Thee Comic Column #141: Jeff Lemire’s Moon Knight

MoonKnight_1

courtesy of the scoop-il-icious comicbook.com

I’ll be the first to admit I’ve not read anything Jeff Lemire has written except for the first few issues after Justice League Dark passed from Peter Milligan to him. I didn’t stick around, not because of anything Lemire did, it had just become abundantly apparent to me that the editorial staff was crafting the direction of that book more than the writer. Milligan bounced, Lemire probably received a call asking if he could take it and wah-la. Justice League Dark became considerably less Vertigo-lite (at that point any Vertigo flavor seemed a good thing) and considerably more JLA.

Not interested.

Around the same time Sweet Tooth started taking people by storm. This is a book that comes highly recommended to me constantly, so even though I missed out on grabbing it monthly I’ve been meaning to give it another chance in trade. So too with Descender. But now comes the announcement that Marvel has given Mr. Lemire a new, ongoing Moon Knight series that begins in 2016 and from the look of the book and the angle Lemire appears to be taking with the character, I can honestly say I am NOT missing this one.

Two words: Mental Institution.

Marc Spector AKA Moon Knight has long been one of my favorite lesser-used Marvel superhero characters; I read the 90’s series off and on but didn’t delve into any of the subsequent iterations until Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev really re-thought the character for about a year back starting in 2012. I’ve said here before that Bendis and Maleev could write My Little Pony and I’d read it (no, I am most assuredly not a Bro-ny) so I obviously wouldn’t have missed that series for the world. And I loved the new emphasis on Spector’s unstable mental state, but I wanted more exploration of it. We might have got it to, except, well, the book didn’t do very well and it ended quickly, a disappointment for sure. And although MK had a pretty consistent role in the constantly reconfigured Secret Avengers book for a few years after that it just wasn’t a book I followed. Then came Ellis and Shalvey and, well, I still weep at night for the end of their run. No offense meant to Brian Wood, who continued the very widescreen approach  Ellis and Shalvey applied to Moon Knight, but I just couldn’t continue the series without the guys that started it.

So now that some time has passed, and Jeff Lemire is coming on and working with artist Greg Smallwood – who illustrated part of Mr. Wood’s run – I’m extremely excited. If you go here to Newsarama’s article/interview on the moon-knight-1-2-152708upcoming series you’ll see that Lemire is planning on expanding the mental illness angle that Bendis focused on, so I’m finally getting what I wanted, and as the focal point of the book no less. To put Spector in an actual institution, well, let’s just say that I’m getting a really old school Vertigo vibe here. And the art they’ve dropped backs this up. It’s dark and epic in scope.

And with a new book, new angle, Smallwood’s art – complimented by Jordie Bellaire’s (also a part of the awesome equation that brings us Injection, among other things) brilliant colors – no longer feels like it has a previous template to restrict it like it did picking up after the aforementioned Declan Shalvey.

I keep saying I’m eliminating Marvel from my pull but it seems as though there is always at least one of their books I’m going to reserve a spot for. Starting in 2016 Moon Knight is that book.

Praise Khonshu!

…………

Can’t find a comic shop? You can always use old reliable Comic Shop Locator at 1-800-COMIC-BOOK. Or you can take some of my recommendations. If you live in the greater Chicagoland area I recommend any of the wonderful four locations of Amazing Fantasy Books. In Los Angeles it’s The Comic Bug. Las Vegas it’s Alternate Reality Comics. San Francisco? Try the Isotope Comic Lounge and if you happen to venture a little further North I’d say you have to visit The Escapist Comic Book Store in Berkley (with the wonderful Dark Carnival Books next door and owned by the same folks). Read on!!!

 

 

 

Shawn C Baker

Shawn C Baker

Shawn lives in Los Angeles where he co-hosts Drinking w/ Comics, writes screenplays and fiction and has been known to drink quite a bit of beer. Good beer.

One Response to Thee Comic Column #141: Jeff Lemire’s Moon Knight
  1. Tommy Reply

    Descender is fantastic! I enjoy Lemire’s stuff a lot. He’s one of those writers that can tackle all kinds of genres and apply real, human emotions to far out concepts. Anything he writes is at least worthy of investigation.

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