This is a review of Moon Knight Epic Collection Vol. 1: Bad Moon Rising. When I was a youngster back in the early 1980’s, comics sold for cheap. I bought most of Marvel and DC’s output, but never purchased a single issue of Moon Knight. Looking back on it, I don’t know why. Maybe I didn’t like the art? Or did I think Moon Knight was just a low rent Batman?
Who knows? I made my acquaintance with Moon Knight two weeks ago when I started reading this hefty graphic novel. Moon Knight is Marc Spector, mercenary. He’s also Stephen Grant, millionaire. And then there’s Jake Lockley, cab driver. The idea of a superhero keeping multiple identities in his back pocket is intriguing, but it turns out that Moon Knight is a) mentally ill; b) touched by the Khonshu, the Egyptian moon god; c) a frustrated actor; d) all of the above.
Apparently Moon Knight lives in a reality where a person can have three fully formed personalities. Since this is a comic from the early 80’s and the split personality trope recurs even today, I don’t think it’s a big deal, but YMMV. The comic’s treatment of gay people (mostly confined to a single issue at the start of the run) isn’t very good, but I also came away with the impression that Moon Knight might be gay himself.
Most of the art in this graphic novel is by Bill Sienkiewicz. Mr. Sienkiewicz’s pencils are not always to my tastes; it depends on who his inker is. For the record, I like his art here. The colors of a number of the issues seemed washed out, but not a big deal.
The stories have lots of action. Moon Knight fights a werewolf, makes a cameo in the Defenders, and then it’s all solo stories, baby! We have a villain with steel teeth (Moonraker homage), a psycho wearing a Halloween mask, a homage to the Maltese Falcon, etc. Many of the tales in these pages resemble adventure comics more than superhero comics.
A special shout-out to Moon Knight’s lover, Marlene. In the course of this graphic novel she’s suspended upside-down over an alligator pit, shot on two separate occasions, stabbed by a psycho, called a slut, been in a car crash, tied up, almost raped, strangled, and pistol whipped. I might be missing one or two instances, but you get the idea.
Anyway, this graphic novel has a few rough passages but I mostly liked it.