Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey’s brief run on Moon Knight was beyond successful. The two were able to provide brief, compelling stories in a single issue. Brian Wood and Greg Smallwood have taken the reins but does their opening issue live up to expectations? Major Spoilers takes a look to find out.
Previously in Moon Knight: Marc Spector died in Egypt, under a statue of an ancient deity Khonshu. He returned to life and became Moon Knight, fighting crime for his own redemption. He went crazy and disappeared. This is what happened next.
I HARDLY NOTICED A DIFFERENCE
Whenever a new creative team takes over a book there is a slight cause for concern. Though I had some problems with Ellis’s run, it was entertaining and I loved that he told done in one stories. After reading Moon Knight #7 I have no doubt that Brian Wood will continue the high quality.
This issue is another simple, issue long story as Moon Knight chases an assassin throughout New York during a massive blackout. It’s a quick read but there is enough exciting action and dialogue to make it worth the time. It very much reminded me of the previous issue where Moon Knight fought his way up a building a la The Raid. Wood gives Moon Knight a slightly different voice in his dialogue. It isn’t as brutal as I found Ellis’s to be, or as crazy. It’s the one drawback as much of the title makes a point about character’s mental instability. There’s an ending that has ties back to the first issue and is a nice cliffhanger. It will be interesting how Brian Wood handles subsequent issue formats. I hope he sticks to stand alone stories while maintaining a slight connection between issues.
BIG SHOES TO FILL
Declan Shalvey’s work on Moon Knight was the highlight of the book. I feel sorry for Greg Smallwood because he has a lot to live up to. Fortunately, he succeeds even though his work isn’t as refined as Shalvey’s. Smallwood and Shalvey’s styles are quite similar and an average reader probably wouldn’t notice a difference. Smallwood has wonderful layouts that provide a great flow for the action and is able to do some unique things. The wordless page where Moon Knight chases the assassin through the street while also stopping rioters is brilliant in its effectiveness. His detail isn’t consistent but it’s a minor complaint. I love how “Mr. Night’s” coat buttons are little moons but unfortunately isn’t drawn as such most of the issue. Jordie Bellaire helps the consistency with his coloring and Moon Knight continues to pop off the page with his stark whiteness. The art team proves they’re up to the challenge of sustaining the quality art.
Side note: If there was a Mr. Night toy, I would snatch it up in a heartbeat. Get on it Hasbro.
BOTTOM LINE: STILL A KEEPER
Brain Wood and Greg Smallwood succeed in keeping Moon Knight one of the better Marvel titles on the rack. There is little difference in the writing and art, and an average reader would be unable to tell the difference. It’s a success all around and regular readers of the book shouldn’t be disappointed.