Moon Knight #1
By Jeff Lemire, Greg Smallwood, Jordie Bellaire, and Cory Petit.
Moon Knight #1 is here and this comic is such a fun ride trough a circus of pure crazy. The first issue asks what if a superhero was really crazy and was just imagining their whole superhero identity? This is such an outlandish concept,, it just might work. Marc Spector wakes up to find himself in a mental health facility, and he begins to wonder if he ever was Moon Knight or if he has always been Marc Spector, the MU resident crazy who fantasizes about being Moon Knight. Things do not add up, so he does some investigating into the institution, and things get even more confusing once he starts to listen to Khonshu for guidance. This issue leaves you wondering if Moon Knight is crazy or if Marc Spector really is this lonely delusional person wishing he was Moon Knight.
This book spares no expense as it begins its first issue of a five-issue arc. Jeff Lemire (Bloodshot Reborn, Extraordinary X-Men) wastes no time introducing readers to Moon Knight in the loony-bin playing at the ‘is Marc Spector crazy?’ angle, but Lemire takes this concept and puts it in overdrive. Lemire is a literary genius with how he weaves into a story about a delusional super hero undertones of a forgotten romance from a single panel, or how he paints two new characters (Billy and Bobby) with so much hostility and with pure dick-ish behavior that we as a reader feel so much anger toward them after the first few pages. Seriously, Billy and Bobby act like such major jerks that you are waiting to watch them get their faces beaten in after only the first few pages. Throughout the issue you start to see a scenario unfolding where Spector is crazy, but he has to embrace the craziness to become Moon Knight, and then you read some more and think maybe he is Moon Knight and the man is keeping him down or something. However, there is so much ambiguity introduced from Lemire that both paths could still happen over the next four issues.
The art in this issue really exemplifies the duality of realities Marc Spector is facing throughout the issue. Moon Knight #1 showcases art by Greg Smallwood, colors by Jordie Bellaire, and letters from Cory Petit. There are two realities we encounter in the book, one is a seeming dreamscape that happens when Marc is sleeping or maybe out Moon Knight-ing it up. This art looks rough, worn in, with lots of dark hard lines, and colors that are more hues than straight single colors that run into one another to form an ombré effect. Then, when Marc is in what we can assume is reality and the art is more structured with light lines and colors. The art still has the gritty, worn in feel, but it has a refined quality to it. Not to give too much away, but there are some breath-taking pictures in this book from the art team. Smallwood really delivers with a two-page full splash page that shows a pyramid amidst a cityscape. The splash page has an eerie quality to it thanks to the dark hues and realistic art quality to the pyramid. Smallwood also does a lot of close-up shots of Marc Spector in his Moon Knight regalia and without, which really show command over the emotion being expressed in the story. This art style from Smallwood is greatly complemented with colors from Bellaire who understands when your super hero costume is white, shadowing and black details are essential. However, Bellaire does not miss a mark when she gets to color in a night sky, she uses red instead of black or blue to allow other aspects to pop off the page. Altogether, this art really aligns itself with the story Lemire is crafting with Moon Knight in an engaging story line that challenges the readers and rewards those devoted Moon Knight followers who have been waiting for a recurring story. This story could be the start of a good thing for Moon Knight.
Yes, those who follow Moon Knight are probably going to be so stoked at how good this book is, and at how good the story arc can be. Maybe you have never heard of Moon Knight and that is okay, because this is actually a good jumping-on point for new readers because it explains a lot of back-story to who Marc Spector is and what Moon Knight is. This book is good, and it does set up for the next issues to be just as good if not better so, please read Moon Knight #1 because he is a great example of how Marvel can write a good off-the-wall super hero story and still engage a reader. This was a long-awaited book for many and it certainly lived up to expectations.