Thoughts: Moon Knight #9

Two months later, and I’ve finally decided to jot down my thoughts on Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev’s Moon Knight once again. Between laziness and realizing the meticulous behavior of doing issue-by-issue commentary, as well as trying not to repeat myself with every new issue, these MK posts took a backseat, but since it’s been announced the series will end with issue 12, I figure I should at least finish the task I took on. I can’t promise these last few posts will be as heavy as the first 8, but I’ll make them as interesting as I can, and once it’s all over, I’ll write a nice overview essay of the series. That’ll last longer anyway. For now though, some quick thoughts for the sake of putting them out there.

So this issue contains a lot of fighting and internal struggle, making it a pretty fitting climax for a story about an uncertain super hero with a multiple personality complex. Count Nefaria, the owner of a monocle and power boner, who’s fought Thor, the Avengers and some X-dudes, comes back from his last appearance to belittle and beat Marc Spector, and he chooses to do so by killing Spector’s girl and driving him up an emotional wall. After 20 pages of combat and dialogue between Spector and the voices in his head, the issue ends with Spector loosing his crayons and adopting his Wolverine persona in a whole new way, leaving the reader on a cliffhanger of rage and bloody fists. Sorry. I hate summaries.

So, Random Thoughts style, here’s the rundown.

+ Thoughts

– I definitely consider this to be one of the better issues of the series. Maybe the best, but I’m not sure as I haven’t read the others in quite some time.  But it’s up there. Why? While it may sound cheap, the book gave me what I really wanted to see, which was a visually enticing fight involving Moon Knight, in costume, drawn by Alex Maleev. Say what you will, but I enjoyed the payoff because, unlike almost every other super hero comic, Bendis and Maleev’s Moon Knight hasn’t involved much fighting or super hero action. The series has kept those elements to a minimum, building the tension between the reader and what’s on the page. This was a necessary fight, and while the battle involved a villain, the real fight took place in Spector’s head which, at the heart of this book, has been the scene of conflict all along.

– This comic incorporates the downward spiral of the story into the pacing and plot. If you notice, the issue begins with Marc on the roof of a building, and it ends with him in an alley. The entire fight moves from top to bottom, reflecting the events within the issue as Marc enjoys some classic hero versus villain fisticuffs until he’s in the street, watching his lady friend die. The consideration on this level speaks of the craft put into the issue, and it reminds that not all Big 2 books are thrown together chunks of shit. Thought went into this, and it’s an especially wonderful touch as the descent provides Maleev’s artwork with an extra bit of movement. A lot of his shots in this issue are horizontal or slanted to accommodate the high-to-low battle, and from this Maleev works the fight into a fluid, lively piece. And, of course, the descent in setting reflects the peril of our lead.

– I found the cuts between Buck/Marc scenes and Marc/Cap/Spidey/Wolverine scenes affective for their ability to present some background and explain the origin of Marc’s new weapons, yet I also feel these scenes simply act as quality transitions in order to introduce each personality Marc’s carrying around in his head before we witness the internal dialogues of the issue. These back-and-forths come off as bold and stylish.

– Thoughts

– This is sort of cheap, but I honestly was a bit bummed about Echo’s apparent death. I liked her. She made a lot of sense in this series, and it seemed there was much more to the character than previously hinted. But, for the story at hand, her death is the most logical way to progress the narrative and place Marc Spector where Bendis wants him. So, on a matter of storytelling, this move works. And anyway, I’m sure she’ll be back in some other Bendis project somewhere down the line. That’s the way this shit works. But, for now, I’ll honestly kind of miss her. Pathetic, I know.

Verdict

Good fucking issue. It certainly positioned the story in a new way. I’m ready for more, and I guess, the coming conclusion.

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