Tomorrow starts my vacation in which I will embark on a great quest to see how little I can leave the house during the span of a week. I seriously plan on doing nothing other than lay around read comics, enjoy cigars and libation, and maybe play a video game or two. Well, I started a bit early this weekend by lighting up an H. Upmann Corona Major and re-reading Brian Michael Bendis’ Moon Knight in its collected TPB releases. I’m thinking of just renaming Sunday Funday Comics & Coronas.
Almost every year it happens. That one book I love gets shit-canned. The year before last, I was still reeling from some of my favorite DC books falling victim to the reboot, but last year it was the end of Bendis’ short run with Moon Knight that cut the deepest. God, I loved this book! It took a character that I hardly gave two shits about and turned him into someone that got me to the comic shop for each new issue. Marc Spector, self-appointed Hollywood socialite works on a campy TV series about his life, while trying to establish himself as a West Coast Avenger and unravel the mystery of a new Kingpin and the sale of an Ultron head. The art by Alex Maleev is excellent. It’s gritty, it’s edgy, and it gives the book a serious undertone, which balances out the black comedy really well.
Yes, I love comics for all sorts of reasons, but in the end, it’s the ones that make me laugh that usually get me coming back the most. Bendis’ Moon Knight is good with that. Marc Spector is batshit insane (but he would argue all costumed super heroes are!) and the book’s greatest selling point is the pithy inner dialogue between him and the voices in his head who take on the personalities of Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Captain America. Cap takes on the role of Spector’s moral compass, Spidey is his fun and impulsive side, and Wolverine just mercilessly berates him for everything he does and everything he fails to do. Toss in the self-deprecating humor found in the fact that Moon Knight can get no respect from friends and foes alike, and Moon Knight is dark comedy gold.
Not being satisfied with just his inner monologue, Spector takes his neurosis to the extreme and even dresses up like his imaginary friends and in his mind, becomes them. Of course, eventually the real players show up, which leads to great moments like this…
I could go on and on. There’s some great play between him and his reluctant partner, the sexy, deaf ex-Avenger, Echo. A priceless run-in with criminal hack squad The Night Shift. But easily my favorite part of any of the books is when Spector dresses up like Bullseye and beats the shit out of his newly hired consultant just to see if the guy was trustworthy.
There’s no doubt, Moon Knight was one of my favorite books of 2012. In fact, it’s probably second only to IDW’s Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye. I would have loved to see Moon Knight go on, but I can’t deny there’s something to be said for having a shorter, self-contained run. Moon Knight was canned after 12 issues. It went out on a high and it left me wanting more, and if you’re a comic book or movie, or just about any other kind of entertainment, that’s generally considered a success. As it stands, Moon Knight is the perfect length to pull out every couple of months and spend a lazy afternoon re-reading and I enjoy it every time.
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