This is a post of simple observations and thoughts. Objectivity may not apply.
“I hate this vigilante shit.”
– Detective Hall
“And yet it’s about the only thing that works.”
– Moon Knight
Confidence fills the tail end of this exchange, and its quite possibly ignorant. The ignorance seeps through later, though. For now, in this initial scene, Spector’s in the groove of his alter ego, riding the tail of last issue and the moves made in it. The guy’s feeling hot.
But I’d say this new found self esteem may have some ill roots as it seems Spector is placing a lot of faith in the vigilante concept. Or at least, that’s how Bendis writes him. I mean, the entire opening scene paints a picture of man packaged and sold to an ideal, and now he’s out preaching the good word, trying to convert the nonbelievers.
I just like that the nonbeliever is a cop, and Spector tells him straight to his face vigilantism “works.” It’s cocky, but somewhat justified because the character, as in Moon Knight, does supply the goods in the scene – as in a captured criminal and evidence. Hall can only be sent away with no option but to play along, and play along he does as a nice section of this issue revolves around his efforts to coerce his superior officer to investigate the LA Kingpin thing.
But what’s really going here is we’re seeing Spector grow more comfortable with the super hero thing, and in this scene he actually acts like a legitimate comic book super hero. Bendis does a solid job conveying the point by writing this opening scene very much like a Batman scene. You have the parking garage, the dichotomy, the crouching, the costume … this scene is something I would expect to see in a Batman book. So you have Moon Knight, who has been labeled “Marvel’s Batman” for years, literally standing in for the Dark Knight, but it makes so much sense. At least, to me it does. In my own personal interpretation of the character, Moon Knight is the ultimate wannabee super hero. I’ve noted that over and over in these posts. Rather than being “Marvel’s Batman,” I see it more appropriate to call him “Poor man’s Batman.” Well, after 7 issues of growing comfortable, Bendis puts the character in the shoes. And while it’s cool to see as a fan of the character – you know, him be legitimized – I know there’s another reason here. Marc Spector is so ready to fall into this super hero thing, and I think Bendis is setting him up to be obsessed – even more so than he has been.
Look at how easily he sells vigilantism. Look at how the character’s written in this scene. Spector’s clearly playing a part. He hits every beat. Surprise entrance. Suggested mystery to solve. A snappy one-liner as he makes the quick exit. That’s super hero 101, and Marc plays the part.
I think the character’s growing comfortable very fast and because of that he will soon make mistakes, but the larger picture here speaks to something we all go through. This is a story about a man finding who he is. The true self. We all take that journey at some point, but even after we figure out who we are, it’s not over. The next step is all about being you, and being a confident you, without overstepping boundaries and getting sloppy. That’s where Bendis has Spector at right now. He’s coming off the first arc and feeling good, but after this moment’s over, I bet shit hits the fan once again – actually, you kind of see so by the end of this very issue.
The immediate continuation of the Nefaria plot line surprised me. Being a Bendis book, I expected it to wade about for a while, but instead we’re right back in it. The choice makes sense, though.
If Marc is in a state of mind of total confidence and “playing the part,” it makes sense he’d get right to it. The dude’s eager. That’s why his subconscious/conscious/trio of colorful costumed dudes pressures him, in this issue, to put the mask back on. It’s himself telling himself, “hey, dude, I wanna play.” That eagerness will only hurt him, though. Whether it’s with the “professional job” or, as the ending alludes, Nefaria handing him his ass, the character’s moving too fast for his own good. Ties back to what I discussed before.
Of course, this could just be a sign the series is on its way out as Bendis abandons original plans in order to come right back to Nefaria and wrap things up. I mean, this book sells pretty poorly. I hope I’m wrong on that. Either way, though, I feel the choice in fast track narrative is a smart one.
And what about the Captain America, Wolverine, Spider-man head trip this issue? That whole thing just comes off like an over-possessive girlfriend.
“Spend more time with me! Fuck your job.”
We all know where that shit goes.
Although, the dramatic reaction to the trio’s appearance didn’t work for me. You know, when Marc’s with his secretary whatever and they appear. Shit stops cold for two panels. One panel plays up the whole red background thing. Why is it that dramatic? We’ve seen these personalities before. Something was lost in the translation there.
Art wise, I’d say this is the best looking issue yet. Maleev and Hollingsworth tear this comic apart. Whether the parking garage or the splash toward the end, it’s exciting to look at.
And, damn, that whole match throwing sequence was sweet.
As much as I did dig this issue, I honestly don’t have a ton to say on it. There’s interesting development with Spector, but it seems Bendis has the rest of the cast in a holding pattern. They’re written well enough to play the parts and move the plot, but I feel the other characters are missing the needed third dimensions. I’m glad Bendis is in Moon Knight’s head, but well, how much more can I write each month when it’s only Moon Knight’s head I’m placed in?
And then I wrote about #9 …