Warren Ellis has stated many times he doesn’t care much for superheroes, but he’s not above doing some work for hire with them. Sometimes all he does is come in, do a quick six issues, and establish a new status quo for a longtime property.
That’s what he did with Marvel’s Moon Knight, a quick six issues where each was a self-contained story.
Moon Knight may be one of Marvel’s weirdest vigilantes. Traditionally wearing a white hooded outfit, complete with a cape that forms a crescent moon when he’s gliding through the city, Moon Knight was one Marc Spector. A mercenary, Spector died and was resurrected by the ancient Egyptian god Khonshu to, originally, battle werewolves. Spector, however, has often been depicted as suffering from multiple personality disorder, and has developed various other personalities, including at one point believing himself to be from time-to-time Spider-Man, Wolverine, or Captain America.
Ellis, working here with his Injection collaborator Declan Shalvey, comes up with an alternate explanation that works. Khonshu, being a real and ancient deity, simply altered Spector’s mind when he work him up in ways beyond basic human understanding.
As it is, Ellis eschews a lot of what had gone before. This Marc Spector works alone, riding around in a driverless car, his usual Moon Knight costume largely discarded in favor of a pure white suit and a hooded mask. He works as something of a consultant to the local police, and mostly just shows up as needed. Ellis wrote the six issues as six self-contained stories, so long exposition isn’t really there. There’s a problem. Moon Knight, or “Mr. Knight” as the cops call him for legal purposes, shows up to help out and solve it. He even explains the pure white suit, a striking contrast to any scene the character appears in, as being done so his opponents can see him coming. Unlike most nocturnal vigilantes, Moon Knight wants to be seen. And he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.
The nature of the issues means no two Moon Knight adventures seem to add up to much of a cohesive whole or any sort of overarching plot. That’s obviously intentional, but aside from set up Moon Knight’s new status quo, it’s hard to say what there is to take away from this volume. The individual stories are visually exciting and fun, but they’re rather ethereal as it is. I liked what I saw, but nothing stuck once the book was done aside from a feeling I’d just read something cool. That’s probably enough for most readers, but if you do want more, you’ve been warned. Eight and a half weird fungal dream attacks out of ten.