Moon Knight #1
By Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey & Jordie Bellaire
It’s all about trust, dear reader: trusting the narrator, characters, the creators and what they present us. We place our trust in all of these factors when reading any sort of work; it’s kind of the backbone of the reading experience. If we can’t trust one of the elements or portions of the story there’s generally something requiring the reader’s attention. Such is the case on just about every page in the new Moon Knight. Ellis, Shalvey, and Bellaire each force us to revisit the question of trust in their own unique ways, setting a very mysterious stage for a cerebral and mythological experience.
The first and biggest takeaway from this first issue is how different characters interact with the page. Moon Knight himself always seems like an anomaly when he appears on the page. Between his odd lack of pigmentation or any sort of color permeating his figure, and profound uncertainty about his sanity, Moon Knight glides through every page like a ghost. He never fits into the page, always standing at the edge of reality making his presence one of the key conflicts of trust. We are expected to forget Marc Spector’s unfortunate and violent past, yet his irregular representation begs us to focus our attention on his every move, as if the reader has been charged with keeping him in check.
Most notably in the alleyway sequence, Moon Knight’s interaction with the NYPD and Detective Flint firmly explores this conflict of trust. Spector’s demented past is very much in the minds of law enforcement, and his other worldly appearance doesn’t help his case. His intentions are good but this mysterious depiction makes it difficult to invest any manner of trust in him.
Even when face to face with a true monster, a man augmenting his body in horrific ways, both characters have a similar issue absorbing color, fitting into the scene. In their weird alternate reality existence both characters reflect the worst of each other as both characters are bounced off one another: despite his reformation, Moon Knight must deal with a man guilty of some of the same crimes he has committed. Spector’s newfound sense of justice is admirable, but is it a product of a true need for justice or an inner desire for penance?
It certainly seems like deep things are in store for Moon Knight. With the potential for divine misbehavior, and a good deal of wrongs to be held accountable for, this bizarre and unstable character has a fantastic potential for deep exploration. Where Ellis, Shalvey, and Bellaire will take us next is up to the split minded protector of night travelers.