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Moon Knight Vol. 1: The Midnight Mission
Marvel Comics

Comic Books

‘Moon Knight Vol. 1: The Midnight Mission’ gives Marc Spector a firm place to stand in unsteady faith

A fantastic new start for the character, rooting him in complex concerns while never removing him from the action.

Again adhering to the sort of ‘new book, new me’ trend of Moon Knight books, The Midnight Mission neatly steps away from the character’s last volume, which ended a full three years before the current series.

Moon Knight was more recently featured in the absolutely insane Avengers: The Age of Khonshu, wherein Marc Spector’s sometimes hallucination, sometimes metaphor moon god is confirmed to be an actual, world-dominating deity, and while The Midnight Mission acknowledges these events, Jed MacKay and Alessandro Cappuccio really step the series back into the character’s less bombastic, Avengers-free darkness—a darkness that, with the amazing color work of Rachelle Rosenberg, feel highlighted by brilliant, stray light.

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Moon Knight Vol. 1: The Midnight Mission
Seriously, look at this color.
Marvel Comics

While wholly separated from the action and casts of the last several volumes of the book, the new series does stick with some conventions set out in the previous few volumes—the Mister Knight costume is here, even if the personality is not exactly separate from any other costume; Marc retains a psychotherapist to process not only his dissociative identity disorder but more abstract crises of faith. The character is beginning to have a continuity, basic themes and concepts which aren’t always present in a Moon Knight story—and that look completely different from the character’s 1970s and 1980s incarnations.

Moon Knight Vol. 1: The Midnight Mission
My faith can beat up your faith.
Marvel Comics

While MacKay and Cappuccio’s book doesn’t initially feel fresh, the truth of the matter seems to be that they’re honing the character from general ‘madman, superhero brutalist’ to ‘faithless, monster-fighting adherent’. The questions of religion at a clergy level are constant throughout the book, with another priest of Khonshu being introduced in the much more devout Doctor Badir. Badir, wearing vestments nearly identical to Marc’s own Moon Knight costumes, is in strict adherence to Khonshu’s violent decrees, and becomes Marc’s primary antagonist in his unwavering faith.

Moon Knight Vol. 1: The Midnight Mission
The Church of Modern Day Marketers
Marvel Comics

This questioning religious theme is even foreshadowed, in the book’s opening pages, by a NXIVM-style multilevel marking cult. . . run by vampires. Marc Spector now lives fully in the realm of monsters. His ministry exists in the dead of night when the supernatural and the worst of humanity overlap. While most religions were built to beat back at the dark—to provide comfort against the terrors humanity could not understand—Khonshu’s faith is to live out in that darkness.

Moon Knight Vol. 1: The Midnight Mission
By, of course, being some of that darkness.
Marvel Comics

Vampires, cloned hordes of rat-men, and the legacy return of masked (and, honestly, insensitively named) serial killer Zodiac illustrate just the right sort of horror for Moon Knight to combat, removing him from the sorts of superhero hijinks of his West Coast Avengers days and into his own unique space—a place that even Blade, now an Avenger-backed sheriff in Dracula-ruled Chernobyl, no longer inhabits.

Moon Knight has often had the trouble of butting up against his peers—of never quite having a place in the universe that didn’t have some sort of overlap by bigger-selling characters like Daredevil or Spider-Man. This makes The Midnight Mission a fantastic new start for the character, rooting him in complex concerns while never removing him from the action. It carves out a place for him and gives him a resolute purpose. It’s a great beginning for what we can only hope is a long run.

Moon Knight Vol. 1: The Midnight Mission
‘Moon Knight Vol. 1: The Midnight Mission’ gives Marc Spector a firm place to stand in unsteady faith
Moon Knight Vol. 1: The Midnight Mission
In the never-ending struggle to make Moon Knight a successful ongoing, The Midnight Mission gives him a new purpose and a unique place to call his own.
Reader Rating1 Vote
8.8
Beautifully rendered, dark atmosphere.
Gives the character his own space.
Never quite establishes its stakes.
7
Good

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