Moon Knight #1

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrated by Alex Maleev

Let me begin by saying the twist in this issue is amazing. Maleev’s art may be the best it’s ever been. And of course, Bendis writes some great dialog. But what the hell is up with the continuity in this book?

Moon Knight is currently a member of the Secret Avengers. You can see him acting as such in the book of the same title, Onslaught Unleashed, Avengers, and Fear Itself. While none of those books are taking a lot of time to focus on him, they have given us NO indication of any major changes in his life… such as moving to LA and starting production on an auto-biographical television show.

Mr. Hyde is currently being incarcerated on the Raft and is being considered as a potential member of the Thunderbolts back-up team in THAT book.

Ultron JUST reappeared in Avengers 12.1.

And yet, all of these various elements are colliding here and now in Bendis’ Moon Knight. It’d be fine if this was a Marvel Knights title, but it isn’t. Is it all in the titular characters’ head? That certainly wouldn’t be much of a stretch, I guess, but I’m not entirely thrilled with the premise of reading a book the events of which are all “just a dream.” But would that be preferable to the major continuity gaffs? You know, I’m not sure. Either way, this book – for all its positive elements – still reads like a major misstep in one direction or another.

Moon Knight #1 gets 3 out of 5 Egyptian gods of vengeance

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Jason Kerouac is a co-founder of Panelsonpages.com. He spends roughly half of his waking life in servitude to the Giraffe. Raised in a town in New Hampshire you've never heard of, he now lives in Indianapolis, IN and is pretty sure that's a step in the right direction.

Comments (7)

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  1. goatt says:

    I gave up on continuity a VERY long time ago, so I’m viewing this book purely as a stand-alone story. That being said, I really enjoyed it. I’m one issue in, and I’m already dying to know how much of the book is real, and how much is purely Marc’s imagination. At first read, I didnt understand the way his fellow Avengers were written; Cap being super supportive and pushing him to be a hero, Wolverine being nothing but negative and questioning his every choice, and finally Spidey coming across as hopefull, yet extremely naieve. The twist at the end cleared that up nicely, and actually made a second read through really enjoyable.

    • Jason Kerouac says:

      I’m upset at myself that given Marc’s history, I didn’t immediately realize what the cover was suggesting. I’ll have to give it a second read and see if I like it better, but… I just really doubt it.

      Marvel has Astonishing, Marvel Knights, MAX, and Ultimate imprints that allow writers to play in a continuity-less sandbox where they can take the elements of the ongoing 616 that they want and bend them however they see fit. After one issue, this book feels like it belongs in one of those offshoots. We’ll see.

  2. John-Michael (Batman25JM) says:

    Meh. I wasn’t too into this. It just doesn’t sit well with me that Moon Knight’s illness has changed so suddenly. Also, I liked the fact that he was getting a handle on it in the previous series and now he’s worse again.

    • Jason Kerouac says:

      Agreed. Again, this is a book where I find myself hoping as much of it as possible is just in his head, because none of it is really jiving with what’s gone on outside of this book, but… then I’m REALLY not a fan of stories that take place entirely in a character’s head just so you have free reign to do whatever you want.

      I can write a kickass story where Batman kills the Joker and deals with the fallout, and it’d be a fun read, but when he wakes up at the end having been under sedation and it all turns out to have been a dream, won’t that feel like a cheat. Isn’t it more impressive when a writer can tell a good story within the confines of a character’s established continuity (or else convincingly effect change within that continuity?)

  3. goatt says:

    I agree partially. If Marc wakes up, and this has all been a daydream, then yes, it’s wasted writing. However, if Marc isn’t in L.A. producing a tv show, and going to war with the westcoast Kingpin 9(which I highly doubt he is) it begs the question: what IS he doing? If not Mr. Hyde, who did he fight? Where did he really get an Ultron head? There’s potential here for brilliance, if they take it in the right direction.

    Also, screw continuity. Spiderman can be in the Avengers, The FF, however many solo titles he has running currently, and this month’s Heroes for Hire all at the same time,and nobody bats an eye,and don’t even get started with Wolverine. If he mysteriously dissapears from the X-Men, Avengers, and has nothing to do with Fear Itself while he’s in the AoA verse with X-Force, I’ll concede. But he won’t. It’s just part of comics. You either look past it, or you don’t. Personally, I don’t even worry about it anymore.

    • Jason Kerouac says:

      See… I’d consider Wolverine and Spider-Man’s situations to be a matter of consecutive events being told concurrently. Fear Itself happens either before or after AoA, simply put (in theory). Technically, the Ultron thing isn’t a continuity gaff, just too much of a single villain all at once. But the Mr. Hyde thing? If that really was Hyde, then that means not only does this take place after the current T-Bolts story, but we already know that Hyde escapes as part of that story. Something like THAT bothers me, especially when there’s a million jobbers in the Marvel Universe.

      I shouldn’t even blame Bendis for this. Someone at Marvel HQ should have the job of maintaining a simple database. Whenever a writer or artist uses a character, they submit that list to the database keeper. That guy then marks the character as something to the effect of “active – in use,” “incarcerated,” “dead,” or whatever else. Mark each entry with the book it happened in. When a writer finishes a story arc, they let the database keeper know which characters from their story are still bookmarked for something down the road, and which ones are free and clear. It’s just frustrating to me, as it takes me out of the sense of the connected universe.

      • “Someone at Marvel HQ should have the job of maintaining a simple database. Whenever a writer or artist uses a character, they submit that list to the database keeper. That guy then marks the character as something to the effect of “active – in use,” “incarcerated,” “dead,” or whatever else. Mark each entry with the book it happened in. When a writer finishes a story arc, they let the database keeper know which characters from their story are still bookmarked for something down the road, and which ones are free and clear.”

        This sounds like a job for Mahoney.

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