A compelling story, interesting antagonists, a flawed but heroic lead and over great art comes together in a great package here. This isn’t just a great launch, but a set up for what’s sure to be a series to watch for what I hope is a very long run.
Seven years ago, Marvel’s Moon Knight was recontextualized, giving him a new direction and new mission. In the wake of that, a high profile streaming series is coming in the next couple years, and the character is about to become one of Marvel’s highest profile heroes. It’s the perfect time for the protector of those who travel by night to return in a new #1.
Every few years, Marc Spector gets a new volume. This feels like more than that, similar to the series that Felicia Hardy got just a few years ago that’s still going strong. This series comes from Jed MacKay, Alessandro Cappuccio, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Cory Petit.
His patron god has fallen and is serving a prison sentence for his crimes. His mission is all he has left. Marc Spector is the protector of those who travel by night. It’s time to make that mean something more.
I’m not going to sugar coat it or dance around it.
I loved this issue.
MacKay proves here that it wasn’t just a fluke that he took a set-up from another writer and transformed it into a great story, as he did with Black Cat. Here he takes all of Marc Spector’s recent history, going back to the 2014 relaunch up through the recent Age of Khonshu, and creates a great new status quo. He invents a new villain who is a mixture of Marc’s old rogues as well as his mythology. He adds threats, conflicts and even puts the title character in therapy, and in the course of about 30 pages he makes it all work. Even better, I’m excited to see what’s next.
For the art, it’s great but it’s not quite perfect (but that’s a good thing). Cappuccio has a great eye for action, especially stretching it across a page in a way that makes it feel incredibly animated. His splash pages are stunning, with a massive amount of kinetic energy being conveyed across them. However, when the story slows down a little he does get a little stiff, and the energy grinds to a crawl. Generally speaking though, it’s a stunning turn on his biggest title to date.
Rosenberg puts in probably her best work in a very long time in these pages. She gives Moon Knight and his various personas an ethereal glow. It makes it seem like his presence is lighting up the space he occupies, almost like he’s protecting others just by being present. Petit’s lettering work is strong throughout, but in particular throughout his sound effects are stunning and his balloon placement creates the illusion of a surround sound.
This might have been Marvel’s best debut of the year, and it’s an exciting launch that any superhero fan should pick up.
Moon Knight #1 is available from Marvel Comics.