Marvel Comics 2016
Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Greg Smallwood
Coloured by Jordie Bellaire
Lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles
Marc Spector believed he could see the truth: the retrograde Sanitarium where he and his friends were patients was actually a prison, and their doctor was crocodile-headed Ammut, who held the Fist of Khonshu captive so her master Seth could invade our reality. As Moon Knight, Marc led his friends in a grand escape. Not all made it. Crawley gave his soul to Anubis to ensure passage for the rest. When they finally surfaced, they found a New York City covered in sand and pyramids.
I am absolutely a fan of what’s happening with this series so far. That Jeff has taken all the aspects of what’s come before and is merging them all in a way that makes complete sense is a dream come true. Suddenly his past madness bouts seem like a plot of Seth’s so that this story could take place. That no one has focused on his connection to Egypt through Khonshu until now making him not only a target of the Gods but as a tool as well is being done superbly well.
The characterization here is phenomenally good. So is Jeff’s writing but it wouldn’t be nearly as effective without Greg and Jordie’s contributions. I mean as you read this you can feel the confusion of the characters, Gena most noticeably, the realization of when you see what is really real on their faces and that not everything is going to be ok. The fear and desperation they feel in getting free of the hospital only to find themselves smack dab in another nightmare has this almost palpable tension to it. It’s really not easy to deliver this on so many levels.
Greg’s layouts for this series have been incredibly inspired. The way the panels work on the pages for the flow of the story have been perfect. The use of backgrounds are amazing, most noticeably the bathroom scene, and really do wonders in helping me get the feeling, tone and mood of where they are. His style just suits this story so well and the use of angles and perspective to go along with it all really do make this a stand out series.
As we travel through what is either really happening in this world or the insanity of Marc’s mind it seems this is just another test from Khonshu to once again make him his champion. In order to come of this stronger, better and more determined and effective he has to go through this trial by fire to find himself again. So regardless of it being real or not it’s so well done and the message behind that i’m getting so clear that it seems this arc is all about restoring Marc to becoming the hero people can depend on.
I can’t stress enough that a series like this from Marvel which doesn’t “fit” with the Avengers or X-Men is so incredibly important to see. The level of talent in the writing and interior artwork just make this something special. I’m hoping that such a smart, intelligent and cerebral series will be given a chance to thrive and find the audience it so richly deserves.
This is the most daring book Marvel is publishing right now.