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"All-New Marvel Now!" Review: "Moon Knight" #1!

All-New Marvel Now Moon Knight #1
Decan Shalvey

All due respect to the author, but Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey's "Moon KNight" is the best "Dexter" comic on the stands.

A "sad blogger" gets a tip that Moon Knight is back in Manhattan, filling the readers in; a former mercenary who died and was resurrected by Egyptian God Khonshu, Marc Spector now wears all white and maybe has Disassociative Indentity Disorder.

Cut to "Mr. Knight" arriving at the scene of a slashing, where a Detective Flint orders his men to not acknowledge that a potentially violent mercenary is on the scene and helping out. The murder is part of a string where someone is killing strong men and cutting off pieces. Knight, through expert detective work, figures that the murderer can't walk properly and comes up from the tunnels under the streets to take out his victims. He returns to his self-driving white limo, pulls up a panel and a manhole cover, and follows a makeshift rope.

Past the subways and sewers, Moon Knight arrives at an old SHIELD facility. Inside, a former agent who had "the crap blown out of him" by an IED has been using old, abandoned, and illegal tech and drugs to bionically augment himself, as well as replace his muscles with others. Knight tosses away a moon-shaped knife when he first arrives, and when the killer asks him how he'll take him down, he says he already has; the knife actually bounced off the walls and into some very important machinery on the killer's side. As he starts coughing blood, he tries firing a shot, but Knight deflects it off another knife right before the untimely death.

An abrupt flashback finds Marc talking to someone, either a doctor or psychologist, who believes the story that Moon Knight was resurrected by Khonshu. However, she says he doesn't have DID; coming back from the dead gave him brain damage, and Khonshu filled his brain with his aspects, Pathfinder, Embracer, Watcher of Overnight Travels, and The One Who Lives On In Hearts.

Present day, Knight returns to his cobweb-covered mansion, where his two other personalities are waiting for him. As well as Khonshu, a crow's skull atop a finely dressed and rotting suit, which declares "YOU ARE MY SON."

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. Warren Ellis has a reputation as an idea man in comics, but this one played it fairly straight. This first issue of "Moon Knight" is basically a detective story with some slight superhero leanings. This white Knight doesn't swing in from the rooftops or answer distress calls, he just arrives in his all-white stretch limo. Then he very politely solves the crime and dispatches the psychopath.

The irony comes from the "is he crazy or isn't he?" angle, which this book has decided to say he isn't. Instead, serving an Egyptian God has consequences. Assuming this book sets the tone for the series going forward, this will be a book about a very capable and trouble person dealing justice to other very troubled people. This is where the "Dexter" comparison comes in. Moon Knight is the protagonist, but he's not a hero. His calm and open demeanor contrasts the fact that nearly everyone else who knows him by reputation is on eggshells. If he lives up to that rep in future issues it'll be interesting to see.

I'm less familiar with Declan Shalvey, but based on this first issue I can't imagine a better artist for this book. Right after someone mentions Spector wears all white so they'll see him coming, he shows up in a fancy suit done in white silhouette. The cross section of street as he descends conveys just how deep he's going, leading right to a metal grotesque. When Khonshu appears looking both sedentary and menacing, he's locked in as the perfect guy for this book.

Ellis and Shalvey's "Moon Knight" doesn't read like a superhero book. If it wasn't for references to Captain America, Spider-Man, and Wolverine, you wouldn't know it was a Marvel book. This is a comic about an arguably crazy man being haunted by a god and solving crimes. It's dark and tense, full of mystery. Pick it up.

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