Moon Knight #1:
That Bag Is Dangerous...
I could take the easy route with this review. I can simply post one quote from the book and let it speak for itself:
“No offense, buddy, but you’re a mile underground wearing a white suit with a bag on your head.”
Don't worry, though, I will elaborate as to why I think this is an awesome comic.
That really sums up the latest comic to chronicle the adventures of Marc Spector; AKA Moon Knight. Marc’s had a few series come and go in his past, the most recent featuring Moon Knight affected with Dissociative Identity Disorder and believing he was Moon Knight, Wolverine, Spider-Man and Captain America.
While the early going of writer Warren Ellis’ first issue seems to bury this previous incarnation into a deep hole, he actually comes up with a pretty good twist to that thread in the last portion of the book.
It’s a solid action issue, with some deeper threads lying underneath that Ellis will unspool as the series continues. Spector is portrayed like a super suave and slightly crazy version of a certain, shall we say, Dark Knight.
I will admit my bias: as the likes of Morrison and Moore and Vaughn receive the bulk of the “Buzz Praise” in the community, I think Ellis is the most underrated writer in comics. Period. He can tackle any genre and make it at least good, but usually makes it great. He took a property like “Stormwatch” that no one was paying attention to and morphed it into “The Authority,” one of the most important and influential comics ever. And he later he created “NextWAVE,” a Marvel book that was like NOTHING else on the racks at the time.
Oh, and he wrote my favorite run of “Secret Avengers.” And… well, you get the picture. So I always think that anything the man writes is worth picking up. "Moon Knight" #1 continues his streak of never disappointing me. I was excited for this book and Ellis didn't let me down.
(FYI, all of those titles are available now at both Earth-2 Comics locations )
Here Ellis is paired with artist Declan Shalvey, recently of “Deadpool” and “Thunderbolts” fame. Shalvey’s style is harsh and gritty, pulling the reader right into the alleyways and tunnels of New York where Spector has decided to continue his crusade against crime and injustice. And beat people up in the process.
The art fits the neo-noir sensibility that the book employs. I love his new look: pure white suit and a simple “bag” covering his head. The action is sublime, small movements that convey a much broader stroke. Moon Knight's fight with the villain of the book is tense and stunted (in a good way) and forces the reader to concentrate on the nuances of each panel. I loved Shavley's T-Bolts issues and he is putting out his best work here.
Let's not forget the colorist. Jordie Bellaire is just... perfect. Great hues to separate the differing situations we find our hero in. Bright reds just after wash out browns. Beautiful vistas of blue and green outside the office Spector is visiting... but deep blacks and grays and whites as he learns a terrible truth. Hauntingly simple colors in the final sequence. The book is nowhere near as good without Jordie’s deft touch.
Marvel’s “All-New Now” venture has included some phenomenal titles, like “Ms. Marvel” and “She-Hulk,” and Ellis and Shalvey’s “Moon Knight” is poised to join them as some of the best comics any of the major publishers are putting out on the racks right now.
Kris Koller works at Earth-2 Comics Northridge, 8967 Reseda Blvd. in Northridge, California, always happy to help you find the book you're looking for. You can also venture into Earth-2 Comics at 15017 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks.
As always, look to your local comics shop for the books discussed here on Fanboy Planet -- Earth-2 in Sherman Oaks and Northridge, The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach, Illusive Comics & Games in Santa Clara, Hijinx Comics in Willow Glen would all be great places, and many do mail-order business.