By greenlucario Comments
Well I told myself after issue 12 came out I would never re-read the series again, it was too terrible, it ruined Moon Knight in typical Bendis fashion, etc. Relenting after just finishing re-reading VoMK I decided one more look at this series wouldn't hurt, right? Here's my review as a Moon Knight fan of the series that people either loved or hated.
After the initial run I can't even imagine giving this series any props. But after re-reading I can at least look at this objectively. Here's some standout pros.
- Maleev's art is probably the best part of this series, the gritty nature is perfect for Moon Knight, despite some issues with how certain things like Crescent Darts were drawn it really was the high point of this series. Honestly it is probably the third best art in a MK book,behind Finch's art in "The Bottom" and Texiera's art in "God and Country".
- The scope of the story is definitely a keeper. I love Moon Knight as a street-level hero but it was great to see him have a larger role. Marc is a great character that shouldn't miss out on big events just because he's a lesser known hero.
- Moon Knight finally is shown to have some fighting ability. Huston, Hurwitz, and Benson in the recent MK volumes show Marc as a guy who is either okay, or terrible at hand to hand combat preferring to outlast his opponent rather than outfight him. Now I admit that there are some moments where Marc's fighting ability is shown to be less than stellar, but overall he definitely shows more skill than in other appearances.
Well I'm sure most Moon Knight fans could go on for pages about what was wrong with the series. Here's my honest opinion on what was really wrong.
- Cap, Spidey, Wolverine personalities. In a nutshell this probably killed the series for any MK fans. Bendis calously took his ultimate universe Moon Knight and merged him with the 616 Moon Knight and the results were disastrous. Gone are the personalities of Steven Grant and Jake Lockley, and with them goes an essential piece of who Marc Spector/Moon Knight is. With this was also a loss of classic Moon Knight weapons in lieu of weapons that were typical to these heroes, it took away from the fact that this was Moon Knight's book. It would be like taking away Gambit's cards, or Ghost Rider's motorcycle and giving them other heroes' trademark gear. Moon Knight doesn't need to fight like other heroes, he has his own merits.
- No Khonshu. Another aspect of Moon Knight that is completely absent from the series, the influence of Khonshu is critical to the story of Moon Knight, it drives him, in a way it's a huge mystery--is Khonshu real or simply another voice in Marc's head? Either way the lack of the Moon God is a real problem with this series.
- Loss of Moon Knight's supporting cast. I'm always up for character development, but that being said character development can't happen at the cost of who the character is at his or her core. Everyone knows that a huge part of any good story is the supporting cast, and that's where Moon Knight excels. Frenchie, Crawley, Ray, Marlene, Detective Flint, all of them are absent from this volume with no explanation and barely a mention. What would happen if Batman lost his supporting cast? Readers would flip out, it simply can't be done. But Bendis does it, with the only example of a good character being added to the supporting cast being Buck Lime, and he's not enough to make up for the other changes.
While this series had it's high points such as the art, MK's role in the Marvel Universe, and Marc's fighting abilities being given credit it had some glaring problems. Changes to the character, his supporting cast, and the things that drive him were too drastic. I feel that had Bendis actually respected the character's roots a bit more the series could have been good, even great, and of course would still be going. The fault is obviously that of the writer.
Recommendation and Rating
I would give the series on a whole a 4/10. I don't believe this is too generous or too critical because it does have some merits, but also has some problematic moments thus a rating that is right down the middle. Moon Knight by Huston and Benson I would easily give a 9/10 for some comparison. I'd recommend this only to people that know about Moon Knight. While it is clear that people that are not fans of MK liked the series more than fans of the character I can't in good conscience recommend this to people that don't know Moon Knight because they'd never get a good feel for who he is. For people that want to know about Moon Knight and find out more about the character as he actually is check out the original series by Doug Moench, or the fourth series by Charlie Huston.