Moon Knight Vol. 1: Lunatic (Review)

I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed a comic book (graphic novel?) before, either here on the blog or anywhere else, cause in all honesty, I haven’t really ever read them. I own A Game of Thrones Graphic Novel and a couple 007 comics, but I’ve never got around to reading them.

But after seeing the Moon Knight trailer, and coming up with a couple (ok 9) things I hope they do in the Moon Knight show, I wanted to give it a shot and see what all the fuss was about. So here we are.

The first Moon Knight related thing I was able to find was Moon Knight Volume 1: Lunatic, by Jeff Lemire. As an introduction to the character, I’m not really sure this was a good starting place for me. It seems that Lemire’s work assumes that you’re not just familiar with the character, but you have read the previous iterations of the comic before. Purportedly, (from the description on Goodreads) this volume should:

“. . . [call] everything you know about Moon Knight into question.”

But I didn’t really know anything about Moon Knight to begin with, so I felt like I was catching up most of the time. As such, it’s a little hard to judge whether or not the story was well crafted or not, or even satisfying to read. I can say that in general, it may have tried to do too much, and relied too heavily on the reader’s knowledge of previous iterations of the story, often at the cost of coherency.

I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to say that the main thrust of the plot is Marc Spector’s attempt to escape from a mental ward, and he has several companions who help him do so. Each appear to have a long history of working with Marc, if only he (and they) can remember it. You are given bits and pieces of that history in flashes, but unfortunately the reader is often still wondering who the heck these characters are.

I did enjoy the depictions of ‘New Egypt’, a kind of post-apocalyptic version of New York which is covered in broken down buildings, sand, and pyramids. It was also fun to see some my favorites from Egyptian mythology show up. I thought the Emmet/Ammut wordplay was fun, and that Ammit — traditionally depicted as a mix between crocodile, hippopotamus, and lion, who supposedly would devour your heart if your judgement went badly, and your heart weighed more than the feather of Ma’at — was an interesting choice of villain. Also fun to see Anubis although I’m not entirely sure what if any symbolism we’re supposed to take from his actions.

Finally, I’m definitely intrigued by the role Khonshu, Seth (who I believe is supposed to be Ancient Egyptian god Set) and the other gods play in this world. It was a bit Ancient Aliens for my tastes, but I’m willing to keep an open mind and see what comes of it.

Worth it?

The short answer to this question I suppose, is yes. Although, I believe that this one will probably be more enjoyable to long-time fans of the character, and if you’re new like me, then maybe look into trying to find some of the older iterations first to give yourself a baseline.

For what it’s worth, I’ve requested volume two.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this so far. Has anyone reading been a long-time fan of this character? Did all the references make sense to you? How’d you feel about the end? What did you Egyptophiles think? Any history or mythology you were hoping would make an appearance? Please leave your answers in the comments. Looking forward to chatting about this one!

See you next time!

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