By Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (artist), Matthew Wilson (color artist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer)
The Story: Moon Knight and Echo team up together, and begin to peel back the layers of the criminal syndicate controlling LA. Naturally, Spector’s plethora of personalities are along for the ride as well.
What’s Good: I’ll probably be saying this until Maleev chooses to leave the book, but the art is still top notch. The extended fight scene gives him a chance to flex his muscle and show just how well suited his unique style is for conveying action and motion. The sketchy nature of the art almost feels stylized at times, and I know many people don’t find it appealing at all. For me, though, Moon Knight is on my short list for best looking book this year. Maleev is such a great fit for this sort of dark, street level action.
I’m also extremely pleased that we’re finally getting to see the titular character in action. I know Bendis has a penchant for taking his time to introduce characters and establish storylines (and I especially don’t begrudge him that on the first arc of a new book), but it really feels like Marc Spector has been hogging the spotlight up to this point. It’s great to see Moon Knight himself finally show up and kick some ass. I’m also still loving the way Bendis is using different Avengers as shorthand for the different aspects of Spector’s personality. While I hope this story point doesn’t continue beyond this fist arc, I think it works exceptionally well as a device to quickly establish Spector’s schizophrenic nature, and the different ways in which he thinks. (It also leads to some quite amusing dialogue during the fight as Spector argues with himself.)
What’s Not So Good: My biggest complaint about the series to date–lack of Moon Knight–has been remedied fairly well in this issue, and for that I’m grateful. Now that Spector himself has been well established as a character, I’m hoping the remaining issues of this arc will give readers the chance to meet Moon Knight, and establish just what he can do, and what makes him unique as a hero.
This may again be due to Bendis’ love for drawing out backstory, but I feel like, although this issue itself was quite action packed, the narrative and story have slowed to a crawl. A little bit more information about the bad guys and how they fit in to the overall story would have helped give the fight more meaning.
Conclusion: Moon Knight is still going strong, if a little slowly. Maleev’s artwork more than makes up for any shortcomings or slowness in the story, however. (I hope we get to see his original pencils for this series some day.)