Agent Cobra, the Hatchet-Man, Lupinar: only a few of Moon Knight's early enemies, yet some of his deadliest! In these rarely seen sagas, Marc Spector faces down a former fellow spy turned strength-heightened hitman, a serial killer Spector believes to be his brother, and a terrorist claiming to be...Moon Knight! Featuring Frenchie, Marlene and revelations from Moon Knight's murderous memories! Guest-starring the Incredible Hulk! Collecting material from HULK MAGAZINE #13-15, #17-18, #20-21 and MARVEL PREVIEW #21.
Whilst this book is called "Countdown to Dark" it actually contains several different story arcs. The below are high level summaries of each of the arcs.
The first is made up of "The big blackmail" and "Countdown to dark"
Steven Grant is putting up the cash to trade some Terrorists for an Eygption statuette and Moon Knight is going to make the trade. However, things go wrong and the Terrorists try to double cross on the deal. Moon Knight knocks the Terrorists out and obtains the statuette, leaving the money behind, with a tracking device inside.
Upon regaining conciousness the Terrorists find the money and depart. However they are being closely followed by the silver crusader and Frenchie. Still following the two men watch on as the Terrorists hijack a lorry for it's cargo only to find that the lorry also contains the Police. The Hijack goes ahead however when the the terrorists are helped by the mercenary Marc Spector.
Spector explains that he has been sent as insurance to make sure that the job goes to plan. It is only then that he discovers that the lorry was carrying a nuclear cargo. As Spector watches the lorry being unloaded the group is attacked by non-other then Moon Knight.
More confused than the others, Spector attacks the fake Moon Knight and during the fight both he and the fake Moon Knight are shot at. Spector manages to avoid the bullets, the fake Moon Knight does not. As the terrorists feel Spector changes into the real Moon Knight and marks one of the get away cars with a cross for Frenchie to follow in the chopper whilst he hitches a ride on top of a second car. However the cars go in different directions.
Sticking with the car he chose, Moon Knight is eventually taken to the location of the man behind the plan, Lupinar. Fighting his way through the remaining Terrorists Moon Knight confronts Lupinar. The two collide in a sword fight whilst Frenchie contacts the authorities about the nuclear cargo.
When Frenchie informs Moon Knight that the nuclear cargo has been captured and that the threat is over Lupinar declares that the dual must end decisively in someone's death. Moon Knight states that he is not willing to kill in cold blood as Lupinar fights him into a corner. Knowing that there is no way out and seeing a way of tarnishing Moon Knight Lupinar throws himself on Moon Knights sword.
The second is made up of "An eclipse, wanning" and "An eclipse, waxing"
During a lunar eclipse Steven Grant visits a friend to view the astrological event. Within minutes of arriving he spots three men acting suspiciously and goes out as Moon Knight to investigate. Whilst trying to apprehend the three men Moon Knight is helped and somewhat battered by a "Hulk"ing figure passing through in the night.
This story is split in two, the first part from the perspective of Moon Knight, the second from that of the Hulk.
The Third is made up of "Nights born ten years gone", "Shadows in the heart of the city" and "A long way to dawn".
To be added
The final arc is "The mind thieves".
This arc was originally presented in MARVEL PREVIEW #21. In this volume the story is presented in full colour, taken from the special editions released in 1985.
Steven Grant receives a large crate addressed to Marc Spector. When the crate is opened it is found to contain the remains of a CIA operative that Spector used to know called Lardner. A flash back shows the last meeting between Marc Spector and the man in the box, it is revealed that the man in the box was on the trail of something very important in Canada. That he went missing and that his brother went looking for him. Within seconds of this revelation the Grant Mansion is hit by an incendiary grenade.
Spector asks Marlene to look at some old files and find any reference to project Cobra, whilst he investigates an institute called Ravenrag. Whilst inside Moon Knight tangles with a masked man planting a bomb. The masked man manages to escape while Moon Knight disarms the bomb.
The following day Spector re-visits the institute to speak with the director. during the conversation they discuss operation cobra and its use of mind control techniques. The director advises Spector that a former CIA psychiatrist called LeBlanc from the operation may be back up and running in Paris.
Moon Knight and his crew fly to France and Moon Knight pays LeBlanc a visit. LeBlanc admits that Cobra is up and running and that it has been perfected but only as a theory. During the confession is interrupted by the masked man who reveals himself to be Lardner's Brother. The two fight there way to the street and Moon Knight is hit by a car, when he comes to he is tied to a chair. He is drugged and questioned deeply, he finally escapes when he is questioned about Marlenne. In a rage he fights to escape, staggering through the building in a drugged haze, finally coming across Marlene tied to a bed. Still struggling Moon Knight helps Marlene escape.
Back at the building it is revealed that LeBlanc has perfected the practice as well as the theory and that he has turned Lardner's Brother into Agent Cobra, the perfectly controlled killer.
Following some clues Moon Knight heads to the Tatin museum. Eventually Agent Cobra arrives and attacks Moon Knight while LeBlanc watches on. During the fight the remote control held by LeBlanc is destroyed sending Agent Cobra into a blind rage. Agent Cobra focuses his rage on LeBlanc who attempts to escape but Moon Knight stops him by bursting one of his car's tyres, the car crashes. Agent Cobra attacks the burning car which eventually explodes killing him.
In addition to the stories this volume contains a gallery of Moon Knight character drawings by Bill Sienkiewicz, as well as the cover art of the Special Editions and the original Hulk Magazines, in which these stories were the back ups.