SPOILER ALERT! I will most certainly be SPOILING!

Moon Knight is a one of the Marvel NOW! series currently being relaunched. Under the watchful eyes and creative mind of Warren Ellis (Authority, Transmetropolitan), this complex and largely under rated character sees it’s newest iteration. Check out a quick history of Moon Knight.

The interior art is a bit of a paradox, simultaneously seeming washed of complex color, and rich with detail. This style of art offers a worldly and solid environment as viewed through the eyes of a man whose worldview is completely skewed. The largely monochromatic panels suggest a simplicity of purpose that Moon Knight has rarely displayed before. Already, this is painting an intriguing new picture of the hero.

Moon Knight #1 opens with a journalist, presumably a blogger if you believe her mug, talking to someone on the phone named Joy Mercado. During this opening scene, you are treated to not only a brief history of the character, but a summary of his latest set of trials in Los Angeles. Seamlessly, the discussion of Moon Knight leads into the current status of our white clad protagonist.

Moon_Knight_1_Preview_1Working with a Detective Flint, Moon Knight is currently dealing with a sweeper squad for the “freak beat” as they call it. Mr. Knight, as any detective would have to arrest “Moon Knight” on sight, first enters the issue in dramatic fashion, showing a distinct change in methodology. On four wheels and with no human driver, the lunar themed vigilante cruises towards a current crime scene in isolation and style.

In a mild change of pace from the Moon Knight that we know and love, Mr. Knight spends several pages doing an excellent Sherlock Holmes impression, sounding more like his darker DC counterpart, Batman. Having deduced the criminal the task force is after, Moon Knight descends below the streets of New York, clad in white so that the murderer can see him coming. It doesn’t take long for the experienced ex-mercenary to track down the Frankenstein-esque soldier that has been committing these heinous crimes to make himself whole again.

In an excellent stunt, akin to the traditional monologue of comic book super villains, Moon Knight gets the monstrous soldier talking by ridding himself of weapons. This trick is excellent, as you cannot see where his moon shaped shuriken goes, but it remains in plain sight… sticking out of the soldier’s side.  As the two discuss the soldier’s reasons, the threat to our hero seems to grow greater, until he reveals he has already defeated the murderer damaging the piece of him that looked the most important. Easily dispatching the soldier, as well as blocking a bullet with a shuriken, it appears that Mr. Knight lets him die.

More interesting than what Moon Knight is doing now, is perhaps the newest evolution and explanation of his particular form of crazy. For a long time, Moon Knight has been thought to have Dissociative Identity Disorder, more commonly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. A new doctor has analyzed Marc Spector and come to the conclusion that he is not crazy, but a living avatar of Khonshu, living all five aspects of the god.

…Pathfinder, Embracer, Defender, and the Watcher of overnight travelers.  And, in your most violent moments, Khonshu’s vengeful secret aspect, The One Who Lives On Hearts.

Revealing that he has brain damage and Khonshu has used that to take root in his mind, the issue steps out of the past and back to the dusty, all-but-abandoned mansion of Stephen Grant where Moon Knight is currently living. In a mildly confusing final page, Moon Knight sits in a cloth-covered chair and looks at a chair opposite him. With the monochromatic color choice, his other two alter egos, Stephen Grant and Jake Lockley, come off as ghosts or specters. In the chair opposing Moon Knight, a skeletal, bird-headed Khonshu wearing a suit stares back.

This first issue of Moon Knight has taken a dramatic new direction from the previous series in which he has starred. With virtually no supporting cast, a (nearly) legitimate job, and a justifiable explanation for his previous personalities, both the avengers and his traditional personalities, Moon Knight seems far more competent and mature than ever before. With this interesting and surprisingly solid new direction, I have never been more interested to see where Moon Knight is headed.

My rating 5/5