Moon Knight: Midnight Sun (Review)

Posted by JSH92 (414 posts) - - Show Bio

(this is just a review of the Midnight Sun TPB that I wrote and want to share)

Midnight Sun continues the excellence that was provided in the first story arc, which is collected in Moon Knight: The Bottom. Just as in the first arc, Huston's story is engaging and Finch's artwork is superb. Only complaint regarding artwork in this trade is the change of artists starting at issue 13 (which is thankfully at the end, because Finch's work was way better and much more appealing). But don't let that little problem detract you from this excellent piece of work.

It's nice to see Moon Knight get to interact with so many other characters from the Marvel Universe: first Spider-Man (albeit briefly), then Captain America, The Punisher, and finally Tony Stark. The best of these encounters was undoubtedly his discussion with The Punisher. It's such a great scene because although Moon Knight is so brutal, even he wonders about The Punisher's total disregard for the lives of those unto which punishment is rendered.

Probably my favorite thing about this story arc was the large number of references made to previous Moon Knight stories. Most people wouldn't catch these or probably care even if they did, but for someone who is an extremely big Moon Knight fan like me and who has actually read every single comic book that was alluded to here, it was especially special. It just felt really cool being able to go, "Oh, I remember that story," or, "Hey, I read when that happened." Just so you can empathize with me a bit, here's a list of all of the references to older Moon Knight stuff that I caught:

  • panel showing Moon Knight's weapon arsenal from the Moon Knight: Fist of Khonshu series
  • the return of Gena and here sons
  • the return of Detective Flint
  • mentioning of the Midnight Man
  • return of Midnight
  • Midnight using his father's sewer lair as a hideout
  • mentioning Moon Knight's moon-based powers he used to have
  • reference to Moon Knight's relationship with Tigra while he was on the West Coast Avengers
  • when The Punisher killed Randall Spector, Moon Knight's brother, in the Marc Spector: Moon Knight series
  • the Profile briefly mentioning Crawley's failings as a husband and father and how his son became a psychotic serial killer
  • Khonshu making a reference to when Moon Knight was put in a wheelchair by The Fly
  • Marlene mentioning her ex-husband and the deaths of her father and brother
  • flashback panel showing Morpheus

Seeing all that stuff made me really appreciate Charlie Huston's work on Moon Knight.

The choice of the villain was a good one, in my opinion. It was nice to see some pretty solid closure on the whole Midnight becoming a cyborg escapade. Also, at this point I'd like to note that the other reviewer incorrectly labelled Midnight as a new villain, when he actually was not. All that talk about him being a sidekick of Moon Knight and him being the son of an art thief all actually happened in previous Moon Knight comics.

Overall, a very good comic, for both a longtime Moon Knight fan and any newcomers as well. Huston really has all of these characters down, and his work is some of the best Moon Knight material.

#1 Posted by Veshark (8521 posts) - - Show Bio

I enjoyed Midnight Sun, but I thought it was a step down from The Bottom. I still don't understand why Midnight became a cyborg, or who the lady cyborg with him was. And the flow of the story felt fragmented - while the Bottom had a natural fall to rise and a final climax, as well as a good theme - Midnight Sun just felt all over the place. And yeah, the art change was very jarring. Finch has crisp, high-detailed pencils, and his work on MK is some of his best stuff ever. Mico Suayan, on the other hand, is a murkier, less well-defined art style that while not exactly 'bad', is a little distracting.

That being said, I still did enjoy the story. One of Huston's best strengths is capturing the psychology of Marc Spector. From his conversations with Khonshu, till the parts about him fighting criminals not to save lives - but because he enjoys hurting people. I like the struggle between his attempts to be a hero, and the soldier in him that just wants to fight. All of his interactions with the larger MU were great as well; I loved his conversations with Cap and Tony, and even the one with Spider-Man. The one with Punisher felt a little unnecessary, though.

Charlie Huston is definitely very knowledgeable regarding MK though, since he was actually a fan growing up. According to the afterword in the Bottom TPB, he was an avid reader of the Sienkiewicz run as a teen. He definitely does know a lot about the character's backstory, and even for a new reader like me, it was easy to pick up on all these references without having to refer to a wiki.

#2 Posted by JSH92 (414 posts) - - Show Bio

@veshark: Yea, Huston doesn't explain how Midnight became a cyborg, but it all happens in the Marc Spector: Moon Knight series. The story is "concluded" in Amazing Spider-Man in the Round Robin story arc. You can check out Midnight's page on this site and see the issues he shows up in. The lady cyborg (Lynn Church) is another cyborg created by the Secret Empire that shows up in the same stories I just mentioned. So, if you had read these before reading this (like I did), then it definitely would have made things clearer. Like I said, the large number of connections and references to previous Moon Knight stuff in this TPB was a really nice feature for a big Moon Knight fan like me to see.

#3 Posted by foolkiller1 (226 posts) - - Show Bio

@veshark said:

I enjoyed Midnight Sun, but I thought it was a step down from The Bottom. I still don't understand why Midnight became a cyborg, or who the lady cyborg with him was. And the flow of the story felt fragmented - while the Bottom had a natural fall to rise and a final climax, as well as a good theme - Midnight Sun just felt all over the place. And yeah, the art change was very jarring. Finch has crisp, high-detailed pencils, and his work on MK is some of his best stuff ever. Mico Suayan, on the other hand, is a murkier, less well-defined art style that while not exactly 'bad', is a little distracting.

That being said, I still did enjoy the story. One of Huston's best strengths is capturing the psychology of Marc Spector. From his conversations with Khonshu, till the parts about him fighting criminals not to save lives - but because he enjoys hurting people. I like the struggle between his attempts to be a hero, and the soldier in him that just wants to fight. All of his interactions with the larger MU were great as well; I loved his conversations with Cap and Tony, and even the one with Spider-Man. The one with Punisher felt a little unnecessary, though.

Charlie Huston is definitely very knowledgeable regarding MK though, since he was actually a fan growing up. According to the afterword in the Bottom TPB, he was an avid reader of the Sienkiewicz run as a teen. He definitely does know a lot about the character's backstory, and even for a new reader like me, it was easy to pick up on all these references without having to refer to a wiki.

Midnight was turned into a cyborg by the secret empire in Amazing spider-man #353-358

#4 Posted by Veshark (8521 posts) - - Show Bio

@jsh92 @foolkiller1

Ah, alright, thanks guys. Yeah, it kinda confused me a little because I can understand all of the rest of Huston's references, no problem. He makes them clear so new readers can understand while older ones can appreciate them. Flint is an old friend of MK - I got that right away. Midnight is the son of a former MK villain - got that. I just thought a reference to the Secret Empire would've cleared things up much quicker.

#5 Posted by jkeener71 (75 posts) - - Show Bio

If only I could read all the comic books lol

#6 Edited by Danial79 (2207 posts) - - Show Bio

This series was my first introduction to Moon Knight and I've since been reading all the older material, so I'm sure a lot of those references went over my head at the time. I'll have to go back and re-read this and see how much more I get out of it. I absolutely love when a writer knows a character's full history and uses it to enhance a story.

#7 Posted by CyberWarrior (1074 posts) - - Show Bio

If only I could read all the comic books lol

Well, you can download all of them if you have utorrent.

Midnight Sun is good, but there are probably better stories of this character.

#8 Edited by Veshark (8521 posts) - - Show Bio

@cyberwarrior said:

@jkeener71 said:

If only I could read all the comic books lol

Well, you can download all of them if you have utorrent.

Midnight Sun is good, but there are probably better stories of this character.

Duuude.....don't promote piracy here.....

#9 Posted by CyberWarrior (1074 posts) - - Show Bio

@veshark said:

@cyberwarrior said:

@jkeener71 said:

If only I could read all the comic books lol

Well, you can download all of them if you have utorrent.

Midnight Sun is good, but there are probably better stories of this character.

Duuude.....don't promote piracy here.....

Oooops, my bad.

#10 Edited by Veshark (8521 posts) - - Show Bio

@cyberwarrior

No problem, just wanted to let you know it's against the rules

#11 Edited by CyberWarrior (1074 posts) - - Show Bio

MK and Punisher is a cool team-up.

#12 Posted by Veshark (8521 posts) - - Show Bio

MK and Punisher is a cool team-up.

They have a history right? I remember they teamed in the Marc Spector series...then there was the stuff about Randall Spector being killed by Punisher.

#13 Posted by CyberWarrior (1074 posts) - - Show Bio

@veshark said:

@cyberwarrior said:

MK and Punisher is a cool team-up.

They have a history right? I remember they teamed in the Marc Spector series...then there was the stuff about Randall Spector being killed by Punisher.

Is that true? He kiled Shadow Knight or just Randall? I still haven't read Shadowland...

#14 Posted by Veshark (8521 posts) - - Show Bio

@veshark said:

@cyberwarrior said:

MK and Punisher is a cool team-up.

They have a history right? I remember they teamed in the Marc Spector series...then there was the stuff about Randall Spector being killed by Punisher.

Is that true? He kiled Shadow Knight or just Randall? I still haven't read Shadowland...

Wasn't Shadowland, I think it was the Marc Spector series? Randall went psycho and Punisher intervened and killed him, if memory serves.

They reference it in Midnight Sun.

#15 Edited by Danial79 (2207 posts) - - Show Bio

@veshark said:

@cyberwarrior said:

@veshark said:

@cyberwarrior said:

MK and Punisher is a cool team-up.

They have a history right? I remember they teamed in the Marc Spector series...then there was the stuff about Randall Spector being killed by Punisher.

Is that true? He kiled Shadow Knight or just Randall? I still haven't read Shadowland...

Wasn't Shadowland, I think it was the Marc Spector series? Randall went psycho and Punisher intervened and killed him, if memory serves.

They reference it in Midnight Sun.

"Shadow Knight" is another of those fan-annoying plots. Why? Because Randall was killed, and his body shattered, in Marc Spector: Moon Knight #38, then without any reference or explanation, he reappeared in Shadowland: Moon Knight.

#16 Edited by CyberWarrior (1074 posts) - - Show Bio

@danial79 said:

@veshark said:

@cyberwarrior said:

@veshark said:

@cyberwarrior said:

MK and Punisher is a cool team-up.

They have a history right? I remember they teamed in the Marc Spector series...then there was the stuff about Randall Spector being killed by Punisher.

Is that true? He kiled Shadow Knight or just Randall? I still haven't read Shadowland...

Wasn't Shadowland, I think it was the Marc Spector series? Randall went psycho and Punisher intervened and killed him, if memory serves.

They reference it in Midnight Sun.

"Shadow Knight" is another of those fan-annoying plots. Why? Because Randall was killed, and his body shattered, in Marc Spector: Moon Knight #38, then without any reference or explanation, he reappeared in Shadowland: Moon Knight.

That's some valuable information...

#17 Posted by Danial79 (2207 posts) - - Show Bio
#18 Posted by CyberWarrior (1074 posts) - - Show Bio
#19 Posted by Veshark (8521 posts) - - Show Bio
#20 Posted by Danial79 (2207 posts) - - Show Bio
#21 Posted by Danial79 (2207 posts) - - Show Bio

I just re-read Midnight Son tonight. I certainly got a lot more out of it this time around, having read most of MK's backlog now. I did have a few complaints, however:

  • First of all, it wouldn't have hurt them to explain how these two became cyborgs. Long-time readers will know, but they should have made it a little more new-reader-friendly.
  • Secondly, if the Secret Empire had put any sort of programming into them, why would they have needed the pain-inducer in Round Robin? They would have just programmed them to obey their commands instead.
  • It would have been nice if there had been some mention of them surviving the warehouse collapse, and how they get new arms. Lynn Church is a just nurse, not a robotics engineer, so she couldn't have done it. Also, towards the end of Round Robin, she tore her face off, saying she didn't need to be seen as beautiful any more, so why did she have a face in this story and care that she's not beautiful any more? She was also blatantly selfish and evil at the end, so why the change of heart?
  • Actually, now that I think about it, I don't think the writer must have even read Round Robin :\
#22 Posted by JSH92 (414 posts) - - Show Bio

@danial79: Yea, those are some pretty good points. I too thought it was kinda strange how Lynn Church's personality almost completely changed. She was the more ruthless one in Round Robin it seemed. But, maybe she was just acting the part of a nurse and was really more of a robotics engineer, I dunno lol

#23 Edited by Danial79 (2207 posts) - - Show Bio

@jsh92: Maybe. Though I think it's more likely that he just never read Round Robin :)

#24 Posted by CyberWarrior (1074 posts) - - Show Bio

@danial79 said:

@jsh92: Maybe. Though I think it's more likely that he just never read Round Robin :)

I hope I don't look stuupid, but what's Round Robin to do with this?

#25 Posted by Danial79 (2207 posts) - - Show Bio

@danial79 said:

@jsh92: Maybe. Though I think it's more likely that he just never read Round Robin :)

I hope I don't look stuupid, but what's Round Robin to do with this?

It was all about Jeff's turn to the dark side :)

#26 Edited by CyberWarrior (1074 posts) - - Show Bio

@danial79 said:

@cyberwarrior said:

@danial79 said:

@jsh92: Maybe. Though I think it's more likely that he just never read Round Robin :)

I hope I don't look stuupid, but what's Round Robin to do with this?

It was all about Jeff's turn to the dark side :)

Oh, ;)

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