Moon Knight #4
Ellis, Shalvey, Bellaire
I will most certainly be SPOILING!
When we departed from the weird soldier motif last issue with the ghost gang, I loved the way that it organically fit into this new Moon Knight series. That is most certainly not the way I feel about this months installment. When I saw the title Sleep I got my hopes up for the return of one of his previous, and more frightening opponents, Morpheus. For those of my intrepid readers who haven’t been Moon Knight fans quite as long as I have, Morpheus was the victim of a rare genetic disorder and an experimental sleep aid. The longer he goes without sleep, the more energy he builds up and can use like a Green Lantern, and can also dive into peoples dreams. This excitement only grew when in the first few pages, we find out that Mr. Knight has been tracked down and talked to in relation to exactly that encounter!
It turns out this doctor, Skelton, once worked with the man who created the drug that caused Morpheus condition. He is working on a new kind of sleep research, delving into the “self cleaning” property of sleep, but all of his patients are having the same dream. A dream so traumatic that one patient bit off her own fingers in the waking world, but still didn’t wake up.
Mr. Knight goes to the premises and finds a dank, dark room that he can lock from the inside. He lays down and asks his god, Khonshu, to put him to sleep. As he drifts to sleep a fungal ethereal world grows up to meet him. He falls and shifts from Mr. Knight to his Moon Knight uniform and glides down to the island below.
Much of the imagery in the comic is skulls, organic bits, and fungus. Upon touch down, he falls even deeper and the island itself seeks to claim him. While cutting and fleeing he stumbles into a ghost with mushrooms for eyes complaining about being unable to wake up, and being unable to sleep. With Moon Knight being drawn ever deeper into the dream, the spirit keeps asking if he is dead or dreaming. He ends up in a room built of fungus with the souls of the other patients flying in a line above his head.
What happens next is a little confusing, as it looks like Moon Knight does something to shatter the dream, and then is confronted by an enormous, anatomical fungus…thing.
Moon Knight immediately wakes up, and with a fury attacks his client. It turns out that Dr. Skelton accidentally killed his first test subject, and instead of reporting it, buried him in the dank room Moon Knight slept in. Our hero forces him to confront what he had done in a violent way: the violent dreams were the hell of the man trapped in his own mind. He had been infecting others in such a simple way.
“You’ve been breathing in his dreams.”
For the first time I can’t claim that this title, my favorite superheroes’ title, was great. It was good, if a little strange, and I am aware that “weird crime” is one of the pillars of Ellis’ writing. This title just basically ignored the super hero aspect of the character, and focused on organic, weird art, much like an homage to H.R. Giger. Something about this issue didn’t seem to jive with the previous three, and introduced us to no new development for Moon Knight. It’s issues like this, entertaining but ultimately disappointing, that really make me need to take a deep breath and repeat my mantra; in Ellis we trust.
My rating: 3.5 / 5