By Jeff Lemire, Greg Smallwood, Jordie Bellaire, and, Cory Petit
Moon Knight #3 is the kind of book that just keeps you guessing. It seems like by the third issue of Lemire and Smallwood’s tale of sanity-questioning, reality-warping tale the readers may have a handle on what is really going on, but this issues raises more questions then it answers. Writer Lemire and artist Smallwood really create a world where Egypt and New York collide with space, Egyptian deities, and super heroes and it leaves everyone questioning what is going on. Last time we saw Marc Spector, he was making a run for it from the asylum with some fellow patients. This issue takes the readers through an adventure of Moon Knight taking on mummies, orderlies, and his former doctor while trying to get everyone to safety. Can Moon Knight really protect and defend his fellow travelers? Is he saving them from danger or is he taking patients away from a facility that was trying desperately to help them? All will be revealed, and it is going to be such a fun ride.
This book is a truly genius maze of a story that keeps the readers questioning at every turn. Lemire cleverly writes the story in a clearly delineated way between what Moon Knight perceives and what others perceive of their surrounding, thus creating the dilemma of what is the reality and what is the fantasy? Moon Knight and fellow traveler, Crawley, view the staff from the facility as mummies and other Egyptian deities, while the other companions with Moon Knight view them as normal people. The surroundings are also perceived differently by the two groups; with some viewing New York as we know it and the others see a New York that has been replaced with a giant sand Pyramid in the center with flying Egyptian deities all over the skies. Even more baffling is the notion that is teased that they both could be the same; a paradox with both realities co-existing where some can view the hidden reality.
What makes Moon Knight such a fun character is the concept of sanity that is constantly played around with. Every story there is an element of his sanity that can be questioned, is he crazy or does his supposed mental health allow him to be Moon Knight is something that is fun to explore. Lemire is expertly navigating these waters in Moon Knight #3 leaving threads hanging along each page that could go either way with the whole is Marc Spector crazy thing. Another fun element Lemire uses throughout this Moon Knight run is the interactions between Khonshu and Spector that happen. Khonshu is acting as a coach and guide for Spector on his journey, constantly pushing him to embrace Moon Knight and his apparent craziness. Adding Khonshu as a guide for insanity for Spector helps to slowly build up each beat in every book as Marc starts to drift slowly back to being Moon Knight and believing he is Moon Knight.
The art in his run has been really consistently delivering, and this issue is no exception. Moon Knight #3 features Smallwood on lines, Bellaire on colors, and letters from Petit. Lemire gives the art team a tremendous task to tackle with creating two separate realities that have to simultaneously co-exist in one book. The team really comes together to create a solid feel for each view, continuing the gritty view from Moon Knight were the staff are evil wards of an Egyptian god and a clean lines view from those who view the staff as normal people you would expect in a mental health facility. Smallwood does a great job to keep the feel of Moon Knight consistent throughout this book; his lines, design, and single black and white detail are the one constant that remain intact as we weave throughout each perspective. The great joys of this book are found in Smallwood’s great facial details and Bellaire’s colors. Bellaire finds a great use of bright primary colors to draw the readers’ eyes to the central point of each page, while also using a more saturated, bright color palette during the “normal” reality and a darker, starker one in the “Egyptian” reality.
Moon Knight #3 really cemented this book as a can’t miss comic each month. If this book is not currently on your pull list, you should definitely do yourself a favor and add it while you can. The first issue already went into a second printing and with only three issues in, it should be easy to get caught up with the story. This book has created solid depth and interest around a little-known character by introducing a great story with a giant mystery. The giant mystery at the center of the story is slowly being unraveled, little by little, each month by some of the best in the comic business. The slow unravel will certainly change Moon Knight and his world, and you better be there when it all goes down.