Moon Knight Vol. 1: The Midnight Mission – February Graphic Novel of The Month

With a Disney+ series scheduled for a release in March, we have Moon Knight Vol. 1: The Midnight Mission by rapidly rising star creator Jed MacKay and Alessandro Cappuccio released this month. The mysterious Mr. Knight has opened his Midnight Mission, his people petitioning him to shelter them from the weird and horrible. The Moon Knight stalks the rooftops and alleys marked with his crescent moon tag, bringing violence to any who would harm his flock. Marc Spector, in whichever guise he dons, is back on the streets, a renegade priest of an unworthy god. But while Khonshu languishes in prison, Moon Knight’s duty still must be observed: the protection of those who travel at night. But what happens when those he would save are turned into weapons against him? When gangs of elderly residents leave a trail of bizarre violence, Moon Knight must put his body, mind and very soul on the line to end the carnage!

Originally created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin in 1975, Moon Knight has had a solid presence throughout Marvel’s history and has been fortunate enough to be interpreted by some of the best artists to ever work in comics including Bill Sienkiewicz, Tommy Lee Edwards, David Finch, Alex Maleev and Declan Shalvey. However, some have misinterpreted him as only a Batman-esque type character which would be doing him a disservice. A former mercenary who was betrayed by a colleague who didn’t approve of his change of heart towards their profession, Marc Spector is resurrected by an Egyptian Moon God known as Khonshu which leads him to becoming the crime fighter Moon Knight. At the same time however, he has to deal with multiple personality disorder which has been exasperated by his connection to the god. There have been many great Moon Knight comic runs and he has always stood out visually. Now that more eyes are on him, Marvel have definitely struck whilst the iron is hot with this new series.

MacKay takes a more reserved approach to the character initially which helps with introducing new readers to the character.  Full use is made of the character’s fragile mental state as we see Spector undergoing therapy which allows MacKay to delve into the other personalities that make up Spector’s psyche whilst also going into his past where we learn of his troubled childhood. There have been contradicting takes on Moon Knight’s past and just why his mind is in the state it is, but MacKay doesn’t sweep anything under the rug. He instead plays into these contradictions to further emphasise the fractured state of Spector’s past and mind. This is further emphasised when Moon Knight comes into action and MacKay uses a markedly different dialogue approach when he is in control.

On the art front, Alessandro Cappuccio is a perfect fit for this character. Moon Knight has always been a very visually driven series and this latest volume is no exception. Cappuccio nails the dynamic action sequences you’d expect but manages to segue them perfectly into the more psychologically driven parts of the comic.

Moon Knight Vol. 1: The Midnight Mission is out 15 February from Marvel  (9781302931100, p/b, £14.99)

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