By Gregg Hurwitz (writer), Jerome Opena (artist), Dan Brown (colorist)

The Story: After barely surviving his battle with the Thunderbolts, Moon Knight has faked his death and fled to Mexico to recover.  Now, some time later, the White Knight is well rested, rearmed, and filled with thoughts of exacting vengeance on Norman Osborn as he storms back into the Big Apple to finally become the hero he was always meant to be.

The Good: I’ve always had an odd fascination with Moon Knight, and happy to see Marvel renew their faith in the character with this re-launched, albeit poorly named, title.  If you’ve been reading this book since Charlie Huston’s run back in 2006, you’ll know that the story of Moon Knight is ultimately one of redemption, as Marc Spector slowly works his way from being a ruthless, cold-blooded killer and mercenary to the kind of hero he knows he can be.  ‘Vengeance’ marks the next phase in that story, with Moon Knight coming back to New York (under the guise of one of Spector’s multiple personalities) to make his mark as a major presence in the hero community, even as he works on destroying Osborn’s regime.  Hurwitz and Opena hit the ground running with this arc of the story, and so far I like what I see.  Opena’s art is, as ever, beautiful and dynamic, and my god can this guy draw a chase scene!  Hurwitz does a flawless job of establishing what has come before in previous stories while laying the groundwork for what we can expect.  Despite these achievements, this issue still moves at a breakneck pace and sweeps you right up in the action.

The Not So Good: I groaned at the arrival of The Sentry at the end of the issue, and was reminded of his largely pointless presence in the first issue of Remender’s Punisher relaunch.  While I understand using Sentry as an extreme point of contrast for Moon Knight and Punisher, two incredibly human, vulnerable characters, I don’t believe that a guy like Sentry, who is essentially Marvel’s answer to Superman would waste his time with such a minor inconvenience like Moon Knight.  If we follow this line of reasoning that Hurwitz has set up, this battle will either end with Sentry easily defeating Moon Knight, which makes it hard for us to go on reading and caring what happens next, or Moon Knight will somehow evade capture, which makes Sentry far more inferior than we’ve been led to believe.  I think Hurwitz would have been better off using Venom or Daken, members of the Dark Avengers that are more on par with Moon Knight’s abilities and would make for a more even-handed battle.  Of course, since we won’t see how Moon Knight fares against Sentry until next month, who knows?  Maybe Hurwitz and Opena will surprise us.  The inclusion of Moon Knight #1 from 1980 will be met with mixed reactions from readers, you’ll either like having some extra story to justify the price tag, or feel it’s a waste of time.  Personally, I was happy to have the additional content.

Conclusion: I like where this is headed and hope Hurwitz and Opena can keep up this level of energy.  Worth checking out!

Grade:  B+

-Tony Rakittke

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