One of my favorite books that was published last year was Warren Ellis’ Gun Machine. In it the protagonist, a New York cop, is working on a case that appears to be paranormal and deeply tied to the roots of New York City. Color me excited when I saw he’s writing the new Moon Knight series set in New York City. If it’s half as good as his novel I’m sure the answer is yes, but let’s ask anyway: is it good?
Moon Knight #1 (Marvel Comics)
Gone is the cape and the costume, replaced by a smart suit, and a Mexican wrestler’s mask. Oh, and he has a super sweet limo that’s voice controlled. There’s no explanation to why the costume change, but it doesn’t matter, it’s a given this guy is getting a new approach and I’m fine with that. After a brief introduction to the character we’re dropped right into a crime, and a new character dynamic between Moon Knight and a head detective.
Why doesn’t Commissioner Gordon do this?
If you’re a fan of sharp wit and taut dialogue you should enjoy this comic. Much of the time is spent showing Moon Knight as he gleans details from the crime scene. He then proceeds to tell all the police present, as if they were his audience. There are some interesting details dropped in, and some nice New Yorker lore too, which should keep you on your toes. When Moon Knight does face the bad guy, Warren Ellis has Moon Knight spend most of this time talking, too. Clearly we’ve got ourselves less of a fighter; albeit he does do some fighting, only just enough to win the day. He’s not flashy and seems to be saving his energy, which makes him come across as calculated and refined.
The mental case is still underneath the mask though, and we get some insight into where he stands there, with some quick retconning in the works. Moon Knight’s ties to the god that gave him his powers are being played around with here, so expect some supernatural fun in the coming issues.
What is this, Jeopardy!?
Declan Shalvey is on art and I have to say I’m impressed. The guy is pulling out all the stops when it comes to layouts with some interesting pages and very cinematic qualities throughout. One of the cooler things he adds to the book is the use of white to make Moon Knight pop. Instead of a shadow, you’ll get an all white Moon Knight, which may go along with the arrogant nature of the character. You even see that nature in his posture at times. This goes a long way in making this book sing, since it’s a character driven story first.
Now that’s fast!
Is It Good?
A very good opening issue to a new version of a character that’s had many false stops. The supernatural element to his back story is intriguing, and the costume works considering the heavy use of dialogue. The look of the book is smooth, and reminiscent of the controlled nature of David Aja. Recommended.