We’re back with another Moon Knight post! It’s been seemingly forever since I did one of these (I’ve been pretty much knee deep in the A Dead Djinn Universe the last couple weeks), and considering the Moon Knight show on Disney+ has uh . . . (ahem) wrapped up, I wasn’t sure when it would make sense to do another one.
But all who are mighty shall bow down before the divine authority that is a library due date lest they face the WRATH OF THE $5 FINE!
Or in other words, I quick read this one during a lunch break so it wouldn’t be overdue. I think my last foray into these comics was with the proceeding volume of this run, Warren Ellis‘ debut with the character in Moon Knight Vol 1: From the Dead. I’m not entirely sure how crediting works in comics go, but Brian Wood seems to be the main name associated with this volume (#2): Dead Will Rise.
Overall, I thought this was a pretty straightforward Moon Knight experience. The character is still a bit of a loaner with side kicks Frenchie, Marlene and Crawley noticeably absent. Marc’s other personalities reprise their roles though and the Moon Knight we see appears to have gained some new gadgets (scarab drones lol) and a burgeoning moral compass. The Moon Knight seems to have any physical conflict well in hand, taking down single foes with ease, however his inner conflicts are not so easily pushed aside.
This would seem a bit of a course correction from the Ellis edition which relied heavily on a more surreal art style, and an extreme amount of violence, to present a pretty amoral hero who only barely cared about things like justice or protecting the innocent.
Or, it might be that — just like the duality noted in epithets of the real Ancient Egyptian god Khonsu — Moon Knight is both protector/healer, and bloodthirsty demon (who lives on hearts yummm), and now that we have seen the darkness in the Ellis books, it’s time to see some heroism.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton here. We only get one brief visit back to Egypt at the Pyramid of Giza, in which we see Khonshu’s statue (in a similar inaccuracy to those made in Moon Knight Episode 3 – The Friendly Type), but ultimately the story does not linger there long, and there were no other references to Ancient Egyptians that we hadn’t already seen (that I noted anyway).
Another possible thing of note, was the use of Marc’s alternates in this volume. I mentioned that much of the violence was turned down in this arc, but there was still one instance of needlessly excessive force which happens during a hostage situation early on. Each of the alters are working to resolve the situation in a kind of revolving door of expertise, and when the enemy is finally confronted, he is “disarmed” (literally both his arms are broken) by Lockely. It’s assumed that while this foe is rendered — quite brutally — incapacitated, that he will live to stand trial. But the final panel shows Moon Knight covered in more blood implying that Lockley went further, even though the job was seemingly finished.
For me this was interesting because one of the main changes the show made, was to make Lockley’s character a kind of brutal assassin. It seemed to come as a surprise to everyone (check out reactions in my posts on Episode 4 – The Tomb, and the finale Episode 6 – Gods and Monsters) since in the early days of Moon Knight, the Lockely persona was just a cabbie, used almost exclusively for finding information and talking with informants. Perhaps we are seeing the origin of the show’s version of Lockely in these few panes.
Finally, I did think that Marc and Khonshu’s relationship in this volume took on some more interesting complexity which leads the way for the dynamic we’ll see later in the Jeff Lemire run.
So . . . Read?
I’d say yes. I’ve fallen pretty deep into the Moon Knight hole by this point so I like to look for all the little nuances etc, but even if it’s your first take on the character, I think it’s a pretty straightforward and enjoyable story with some moral questions and lots of tension.
What did y’all think? Leave your comments in the . . . well the comments section!
See you next time!