Review: Moon Knight #11

Marc Spector fights for his freedom… and his sanity

Moon Knight, art by Jordie Bellaire

If you approached the average comic book reader, you’d have a heck of a time explaining to them not only who Moon Knight is but why they should be reading his book. Look no further for reasoning than the creative team, writer Brian Wood, artists Greg Smallwood, Declan Shalvey, and colourist Jordie Bellaire, currently sending Marc Spector on a journey to not only recover his freedom but also his identity as Moon Knight.

The Story So Far:

Following Marc’s meeting with his psychiatrist, Elisa Warsame, back in issue #9, he’s left essentially powerless at the hands of the god Khonshu as Warsame is deemed more worthy of its power. With her newly acquired abilities, Elisa takes it upon herself to assassinate General Lor, a war criminal mentioned in previous issues of the book. Following the attempted assault on Lor during a meeting at the United Nations, foiled at the last moment by our now tragically normal protagonist who believes that Lor should be brought justice by other means, Spector finds himself a prisoner of the NYPD as an enemy of the state.

Relegated to swallowing pills and being shanked on a regular basis, the walls are closing in on not only Marc Spector but, with Warsame running amuck in possession of Khonshu, Moon Knight as well.

Moon Knight, art by Greg Smallwood

Creative Directions:

Since the beginning of his run, Brian Wood has made his mark on every page of dialogue and every action scene. With books like DMZ and The Massive under his belt, he’s managed to transform the character in a way that only he could and, with the way he paces the story and crafts the dialogue, in a way that complements the strengths of the book’s artists.

While Wood’s writing is certainly a strong point of the book, it’s really Greg Smallwood’s layouts and art that really continue to knock this series out of the park. From a pure design point of view, there are a ton of things to get excited about including the creative use of negative space, the separation of the panels during the first couple pages as we’re just gathering pieces of Marc’s current situation, not to mention the clear passages of time conveyed through the simplest movements and changes in colour by Jordie Bellaire. The two work seamlessly together to create yet another visually stunning issue that complements the dialogue and action of the book very well.

The Wrap-Up:

Brian Wood and Greg Smallwood have really taken this character and, as Ellis, Shalvey, Bendis and Maleev did before them, really made it their own. Wood’s history with politically charged titles has definitely come into play over the past couple issues and continues to do so here. While this issue was strong on its own, it’s apparent with the past couple issues that it’s really meant to be enjoyed as a collected book.

Much like the creative before them, it’s a shame that both Wood and Smallwood are leaving this book following the conclusion of the next issue, with Cullen Bunn and Ron Ackins stepping in. Although, from a sales perspective, with the writing, art and general creative direction of the title firing on all cylinders, they’re certainly leaving readers excited for whatever comes next.

If you haven’t been reading this book, you should get caught up. If you’re a trade-waiter, don’t let this book jump off your radar, it’s a real treat and continues to redefine the Moon Knight character.

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