By Gregg Hurwitz (writer), Juan Jose Ryp (artist), Andres Mossa (colors) and VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters)
The Story: In (another) unexpected team-up, Moon Knight finds himself working with Spider-Man to bring down the Sandman.
What’s Good: Ryp’s art is fantastic, let me say that right out of the gate. His take on both Spidey and Moon Knight is just gorgeous. I’d be happy paying the $3.99 just to look at these pictures (and as someone far more fixated on story than art, that’s about the highest praise I can give.) The splash pages are beautiful, and the panels of Moon Knight and Spidey stalking through the museum’s animal displays are unexpected and quite nice indeed.
I was actually a bit shocked by the style though. I was quite excited when I heard Ryp was coming on, since I think his penchant for very dark, graphic illustrations were exactly what this title needed after the fun (but less than stellar) Deadpool arc that just ended. So while the pictures are very pretty indeed, they aren’t at all what I was expecting. (Perhaps Ryp is trying to fit into the “Heroic Age” mold?)
What’s Not So Good: Although this book is a lot of fun like I said, it just doesn’t feel like it’s part of Moon Knight’s corner of the Marvel Universe at all. Everything from the relative lightness of the battle scenes to the slapstick humor to the very bright color palate (it’s often hard to tell these events take place at night!) makes it feel much more like a Spider-Man book guest starring Moon Knight, rather than the other way around. It would have been nice to see Spidey play around in Moon Knight’s dark and gritty world again, and I can’t help but feel that this was a missed opportunity for both characters.
I do hope this “lightening” isn’t a permanent change. It doesn’t fit Moon Knight very well at all, and takes away a great deal of what drew me to him in the first place. His back-story is extremely dark, after all, and a big theme of the character (at least to me) has been trying to overcome and/or channel that darkness in order to facilitate redemption. Eliminating the dark elements robs the character of that very vital tension. I like the Heroic Age idea, but not if it means removing the blood and guts from characters who depend on it.
Conclusion: While this book doesn’t work particularly well as a Moon Knight story, it’s still a good comic. A fun, easy read.