In spite of the mass amounts of excitement I’ve shown for this book over the last few months I’ll come clean: I know nothing about Moon Knight. Okay, well I know the basics; Marc Spector died and was resurrected by some deity and fights crime. But that is about it. No, what made me salivate over the release of this book were three names: Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, Jordie Ballaire.
Thank goodness that this issue is a very simple, but weird, introduction to the character. Moon Knight a.k.a. “Mr. Knight, a concerned citizen” returns to New York and is aiding the police in locating a serial killer that is killing and stealing various body parts. This is very much a crime/noir story rather than a superhero tale. I think it only improves the book. Ellis is very much a master of the genre, whether in comic format or in prose.
As the issue delves into the character of Moon Knight, we get a taste into the dark foundations of a character that is based around being resurrected by an otherworldly creature. I have also heard from many fans that Moon Knight is often regarded as some cheap Batman knock off, but this issue seems to not agree with that assessment at all. This Moon Knight does work with the police like Batman, but it is not some secret meeting under the light of a gaudy signal. It is on the ground, in the muck. It is also interesting to note another difference this issue addresses. Moon Knight wears all white because he wants the criminals to know that he is coming. This is not some ninja that will hide in the shadows.
I cannot think of a better art team for this book than Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire. Just coming off a five-issue arc with Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan on Deadpool (“The Good, The Bad, & the Ugly”. Go read it.), the two work amazing with each other. Shalvey’s paneling (example being Moon Knight’s descent into the bowels of underground New York) is great and he can go from depicting the dirty streets to the outright bizarre at a moment’s notice.
I’ve mentioned Jordie Bellaire’s colors in my review of Zero #5 but it bears repeat: she is one of my favorite colorists in the business. Whether it is on Zero, Pretty Deadly or this book, she never ceases to impress. She makes this dark and fantastic world pop and brings emphasis to the more gruesome moments. Final aspect of the coloring is the, well, lack of coloring of Moon Knight’s costume. It seems like such an obvious thing to do and really brings home the idea of our protagonist wanting his enemies to know he is coming.
Moon Knight #1 was a simple, yet effective introduction to this interpretation of the character. Some might say my lack of prior knowledge of the character invalidates my opinion on this issue, but that is nonsense. This issue makes me want to go back and read old Moon Knight stories. But for now, I will stick with this story of a weird detective/vigilante in his weird, weird world.