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Moon Knight #2
Marvel Comics

Comic Books

‘Moon Knight’ #2 is a slower issue that highlights the calmer Mr. Knight

The world McKay and Cappuccio are building is rooted in the desperate night.

Wisely working from all recent Moon Knight stories by referencing them not at all, Jed McKay’s new volume on the book looks to be easy to jump into without the clutter of one of the most uneven, incredibly off-the-wall character histories in the Marvel Universe.

The book manages to directly avoid all but the recent Age of Khonshu story from Aaron’s Avengers, wherein Moon Knight’s moon god buddy gets power-hungry and takes over the world in what is one hell of an amazing (if utterly implausible) ride. To catch you up, he gets locked away. This means we’re left with Marc Spector without the godly backup, a stripping down of the character in an even further attempt to streamline him.

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Moon Knight #2
Old People Action.
Marvel Comics

Issue #2 sees us potentially growing our secondary cast — gone (for the moment) are our Frenchies and Marlenes — and villain pool. Last issue we gained Renee, a woman who was turned to a vampire against her will, as Spector’s begrudging assistant; in this issue we see the introduction of potential support character, Soldier. Yeah, his name is Soldier.

Moon Knight #2
Marvel Comics

The issue also introduces the sort of antagonist that only a Moon Knight book could sell convincingly, a creepy janitor with mind-control sweat. Balding, pony-tailed, stooped and prone to condescending nicknames, the janitor reads as someone you might unnervingly bump into on a midnight walk.

Moon Knight #2
He seems like someone who’d pay too much attention to female shoppers at Kum and Go.
Marvel Comics

This is the world McKay and artist Alessandro Cappuccio are building: one more rooted in the desperate night. Moon Knight is, after all, the guardian of those who travel at night, and that nighttime world is not a comforting one. Spector’s new headquarters, the Midnight Mission, stands as a place of refuge, light in all that dark. It’s a place for Spector to take on the dimension of priest.

Moon Knight #2
Like any good priest, he carries a big stick.
Marvel Comics

As this is an issue more grounded in that version of the character — the ground level, face-to-face Mr Knight — don’t expect any of the Batman theatrics of Moon Knight Classic, which are generally more bombastic and flamboyant. This is a small-scale issue, with Mr. Knight being threatened by an army of mind-controlled geriatrics. Here, we see a Spector utilizing brain over brawn.

It’s smart of the book to take this turn, after the epic montage of cowled action of the first issue, to present the variety of stories available to the series, though the story does drop out of threads introduced in that first issue. Notably, the dialogue Spector had with his therapist that established a quick character overview might have been a nice through-line, here, to better carry readers into Mr Knight’s whole deal.

Moon Knight #2
Though here’s a nice visual metaphor for you.
Marvel Comics

Instead, we’re treated to a look inside Spector’s moonglow mind, a horrifying vista he uses, while narrating, to mentally overpower our mind-control janitor. It’s as effective at presenting big, crazy concepts, and is rad as hell, but feels narratively inconsistent.

Moon Knight #2
Healthy mental spaces.
Marvel Comics

Also looming over the narrative is a puppet-master out to test Spector — they who hired the janitor — who may or may not be the mysterious Khonshu faithful Dr. Badr, introduced at the tail end of the first issue and teased again at the end of this one. This is a narrative model that works well in Moon Knight stories: the overarching mystery, a force Spector must both uncover and overcome. It must be said that Moon Knight has one up against more compelling villains, with much higher stakes; the quickly brushed aside vampire infestation of the first issue alone feels more interesting than the janitor.

Moon Knight #2 is an interesting issue, but I can’t help but wish it were a bit stronger — the first issue was so energetic, jam-packed with incredible imagery and action, that one might hope for that to roll over and resolve so that a quiet moment felt more earned. Regardless, this new volume of Moon Knight feels like it understands the character. Fingers crossed that it, unlike most volumes on the character, sticks around.

Moon Knight #2
‘Moon Knight’ #2 is a slower issue that highlights the calmer Mr. Knight
Moon Knight #2
Shifting tone to focus more closely on a specific aspect of Marc Spector, Moon Knight #2 loses a lot of the action from the first issue -- but builds some serious atmosphere.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Highlights a different type of Moon Knight story available.
Slowdown feels a bit unearned, as if the action of the first issue carried no momentum.
7
Good

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