portfolio review with the new writer.
Shalvey also said that he plans to take a break from mainstream monthly comics for a while:
I’ve been busting my arse non-stop for the past 4 years at Marvel, as well as short stints at DC, Dark Horse, etc. I’m taking a holiday, doing some short stories (including a Murder Book story with Ed Brisson) I’ve long promised to folk, some cover work and after that, we’ll see. I had something planned, but it looks like that won’t happen for a while. In any case, I’m just gonna take a little break from monthly mainstream comics and work on something of my own.
Good for him!
Fans of colorist Jordie Bellaire will be pleased to learn that she's staying on the book. Bellaire will be joined by Brian Wood and Greg Smallwood beginning with issue 7. Marvel should be pleased because this is officially the most anyone has talked about Moon Knight in about twenty years.
If you need a fix of more Ellis, check out his Image series with Jason Howard, The Trees.