This week Moon Knight returns to New York City, and Mark Millar sends us into the stars with Starlight!
Moon Knight #1 (Marvel Comics)
Moon Knight is back, and writer Warren Ellis and artist Declan Shavey sure bring the crazy for this opening issue. After taking a break after Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s run, Marc Spector has returned to New York City with a new costume, a new ride, and a whole new set of problems in that big old brain of his.
Moon Knight’s return to the Big Apple is marked by the appearance of a slasher who’s targeting fit and healthy citizens, whom he carves specific body parts from. His latest victim brings Moon Knight to the scene of the crime. Dressed in a bright white suit with his Moon Knight mask, this is not the Moon Knight you’re used to. He drives around in a motorized limo that operates as a mobile headquarters, cracks weird jokes, and hardly raises a fist when he confronts an enemy.
Warren Ellis sets the stage pretty well in this issue, and teases a hell of a lot in the book’s final pages. I won’t spoil them, but they are completely, absolutely insane. I actually said “whaaaaaa” out loud when I saw one of the final panels of the book. Ellis has long been a favorite of mine, and I’m beyond excited to see what else he’s got cooked up his sleeve.
Declan Shavey’s art is superb in this issue. While it’s weird to see Moon Knight walking around in a suit and a mask, Shavey really makes it work, and his art adds to the craziness that occurs later on in this issue. Major kudos go out to the colorist on this issue, Jordie Bellaire, as well. The coloring in this book makes Moon Knight literally pop off the page. His stark white costume sticks out like a sore thumb in the grimy and dark NYC back alleys and sewers, driving home the fact that Moon Knight wears white so that “the bad guys can see him coming”.
Moon Knight #1 gets weird. Like really weird. But it’s awesome, and fans of any of the character’s many iterations will find something to like here. Warren Ellis and Declan Shavey are cooking up something really special here, and I can’t wait to see more.
Starlight #1 (Image Comics)
The latest comic from Mark Millar, Starlight puts the “Millarworld” spin on Flash Gordon, John Carter of Mars, and other classic Sci-Fi tales. With art by Fury MAX artist Goran Parlov, Millar dives into the life of Duke McQueen, a man who traveled to a different alien world, returned, and then got married, had kids, and grew old.
Now that may not sound interesting, but Millar makes it work extremely well. There are small glimpses into the adventures that McQueen had on the alien planet, but when he wakes up from his dreams we see how sad and alone McQueen is. His children are grown up and have their own families and jobs that take all of their focus. His wife is dead. All he has left is the newspaper clippings of his return to Earth, and the mocking laughs and jokes that are made at his expense.
This doesn’t feel like anything Mark Millar has written in the past few years. As much as I love Millar, I agree that he does tend to over hype things and be extreme for the sake of being extreme. But none of that is in this issue at all. In fact, for a Mark Millar book, this is pretty tame and quiet, which is great for this type of story. Goran Parlov’s art is fantastic and heartbreaking all at once. The dichotomy between McQueen’s dreams and his reality really makes you feel for the character, and the final page definitely has me begging for more. Let’s just hope that unlike other Millar books, we won’t have to wait long for the next issue.