This week, Marvel Comics blessed us loyal followers of Khonshu (and comics) with an anticipated addition to the “All-New, All Different” Marvel Universe in the form of Moon Knight #1. Following a story written by Jeff Lemire (Extraordinary X-Men) and the guiding pencils of rising artist, Greg Smallwood, Moon Knight has been taken beyond a vigilante crime-fighter and placed as the star of his own psychological thriller; he’s desperately seeking the answers to his whereabouts, identity, state of sanity, and the true nature of his existence. Together, these individual ingredients seem to be the makings of a maddening Moon Knight series, but you, the reader, may be wondering, “Did they mix well?” Fortunately for us all, they did, and you can find out why in the rest of this review of Moon Knight #1.
The first issue begins with Marc Spector standing before the temple of Khonshu, bathed in moonlight. Khonshu calls out to Marc, begging him to come inside, warning him about the impending pain of rebirth. In a flash, Marc wakes up in what appears to be an asylum, which not only starts the divide of trust between Marc and reality, but to the reader and the story as well…and it’s all downhill from there.
Marc is brutally beaten by orderlies and given harsh shock therapy until the reader happens upon a stream of consciousness within him while he’s surrounded by other patients. Strangely enough, Marc spies random individuals from his past lives as Jake Lockley and Steven Grant (they’re both in the asylum with him), begging further questioning as to where he is and why he is there. Yet nothing disturbs him as much as seeing Moon Knight — or at least someone dressed as Moon Knight – fighting one of his own villains on TV. This culmination of anomalies drives Marc to wonder, “Who am I?” It’s a question never answered in this comic but bound to be resolved later on in the series, the driving force for a hero to be reborn or possibly rediscovered.
The unique yet somehow unavoidable nature of Lemire’s story maintains the reader’s interest and convinces the reader to return for next month’s edition of this thrilling tale. The constant twists never become tiresome and send the reader on a journey with Marc himself, causing one to think about the comic even hours after reading it. But if the story is not enough for you, Smallwood’s art and page construction speaks visual volumes with a seemingly cinematic technique. Fortunately, this comic seems to be building off of the successes of its predecessor while also diving deeper into Marc’s eternally damaged psyche through a series of unforgettable twists.
This writer cannot wait to pick up the next addition to the newest, psychological series and is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Moon Knight #2, but in the meantime, be sure to pick up your own copy of the mesmerizing Moon Knight #1.