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‘Moon Knight: Legacy Vol. 2: Phases’ review: An eclectic mix of great storytelling

An eclectic mix of great stories.

Moon Knight has had a bit of a resurgance of late. Jeff Lemire wrote a beautiful story and Max Bemis took up the reins in the latest trade paperback out this week. It may be the final chapters Bemis writes, but it’s also a read that’s as eclectic as the protagonist’s mind. It also houses the milestone 200th issue and enough ideas to impress just about anyone.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

The true origin of Marc Spector – revealed at last! Spector’s multiple personalities stem from a traumatic event in his childhood…an event that will soon shape Moon Knight’s future in ways nobody could imagine! And even as Spector faces this internal crisis, he must take on one of his most disturbing foes yet – a multi-limbed amalgamation of bodies known as the Collective! What monstrous science could have led to this unholy creature’s creation? Prepare to dive deeper than ever before into the rabbit hole of Moon Knight’s fractured mind!

Why does this matter?

This collection houses seven issues and four very different stories, each of which brings a different kind of enjoyment. If this were Moon Knight’s last gasp at being a hero it’s a good way to go out. Max Bemis should be proud he wrote them all.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

An interesting one-shot tale.
Credit: Marvel Comics

I was quite impressed with how varied this book’s read is. It opens with a story drawn by Ty Templeton focusing on Marc Spector as a youth. It’s all about how he’d overhear his dad’s friends at Temple. They’d tell jokes not for a child’s ear. Soon we learn jokes are not the only thing Marc needs to stay away from. There’s a mystery unveiled that could house an entire story arc and yet it ends here.

The second story arc is drawn by Paul Davidson and basically puts a multi-mind creature in Marc’s way. It absorbs people flesh, mind, and all and puts them inside a mindscape that’s not unlike an Alice in Wonderland universe. Again, it’s a high concept story tucked away in three issues. It also does a good job showing how Moon Knight might be the only hero for certain jobs.

This story is followed up with a story drawn by Jacen Burrows and Davidson. This is a tale within a tale as it focuses on a secret society of sadists. They each have their own harrowing stories which they relish in. Bemis once again stuffs this story with a lot of great ideas further making this book higher in value.

Overall the art is great throughout this collection with the final 200th issue being drawn by guest artists Jeff Lemire and Bill Sienkiewicz, too. The art is typically highly detailed which helps solidify the realistic take on the character even when he’s inside a mind.

This is a fantastic story regardless of it was Moon Knight involved.
Credit: Marvel Comics

It can’t be perfect, can it?

I could not get into the final 200th issue nor the previous chapter. It’s confusing and especially so if you haven’t read every issue prior. The dialogue can sometimes make little sense and the visuals, which are exploding all around Marc, don’t help. Another failing of this last chapter is how Bemis uses the alternate personalities of Marc. They seem to hang around not being used, which is a major misstep. They are part of him and make this hero so unique. The fact that Marc had a connection to Khonshu and the Egyptian deities while also mixing in his Judaism is abandoned here too. I fear I just don’t get what Bemis is trying to do here.

Is it good?

I thoroughly enjoyed this final chapter in Bemis’ run. I may not have understood the last two chapters, but everything leading up to it was grade A comics. Heck, it’s grade A crime, sci-fi, and character drama storytelling. There are flashes here where I can’t help but think Bemis will be writing a hit crime drama sometime soon.

Moon Knight: Legacy Vol. 2: Phases
Is it good?
A strong collection of stories.
The first three tales are great in their own right (and are very different)
Sharp art throughout makes this an excellent read
The last two issues lost me
8.5
Great
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