Marc Spector aka Moon Knight has always been a little bit crazy. Now he’s become crazy enough to be stuck in a mental institution. Are all the things he’s seeing real or has his insanity taken over? Major Spoilers sits down for a therapy session with Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood’s latest issue of Moon Knight.
Previously in Moon Knight: Marc Spector is trapped in an insane asylum. At least that is what everyone is telling him, but he’s seeing familiar faces and when he covers himself in sheets to become Moon Knight he sees a very different world. Which reality is real and which is Marc’s delusions?
GETTING THE GANG BACK TOGETHER
Jeff Lemire has put Marc Spector in a setting that feels like the character would eventually end up. An insane asylum. The first issue of Moon Knight did a terrific job of putting doubt in both Marc and the reader’s mind as to what was real and what isn’t. This issue continues to up the ante while also bringing back a lot of Moon Knight’s supporting cast. Frenchie makes his appearance and I flipped out the moment I saw him. Lemire is really tapping into the early Moon Knight stories while maintaining lots of the modern day elements. An old man named Crawley, who seems to know more about Marc and his surroundings than Marc does, helps Marc make an escape. There was something about seeing Frenchie, Marlene and Gena all help Marc escape that brought a smile to my face. There is also a great exchange between Marc and Khonshu that reveals more of what Khonshu is, but because it happens while Marc is getting electroshock therapy, its credibility is still in question. My main concern is that the title is only on issue two and Marc has made an escape from the mental institute. I’m really hoping Lemire sticks him back in as it is truly something I’ve never seen Moon Knight deal with before. I still have no idea where this story is heading, especially after seeing this issue’s cliffhanger, and it once again has me excited for a Moon Knight book. If you haven’t read Moon Knight before, I highly suggest picking this up. Though it uses a lot of elements from old Moon Knight stories, there isn’t anything that will make a new reader feel lost.
CHANNELING ONE OF THE GREATS
Greg Smallwood impressed me on issue one but he amazed me with two. The issue opens with a two page splash of scribbles and sketches that are on notepad paper. They look like drawings of a mad man and are actually Marc’s ideas for Moon Knight’s weapons and costume. There are even cool notes that are written by Marc like “Check how hard it is to get a cab driver license”, touching on one of Moon Knight’s previous personalities, Jake Lockley. Things only get better from there. Smallwood changes his style based on what is happening in the story, maintaining the book’s standard look during “normal” events while using a darker, sketchy style for the conversation with Khonshu. The art in that sequence blew me away and it strongly resembles the work of Bill Sienkiewicz who also drew Moon Knight. Smallwood does a great take on Mr. Knight while maintaining the visual style that has come before. I like how the whites continue to blend in the suit, removing outlines at times and while there is more shading here, it still looks unique. This is some great work and I can’t wait to see what Smallwood has in store.
BOTTOM LINE: THE BEST MOON KNIGHT SERIES IN A LONG TIME
I thought the Warren Ellis run, and the issues following it, were top of the line Moon Knight stories. Next to the classics I hold them as some of the best, but Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood have taken that throne. Lemire and Smallwood are making the best and most exciting Moon Knight series that I’ve read in a long time. I’m loving how Lemire toys with the reader as to what is real and what isn’t and Greg Smallwood is pumping out fantastic pieces of art. Fans of Moon Knight who may have drifted away from the title should definitely grab this book as well as any new readers who are interested in the character. This is a stellar comic and I hope it sticks around longer than some of the previous Moon Knight titles.