Review: Moon Knight #1 (Bendis & Maleev)
The band of Bendis and Maleev is once again together to bring us a character that has had more re-launches than schizophrenic identities over the years. And I have to tell you, all my trepidation regarding this character was put to ease by this talented duo.
The first of Marvel's "Big Shots" sets the bar high for those to follow. Finally, Moon Knight gets to stand out in a book all his own that is not tied down to years of convoluted history. Yes, he is in Secret Avengers, but apparently his role there is one of towel boy while the "powerhouse" characters get to play ball.
Marc Spector is living the high life in L.A.; a clear mind has helped him become a powerful TV executive producer and everything seems to be coming up roses. That is, until he gets a phone call from a certain Steve Rogers. It seems that it has become too toxic for the criminal element to stay within the confines of New York, so they are running to L.A. in droves to try their hand at underhandedness. Steve, Wolverine and Spider-Man have deemed Moon Knight the sole protector of L.A., but they will be ever at the ready to help out a fellow Avenger if the need arises.
Bendis has produced the perfect book for those who are staunch Moon Knight fans and for those whom have never met the avatar of Khonshu. It is a scaled down "meet and greet" of the character, but we get everything we need to root for such a visceral and vicious hero. He also intertwines this story with the same "mechanical" vice that pushed along the tale in Avengers #12.1, adding an even deeper familiarity with the character for Avengers fans.
Bendis does a fine job placating to the artistic strengths of Maleev, giving us a tour de force of smash mouth battle scenes that Moon Knight books are known for. Maleev's art, though "sketchier" than his days on Daredevil, is still outstanding! He runs the gamut from calm collective ness to beautiful brutality, and his splash pages seem to tear straight through to the reader. It is the perfect edgy feel for a character that is not only straddling the line of heroism, but one that is always pushing the limits of his mental state.
Speaking of mental states, the ending is one that Moon Knight fans saw coming from a mile away, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't an intriguing one all the same. I am so glad that Bendis is weaning out, at least so far, all of the contradictory histories of Moon Knight. It really hindered new readers from actually caring enough to follow the character religiously -- plus it gave you a wicked case of vertigo! This take is clean and fresh, yet gritty enough to entrance you in the call of Khonshu. It is the perfect re-launch and deserves to belong on your pull list!