Friday, May 6, 2011

Moon Knight #1

I've liked Moon Knight since his first appearance in Werewolf by Night, but he's never managed lasting success in his own title.

He started out as a mercenary, but when he sparked enough interest to spin off into his own title, a mystic element was added (his origin is cleverly recounted in this issue).

It was the Moon Knight title that gave Bill Sienkiewicz his first moment in the spotlight as his style evolved from "Neal Adams clone" to his own distinctive surreal style.

But the comic struggled over the years - it was canceled, brought back, canceled again - and on and on.

Now he's back again in the care of two top talents: writer Brian Bendis and artist Alex Maleev.

And they're off to a strong start here. The story sets Moon (Marc Spector) Knight up in Los Angeles, where he's part of a TV show based on his adventures. He's approached by the Avengers, who warn him that super-villains are setting up shop nearby.

That's quickly followed by an encounter with a heavy-hitter - and we're not sure if a non-super-powered hero like Moon Knight can survive.

But what sells the issue is that last page, which is a real game-changer.

I can't say enough good things about Maleev's art - his style is unique and compelling - sometimes realistic, sometimes surreal, but always advancing the story. Great stuff!

I admit that I picked this issue up without much enthusiasm, but they've sold me - I'll be anxiously waiting for the next chapter.

Grade: A-


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