BY MATT TUCK
Moon Knight #1 dives into the Fist of Khonshu’s mythos with the same action and wit we’ve come to expect from the title, but the main reason collectors will swarm for this issue is Marc Spector’s newest adversary, Hunter’s Moon.
MOON KNIGHT #1
Written by Jed Mackay
Art by Alessandro Cappuccio
No doubt, the new addition to the Moon Knight cast of characters is meant to give collectors a reason to storm their local comic shops. Who is the mystery man? His name is Dr. Badr, who is another member of the Cult of Khonshu, and he is not happy with our hero. At the end of the issue, and following a longstanding tradition for introducing new villains, the final page is the full, in-costume reveal.
THE NEW GUY
Badr as Hunter’s Moon is being established as the anti-Moon Knight. When the two characters initially meet, he refers to Spector as a Fist of Khonshu rather than the Fist. It’s a subtle insult to Moon Knight, but there is more to it. When Hunter’s Moon makes his debut, he speaks to the god, calling himself the left hand of Khonshu.
Whether or not Badr is a full-fledged villain or an anti-hero in his own right remains to be seen, but he is clearly going to be a thorn in Moon Knight’s side. As far as collecting, the stronger upside is clearly with a hero rather than a villain. Still, even if he does operate on the side of evil, with enough popularity behind him, he could play a larger role in the Marvel Universe. The real money will be in the upcoming Disney+ series in the hopes that Hunter’s Moon shows up there in a future season.
As usual for a Moon Knight tale, much of the focus is on Marc Spector’s mental instability. While his dissociative identity disorder is mentioned, it is not the centerpiece, which is a refreshing change.
Dressing in a white suit and Moon Knight mask, Spector is basically living as Moon Knight full time. When he’s not donning the full gear and fighting crime and the supernatural, he is operating the Midnight Mission. It is both a shrine to Khonshu and a place of refuge for those in need. One after another, his neighbors come to the mission, asking for help, and Moon Knight delivers on his promises with a dash of humor among a heaping of violence.
He eventually encounters Badr, who is laying a beating on the Z-list villain, Eight-Ball. The scene establishes that this new character can stand on his own and could be as violent as Moon Knight himself.
Meanwhile, there is another mystery villain pulling the strings from the shadows. He manages to track all of Spector’s movements through hidden cameras that appear to even be inside the Midnight Mission.
The real heart of the story and what should become more important going forward in the series is his budding relationship with his therapist. She offers insight into more than Moon Knight’s psyche. She questions his fanaticism to Khonshu and whether or not Moon Knight can actually die, which Marc Spector does not have an answer to.
A LITTLE ANALYSIS
The story itself is what you would expect from a Moon Knight entry. There is ample action delving into the supernatural. All the while, Moon Knight delivers his trademark one-liners. The plot and pacing hit the right marks, showcasing the hero’s strengths and setting up what should be a memorable run.
The only complaint I had is the artwork. By no means was it bad, but it was relatively flat and static. I want to be pulled into the artwork with a dynamic, three-dimensional feel, and this particular issue did not deliver on that. On the other hand, cover collectors will be drooling over the Steve McNiven cover art, which was superb.
Overall, it was a serviceable job all around for Moon Knight #1 and made for a good jumping-on point for new fans curious about Marvel’s Batman (with a dash of Deadpool) before the Disney+ series makes its way to the streaming platform.
MIGHTY MARVEL MARKETING TECHNIQUES
Mackay’s first outing in the Moon Knight franchise with one of Marvel’s favorite marketing techniques: the all-too-common #1. Years ago, Marvel shied away from continuing the high issue numbers in favor of the oft-restarted volumes. It makes for a slew of #1s, and keeping track of the issues you’re searching for unnecessarily confusing. Of course, Marvel incorporates the “Legacy Numbering,” which actually makes things even more confusing since it gives an issue two numbers.
As far as Badr/Hunter’s Moon, there are so many characters being introduced that it seems like there is a new face practically every month. Clearly, this helps bring attention to the latest volume of Moon Knight, and the formula works. Whenever Marvel debuts someone new, it is practically an automatic sellout. How collectible this issue proves to be is purely in the hands of the editorial staff and how far they choose to push Badr.
Moon Knight #1 is scheduled for release on Wednesday, July 21.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.