Monday, March 10, 2014

Moon Knight (2014) #1

I asked at my comic store if this is Warren Ellis from Nextwave, or Warren Ellis from Thunderbolts. The former was one of my least favorite comics I’ve read (an unpopular opinion, I know) while the latter is one of my all-time favorite runs. The answer is: this is Ellis working with established continuity, but bringing his bad-ass sensibilities to a character that can really flourish under that attention. This is Ellis from Thunderbolts!

Marc Spector was in LA, acting as a TV show coordinator in his last series. I can’t speak too much to it, since I skipped that run, but I was never sold on the idea of replacing Spector’s alternate personalities with Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Captain America. I will catch up on Bendis’ take eventually, but for now, I’m glad it is in the rearview mirror.

Moon Knight is back in New York, working with the cops, and while he does seem to be a very lonely man (no Frenchy or Samuels here), he’s got enough automated help to get by. Moonie’s car drives itself, and while he’s rocking a sweet new costume, his tech still seems pretty darn effective. Ellis’ Moon Knight is a very competent detective, too. I never got that impression in previous runs, but I like making the character more like a unique take on Batman. Moonie really enjoys his bad guys seeing him coming, explaining the white suit and mask. It isn’t the classic 70’s look, but it is a visually striking and impressive design. I didn’t think I’d like the new take this much, but after one issue I’m sold.

Declan Shalvey does a tremendous job establishing the tone with Moon Knight’s new look, but he really impresses me with the surroundings. The page showing Moon Knight descending into the lower levels of Manhattan were impressive, and the old-fashioned SHIELD logo really won me over. I also like that Moon Knight’s subtle heroics are totally visible on the page when you take a second look.

I usually don’t mention colorists, but I need to make a mention of Jordie Bellaire. Her use of colors to establish different moods in different locations really powers the book. Plus, Moon Knight’s lack of color on his suit is a striking use of negative space in the wash of constant color. It’s a great look.

There are some more callbacks to previous Moon Knight series, but I’m not going to ruin them here. But I can say that if you like Moon Knight, hard crime heroics, or fantastic art, this GOOD book is for you. 

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