Moon Knight: An Honest Review of the Recent Series

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.

The Good

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.

The Bad

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.

The Verdict

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.

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The Problem with the New Nova

Honestly by now we all know that the greatest problem with the new Nova is that he's not Richard Rider. That being said I just wish that Marvel would do something about the complete continuity nightmare that this new Nova is. There are at least five things Marvel has overlooked in letting this character come into the 616 universe (and I'm pretty sure I'm being generous).

  • When Rich died at the end of Thanos Imperative he had almost all the Nova force again, so there's no way Sam Alexander could ever have become Nova.
  • The Worldmind shut down and did not reboot, so again how can he ever have become a Nova.
  • No one has mentioned Rich since Thanos Imperative and Secret Avengers #4 which honestly bugs me since he was becoming a major hero at this point.
  • Everyone treats Alexander like he's the same old Nova that's been around for years, he's not and someone needs to recognize this already.
  • If Starlord and Thanos survived Rich certainly should have survived too. I mean he's not as strong (by far) as Thanos but he's much more powerful than Starlord and he somehow survived.

Well I should probably cut this rant short, but anyways what does everyone else think, if there's something I missed that you also don't like about the new Nova please add it. If you like the new Nova, sorry, but there are massive continuity issues with him on the level of it shouldn't even be possible for him to exist. Besides he's simply not as good as Rich. Oh and in case you couldn't figure it out I won't be be picking up Nova #1 sometime in 2013, and no one else should either. Send Marvel a message that new Nova sucks and we want Rich back!

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Secret Avengers #23

Well if by now you haven't read Secret Avengers #23 you should. I have to say that I'm not really thrilled with the direction that everything is going in. I want to see more of the Masters of Evil that Remender had in the point 1 issue not so much of the descendents. But more than anything I can't stand what happened to Eric in this issue. I was really starting to like Eric, not sure why maybe it's just how he was portrayed as looking for redemption hoping he had a chance to atone for all his mistakes and such. It just seems like Remender wants nothing more than to dismantle the original team and throw together a bunch of heroes that were better left in limbo or in their own titles. Venom is awesome but I just wish he'd have stayed in his own series and then not have Circle of Four ruined before it concludes. Can't say I'm a fan of Hawkeye as leader, or of Capt. Britain, or Hank Pym, or Jim Hammond. Just wish Moon Knight and War Machine were still around. Well long rant short, RIP Ant Man (Eric O'Grady), you will be missed (by me at least).

Reactions to Ant Man's end welcome, and I do realize that a lot of people probably like Remender's direction here, so I respect that even if I don't like it.

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What I'd like to see happen to the New Avengers line up

Although I like the idea of both books and consider myself to be a Spidey fan I feel that he's in just too many team books, same with wolverine.  Both of them are great characters but maybe a couple new faces to the Avengers teams could turn up on the roster instead.  Those being...

Toxin: to replace Spidey.  Toxin, I feel needs more face time and he seems like with enough writing and a fair chance he could fit with the New Avengers.  He has many of Spider-Man's powers but some cool different ones too. 

Gambit: to replace Wolverine.  Huge fan of the Ragin' Cajun and I just think it'd be awesome for him to end up on an Avengers team, heck if Beast and Wolverine can get in wouldn't it be cool for Gambit too? He feels like he might fit on this team, but really doesn't replace Wolverine, but maybe if given the chance he'd prove valuable.

Bottom line, just suggestions that's all, and I realize why Spidey and Wolverine are one two teams, that's not the point, just a thought, I mean I'd pick up the book again easily if these two were in it.

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A new Ghost Rider Series

just thought it d be cool.  haven't been following heroes 4 hire but i thought he was robbed in shadowland (like just about everyone else) and could use a new start in a solo book. (or maybe more exposure in h4h).

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Why I hate the idea of a new spider-girl

  1. The first Spider-Girl was a solid character that made up for all the awful stuff going on in ASM throughout Brand New Day
  2. The original Spider-Girl helped to get rid of the pathetic, and basically worst ever idea known as OMD
  3. The new Spider-Girl is just Arana and doesn't need a new name, new costume or anything it was just a way for marvel to solicit the character
  4. Arana isn't that great and is even worse now that they've tied her to Spidey
  5. The solicit the new Spider-Girl way too much
  6. Did I mention that the original Spider-Girl not only is the longest running book for a female main character but she's a solid character and the book was a dependable monthly title that despite not having too many radical changes (if any) was consistently good.
  7. I feel like Marvel was just trying to leach off of Spider-Girl's success by giving the title to Arana.
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