Monday, August 8, 2016

Moon Knight #5 Review - Marvel Mondays

Goodnight Moon (Knight)

Written by: Jeff Lemire
Art by: Greg Smallwood, Wilfredo Torres, Francesco Francavilla, James Stoke, Jordie                       Bellaire, Michael Garland and Cory Petit
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 3, 2016
Review by: J. Vermillion

Let’s start with a little bit of history. Not Reggie and Chris level of history, but history nonetheless. Moon Knight got his first ongoing series in November 1980. Since then, he has had eight different series dedicated to him, including five since 2006 alone. Whether that says something about Marvel and all of their reboots or something about the character itself is up for debate, but to me it shows that not a lot of creators have been able to make this character work and make this title sell. Jeff Lemire has totally reinvigorated the character and made it something more people are interested in. He’s done this through fantastic storytelling through the first four issues and I had no doubt in my mind that it would continue into this fifth issue.

Moon Knight #5 starts off right where #4 left off, with Marc Spector in his Mr. Knight persona confronted by Moon Knight. “How is that possible?” you ask. “If Marc is Mr. Knight, who’s in the Moon Knight costume?” you ask. Well that is exactly what Mr. Knight is determined to find out. Greg Smallwood lays out some beautiful fighting panels as Mr. Knight and Moon Knight square off. It’s a brief fight though, and Moon Knight gets away and takes Marlene with him.

This is where things get trippy. Mr. Knight takes off after Moon Knight. He goes through a series of moon-marked doors, each one leading to a different scenario involving one of Marc’s many personas. The first door leads to the moon, where Marc is attacked by werewolves. I’m assuming this is a callback to Moon Knight’s first appearance in Werewolf by Night #32, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. After narrowly escaping the werewolves, Marc heads through the second door.

This time he emerges as Steven Grant, his millionaire movie producer persona. He’s a little confused, but happy when Marlene comes up and embraces him. It all comes back down when Billy and Bobby, the sadistic orderlies from the insane asylum, show up looking to take him back. Steven takes off and escapes them just in time. Enter door number three.

Now Marc comes out as Jake Lockley, the cab driver. He turns down some sexy time from a very good-looking lady and takes off towards the next door. Right on cue, Bobby and Billy are back, crawling out of the sewer like the animal-headed henchmen they are. After another awesome Smallwood fight scene, Mr. Knight has had enough of it. He goes through the last door and comes face to face with Seth. Yes, the evil God he was supposed to kill, that Seth.

Seth reveals the truth to Mr. Knight, that this was all part of Khonshu’s plan to come into the world. Mr. Knight still doesn’t believe it though, until he ascends the stairs and stands before Moon Knight once again. Moon Knight removes his mask and reveals himself to be Khonshu, the Moon God. Khonshu’s body is dying. He needs Marc’s body because Marc’s mind is vulnerable. He tells Marc he can take away all the pain and finally give him peace. It looks like Marc is really going to do it, but he says no and throws himself from the top of the pyramid. On his descent he pictures himself as Steven Grant hanging out at the diner with Crowley, Frenchie, Gena, and Marlene.

He hits the ground with that thought in his mind as a pool of blood forms around him. The sand blows in and covers Mr. Knight’s body. But he wakes up in a bed as Marlene comes into the room. She calls him Steven and tells him that she needs her producer on set. Steven stands up and looks out the window and cries a tear of joy as he finally feels at peace.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is one of the most cinematic comic book stories I’ve ever read. With all the rumors I’ve been hearing about Moon Knight possibly getting his own Netflix series, this book has me even more excited about the possibility. This arc would be a great opening to a second or third season, after establishing the character and getting to know all of the personas. Think Daredevil meets Shutter Island. A lot of the time, comics don’t seem like they would translate to other forms of media very well, but this is one that you could almost take panel for panel, and it would work be awesome.

I think that a lot of the reason for that is Greg Smallwood’s art. He has crafted a beautiful book that is easy to follow without losing any of the suspense. Some of that is due to Jeff Lemire choosing not to use as much dialogue or exposition and let the art tell the story. For the most part, if you took out all of the dialogue, you could follow the story and it would almost be just as good. I don’t know of a whole lot of comics that can make that claim.

Bits and Pieces:

When a character that’s only been around since 1975 is already on its eighth different ongoing series, it’s usually not good news. That normally means that a lot of different things have been tried and none have caught on. But Jeff Lemire has taken a whole different approach to the character and is elevating Moon Knight beyond what anyone expected. If you’re looking for a great new comic that seems to get better with every issue, you need to check out Moon Knight.



  1. I have been reading comics on and off since the early 1990's and after about a 5 year hiatus from buy monthly books (I mainly buy trades), this is the book that has drawn me back. It was recommended to me by a friend around issue 3 and luckily my neighborhood comic shop has been able to get me all 5 issues. I can't wait for #6. Jeff Lemire is finally giving Moon Knight the book the character deserves. It's fresh but still draws a good amount of inspiration from the older series.

    1. i is so good. I love Lemire so should check out his Black Hammer from Dark Horse if you haven't yet