A gorgeous book with a unique perspective
This series took its time in getting going, but as it approaches its end (seemingly with issue 12, with no solicitations beyond that) it has picked up steam like mad; quickly becoming one of Marvel's best books, and the best place on the comic racks to make us remember why it is that Brian Michael Bendis is a superstar writer.
Bendis and Maleev's latest collaboration is their most stunning yet, with plenty of opportunities for Maleev to show off with action sequences, moody settings and even in Bendis' staple "talking head" sequences where other artists would churn out a very static layout. Maleev's art here is stunning, some of the best on the comic racks today after J.H. Williams' work on "Batwoman"... but it isn't the only reason to read this book.
Bendis' serious treatment of Moon Knight as a superhero who suffers from severe schizophrenia is a brilliant angle. It's an aspect of the character that rarely gets much attention, and here Bendis has created a very captivating narrative. In addition, he has made Moon Knight a believably competent heavy hitter, even against a powerhouse villain like Count Nefaria. Some writers have attempted similar things in the past; Reginald Hudlin in particular coming to mind, with his work on "Black Panther" around the time of Civil War, where he made the Panther seemingly able to take on anybody up to the Silver Surfer, and it was RIDICULOUS. Bendis somehow makes it work.
The most impressive thing in this particular issue, among a litany of impressive feats, is the way it deals with last issue's death of a fellow superhero. I won't spoil who it was, but the cover of the issue kinda spoils it for me. Last issue, a superhero died; a former Avenger. And it is handled so matter-of-fact; so casually... I don't know if any superhero death, even of an obscure character, has ever been handled with such little fanfare. The downplayed impact of this character's death makes it VERY powerful.
I don't want this volume to end, but I can't wait for the next two issues and to see how it will shake out.