The genius that is Jeff Lemire’s Moon Knight continues in the volume 2 trade paperback recently released and boy, do things go from bad to worse. Moon Knight is jumping between his multiple personalities and each is drawn by a different artist. Moon Knight Vol. 2: Reincarnations is not only beautiful looking and exciting, but it’s completely off the chain!
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: James Stokoe, Francesco Francavilla, Wilfredo Torres, Greg Smallwood, Bill Sienkiewicz
Publisher: Marvel Comics
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
Meet the many men inside Moon Knight’s head as the focus shifts to his various incarnations! Marc Spector broke his body to escape the prison Khonshu built for his mind…but what if he’s still trapped? Steven Grant awoke in New York City, ready to produce Marvel’s next box-office smash – is he losing his mind, or will Moon Knight: The Movie be a blockbuster? And Jake Lockley is under arrest for murder! With the world calling on him to protect those who travel at night, Marc is losing control. The muddled mind of Moon Knight is reaching its limit!
Why does this book matter?
Collecting Moon Knight #6 through #9, this is basically the middle part of a larger story. Said part goes completely bonkers and it leads to a calm that indubitably goes straight into a new kind of storm. Simply put, Lemire has tackled Moon Knight in a fresh way by bringing together 4 fantastic artists to relay the the complex idea of mental illness in a deeply visual way.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This volume starts on a movie set where a Moon Knight film is being shot by Marvel Studios. Lemire drops some bits of info that confirms this is in a universe similar to ours (Ant-Man did really well overseas), which instantly makes the story relatable and intriguing. How can you not love a meta story within the Marvel universe? That’s helpful in ingratiating the reader into the world because quickly wheels start popping off this jalopy. Marc the movie star gets a bit stressed and turns into Jake the cabby. In one seamless brushstroke Lemire pops the main character into a new art style and instantly throws the reader off. This feeling of unease permeates throughout the volume and helps convey the fear and confusion Moon Knight must be feeling.
I only wish they were making a Moon Knight movie…
The most insane personality Lemire thrusts us into is drawn by James Stokoe and it puts the main character in the driver’s seat of some kind of space fleet of Moon Knights. Stokoe is allowed to go crazy with these scenes, pitting the Moon Knights against spaceship flying werewolves. There’s some epic panels and double page spreads that are worth a look based on the art alone. It’s these scenes with Stokoe’s art that help ramp up the chaos that Moon Knight is going through.
Francesco Francavilla draws the taxi cab character Jake and he gives the book a heaping helping of noir like attitude. There’s a lot of style in these scenes that help create a sense of confusion, but also New York city attitude. Though colorful, the noir feeling from these pages is hard to shake as the use of light in backgrounds and the headlights of the cab give a sense of confusion and near-isolation.
Wilfredo Torres draws the more controlled scenes focused on Marc the actor. Torres draws impeccable facial expressions and–based on his work on Jupiter’s Circle–is an artist any character writer who digs dialogue should be after. His clean lines give the book an air of calm and clarity that juxtaposes well when things go off on the deep end.
Stokoe draws quite a bit in this volume and it’s awesome.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Without a doubt if you’re trade waiting expecting a full story you may be a bit surprised. The story is certainly not over, nor is it starting here either. I will say the first few pages do well to fill the reader in on what is going on, and the closing pages feel like a conclusion in themselves. It’s too bad they couldn’t wait to make one larger and fully complete volume so this story could be complete from cover to cover.
Is It Good?
It’s hard to deny how innovative and downright dynamic the artist switch up is when Moon Knight changes personalities. It’s visually gripping and an incredibly efficient way at showing Moon Knight’s confusion and incredibly different personalities. I wouldn’t be surprised if some Hollywood producer is attempting to workshop a script based on this because it’s downright jaw-dropping in its effectiveness and would translate to the screen impeccably.
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