Marc Spector is Moon Knight!…Or is he? It’s hard to tell these days, especially when New York’s wildest vigilante protects the street with two-fisted justice and three—that’s right, count ‘em—different personalities! But even with the mystical force of Khonshu fueling his crusade, how does the night’s greatest detective save a city that’s as twisted as he is? The road to victory is going to hurt. A lot. Marvel’s most mind-bending adventure begins NOW as Moon Knight sleuths his way to the rotten core of New York’s most bizarre mysteries! Written by Warren Ellis with art by Declan Shalvey.
The cult hero Moon Knight returns in this #1 from the dynamic creative team of Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire. Moon Knight may or may not be insane, as his various personalities might suggest, but I can guarantee that the book just might be. With its unique visual aesthetic, air-tight scripting, and unresolved ending, this opening issue poses more questions than it cares to answer. But that’s what makes Moon Knight #1 such a compelling read: You’re not quite sure what you come away with when you’re done, but you definitely want more.
The issue opens with Marc Spector’s return to New York, as expounded by an as of yet unnamed journalist, following a series of grisly late-night murders. Spector, who may or may not be who we think he is, dons his updated costume to serve as a consulting detective of sorts for the NYPD, despite the reservations of the other officers on the scene. Descending into the sewers to find the killer, he follows blood to the lair of the strange and brutal creature at the heart of these deaths, resulting in a confrontation that is worth the cover price.
This updated Moon Knight affects a surreal presence on the page, a stark white profile amidst the fully colored and detailed supporting cast of police officers and grimy New York streets. Shalvey’s line work truly shines here, illuminating the machinations of the character through an exceptional use of motion and framing. His dynamic page designs are made all the more vibrant by Bellaire’s brilliant color choices, using grim palettes of blacks and reds in severe contrast with the disorienting whiteness of the titular character’s costume. It leaves you with an unsettled feeling, uncertain of what these colors represent or if any of this is actually happening, which is a testament to the strength of this team.
As for the writing, Ellis’ scripting is slick and polished, with lines of dialogue so cool as to chill. Despite the succinct recap on the title page, Ellis gives nothing away about the larger nature of the story, or how much of it is even real. While mystery in superhero titles is often ham-fisted at best, the unsure footing that Ellis places the reader on is tantalizing as he sends us into this rabbit hole with Spector, with no idea what awaits us at the bottom. Nothing is clear, nothing is certain, except that Spector is in New York and people are dying. I did find the last section and the subsequent ending a little abrupt, but when the writing is this good, I can safely advise you to run – don’t walk – to your local comic book store and pick up your copy of Moon Knight #1.