Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Amazing Spider-Man 328 - Acts of Vengeance

This is the last issue of the series drawn by Todd McFarlane and it's not hard to spot his is the greater influence on the story than David Michelinie. The issue is devoted to a fight between Spider-Man and the Hulk, whom McFarlane had previously drawn at Marvel. It could well have been his final issue at Marvel overall, and thus going out by drawing both the characters he'd made his name on would stand as a strong legacy. (Instead he succeeded in getting to draw and script a new Spider-Man series but that's another matter.)

Amazing Spider-Man #328

Writer: David Michelinie
Artist: Todd McFarlane
Letterer: Rick Parker
Colour: Bob Sharen
Editor: Jim Salicrup
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

McFarlane's art is a pretty polarising subject. As someone who discovered it long after the event for me it's always been a part of Spider-history rather than an active debate but it's certainly very different from the house style that came before and indeed which both Sal Buscema and Alex Saviuk use on the Spectacular Spider-Man and Web of Spider-Man issues here. It works well enough, though it does seem to be pushing Spider-Man in an ever-darker direction reminiscent of other heroes, something the script picks up on with a scene where Spidey lifts up a criminal who asks, "Who are you?!?" and the reply begins "I'm Bat..." Well it was 1989 but it’s another needless homage. The cover is also a little odd in that Spider-Man seems to be the Hulk up by his genitals, perhaps explaining the latter's bright green tongue.

The main plot is driven by the committee of villains having made an offer to Sebastian Shaw, recently deposed from the Hellfire Club. Shaw has the mutant ability to absorb energy and use it to enhance his strength and speed, which might have made him a good match for Spidey earlier in the storyline when the powers were still slowly developing. However here it would be a one-sided walkover - and Shaw realises as much, noting that Magneto is involved and suspecting this is really an attempt to dispose of an enemy once and for all. So Shaw instead hires the Hulk to do the job.

This is still the grey Hulk with a mercenary aspect and he accepts the task, though the battle is constrained by the sun rising hours earlier in New York than Las Vegas, with the result that the initial confrontation is aborted when he starts turning into Banner. The following night things are more brutal, with the Hulk seemingly larger than usual and Spidey really not wanting to hurt him until two children are threatened, resulting in a memorable single punch that knocks the Hulk into orbit. Comic fans have long debated who would win in a fight between Superman and the Hulk and at the time this would appear to be the nearest substitute given the difficulties of arranging inter-company crossovers. The point is even more explicit with one of the children commenting that Spidey needs a cape.

As a final bow out for such an influential artist this issue could have just been an indulgent fight between the two Marvel characters he was best known for. But this also works well in advancing the storyline as Spidey faces increasingly powered foes whilst also adding a new element to the mix in Shaw's interests in the powers. This keeps the storyline flowing well.

Amazing Spider-Man #328 has been reprinted in:

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

What The--?! 6 - Acts of Vengeance

Marvel has a long history of self-parody strips and comics, ranging all the way back to Not Brand Echh in the 1960s. Its main series in the late 1980s and early 1990s was What The--?!, which had a 26 issue run over five years with even the schedule a parody at times, coming out monthly, bimonthly, quarterly and appearing at random times. Issue #6 came out during a big event and parodies it with 'Everybody vs. Everybody Else in "SMACKS OF VENGEANCE!"'

What The--?! #6

Written and pencilled by: John Byrne ("Smacks of Vengeance")
Inked by: Terry Austin ("Smacks of Vengeance")
Lettered bu: Rick Parker ("Smacks of Vengeance")
Coloured by: Mike Rockwitz ("Smacks of Vengeance")
Co-Writer: Doug Rice ("Origin of the Pulverizer")
Co-Writer/Artist: Hilary Barta ("Origin of the Pulverizer")
Letterer: Willie Schubert ("Origin of the Pulverizer")
Colourist: Linda Lessmann ("Origin of the Pulverizer")
Writer: Howard Mackie ("Sore wants a Haircut!")
Penciler: Adam Blaustein ("Sore wants a Haircut!")
Inker: Chris Ivy ("Sore wants a Haircut!")
Letters: Brad K. Joyce ("Sore wants a Haircut!" and "Adventure into Boredom! Fear!")
Colourist: Ronn Stern ("Sore wants a Haircut!")
Story: Peter B. Gillis ("Adventure into Boredom! Fear!")
Pencils: Doug Rice ("Adventure into Boredom! Fear!")
Inks and most of the good jokes!: Hilary Barta ("Adventure into Boredom! Fear!")
Colours: Kelly P. Corvese ("Adventure into Boredom! Fear!")
Editors: Terry Kavanagh and Carl Potts
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

This eight-page strip doesn't go for a big spanking fest but rather justifies its title with an intro that explains the situation just "smacks of vengeance". In this parody there is a small invasion by villains from the Dee-See universe such as the Jokester, Sinestronie, Magilla Grod and Metal-Toe, causing problems for heroes such as Scaredevil, the Mighty Sore, Wrillimean and the Revengers, led by Chaplin America. There's even a cameo by Casper and Wendy from Harvey Comics before Chaplin America decides there are too many companies and throws them out. Most of the names are straightforward twists on the existing heroes such as Ironed Man, the Scarlet Wench, the Visionary, Wondrous Man, the Wisp and Buckeye, but calling Quasar's parody "Motorola" is a joke that doesn't work well without background knowledge. ("Quasar" is a brand of electronics originally from Motorola, but the name doesn't seem to have been used outside the US and Motorola sold the brand 15 years before this issue was published.)

This is mainly a strip full of gags but it also does something very surprising. There's a mystery villain who overstays their time in the One-Hour Lurking Zone and their identity is revealed. And, as we'll see later on, it's the identity of the mysterious stranger, published (according to Mike's Amazing World of Comics) three weeks before both regular comics that revealed it went on sale. It has to be said that the stranger's identity hasn't been too well disguised, but it's astonishing that a parody comic could do this even with the crossover's core writer at the helm. Maybe the schedule or the shipping got mixed up (a problem that has hit a lot of Avengers based crossovers over the years) or maybe the identity was considered so obvious as to not try to disguise it any further.

This issue also contains three other parody tales with an especial emphasis on some of the most popular characters and themes in comics at the time, and not just at Marvel. "Origin of the Pulverizer" takes a twist on the origin of the Punisher (starting with a scene in a park when a gang boss kicks a boy's dog into orbit) and throws in several elements from other series and characters, particularly Batman. But the moment that really made me sit up in surprise is the scene where the man who will become the Pulverizer sits contemplating how to instil terror into criminals only to be hit by a brick through the window which results in inspiration for his visual identity. I wonder if Doug Rice and Hilary Barta were aware of Lew Stringer's wonderful Brickman, which did the exact same joke over a decade earlier. In reverse, Stringer recalls that he was certainly aware of this:
"Sore wants a Haircut!" sees the character go to the barber's only to find it specialises in a particular style seen across multiple Marvel characters. "Adventure into Boredom! Fear!" sees a confrontation between the Man-Thang and the Swamp-Thang about their origin and the style of the words in their respective strips. The comic also mocks some of the adverts from bygone years, whether for Marvel merchandise or for toy weapons or dubious archaeological finds. There's even a back-page parody of the "build up your muscles to deal with bullies on the beach" adverts that throws in a parody of Thor for good measure.

All in all this is quite a fun little piece that playfully mocks Marvel and beyond, though at the time it would have lost marks for giving away the identity of the mysterious stranger. But beyond that it's good for what it is.

What The--?! #6 has been reprinted in:

Monday, 12 November 2018

Stan Lee 1922 - 2018

I have just heard the news that Stan Lee has died. Has any single individual had more impact on the comics scene?

Rest In Peace and thank you for all your stories.

Web of Spider-Man 60 - Acts of Vengeance

Spider-Man's cosmic adventures continue as he faces ever bigger foes but also the curse of awkward continuity.

Web of Spider-Man #60

Writer: Gerry Conway
Penciler: Alex Saviuk
Inker: Keith Williams
Letterer: Rick Parker
Colourist: Bob Sharen
Editor: Jim Salicrup
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

A glance at the cover suggests that Alex Saviuk did not receive complete information about the lead villains in "Acts of Vengeance" as Magneto is depicted in the costume he wore for a few years in the mid to late 1980s rather than his more traditional garb which he had recently returned to. Inside Magneto is in the right costume but Gerry Conway  also seems to be somewhat misinformed as he writes the Kingpin, Dr Doom and Magneto as all working together out of a specific headquarters rather than meeting as a central committee and otherwise largely carrying out operations independently of one another as has happened elsewhere in the crossover so far (though some villains have been shown as rather more active than others). It wouldn't be the first or last time that a big crossover event saw inconsistency on the details, but these things do erode the ability to appreciate the story as a coherent whole.

Rather than simply finding a foe of the week for Spider-Man to fight before the other titles bring further developments, here we get some right now. Spider-Man now discovers he has the ability to fire energy blasts from his eyes whilst Doctor Doom finally manages to start analysing the cosmic powers. Peter also seeks Aunt May's advice about how to handle having power over life and death, a poignant subject for a woman whose fiancée (Nathan Lubensky) has a terminal heart condition. Amidst all this the latest goings on around the Daily Bugle as Thomas Fireheart continues to push a pro Spider-Man line seem trivial.

Once again Spider-Man has fought this issue's foe but not in this form. He's been Power Man, the Smuggler and now Goliath, with the complication that two of those names have also been used by heroes at various stages, but his previous fight with Spider-Man came before either of them received their current powers. And so we get a battle between a cosmically powered webslinger and a giant, then in the rematch later in the issue Goliath absorbs Spider-Man's energy blasts to grow ever larger, albeit at a risk to his heart. This story is taking on the concept of ever greater power quite well as Spider realises both he and Goliath are becoming ever greater dangers.

This chapter of the story is that surprisingly rare thing - an important issue of Web of Spider-Man. It shows that when a determined effort is made the series can turn in important developments and handle them in an effective style. It's just a pity there's a noticeable discontinuity between here and other parts of the crossover.

Web of Spider-Man #60  has been reprinted in:

Friday, 9 November 2018

Quasar 6 - Acts of Vengeance

Although not quite the newest hero around, Quasar's low profile and restricted field of operations before he got his own series means that he hasn't attracted much attention so far. At times he seems to be the only Avenger free to deal with menaces, whether the attack on Avengers Island or here. Being relatively inexperienced (though not unskilled - he's had Shield training), it also means that most villains will not have encountered him, thus it should be easy to find foes for him

Quasar #6

Story: Mark Guenwald
Pencils: Paul Ryan
Inks: Danny Bulanadi
Letters: Janice Chiang
Colours: Paul Becton
Editor: Howard Mackie
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

So it's a surprise that one of the four he encounters in this issue is Klaw the Master of Sound who he has clashed with before in his days as head of security at Project Pegasus, which even gets referenced. However this is partially explained away as he's the only Avenger available to go and round up escapees from the Vault as they show up, rather than any of the leaders of the alliance explicitly assigning them to deal with him. Klaw ultimately only appears over three pages and drops out of the action (literally) when another foe shows up. But even this is not the quickest with Venom, prominently advertised on the cover, taken out in just the first two pages. It can be easy to forget just how quickly Venom took off, having debuted less than two years earlier (and his appearance hasn't yet been refined by Erik Larsen), and this appears to be his first appearance outside the Spider-Man titles. A glance at the cover and issue suggests that the marketing department wanted Venom prominently highlighted on the cover, hence the addition to the cover, but both Mark Gruenwald and editorial didn't care much for him, hence the rapid dismissal.

The main action comes when the Living Laser shows up to free Klaw, only to find his energy tapped by Quasar, causing him to flee and end up on the Moon. There in the Blue Area they find the home of the Watcher before Quasar finds he's disturbed a burglary by the Red Ghost. It's good to see a mixture of foes and even a cosmic entity in the series, but the bitty nature of it suggests a plot rushed together that kept on having to add foes as there's nothing really linking Venom, the Living Laser and the Red Ghost beyond encountering Quasar. None of them appear to be part of the broader operation and the Red Ghost isn't even an escapee from the Vault. Instead we just get a random set of foes in the course of Quasar's adventure as though the series is having to mark time.

As a result this is a rather disappointing chapter in the saga. This is a pity as the series is being pushed as one of the core titles due to Quasar's involvement in the Avengers (hence its presence in the main Omnibus rather than the Crossovers), but it's a reminder that large crossovers can often demand more issues of a title than there are things to do.

Quasar #6 has been reprinted in:

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Wolverine 20 - Acts of Vengeance

This issue continues Wolverine's adventures in the Latin American cliché of Terra Verde with the continued interference of Tiger Shark the only element from the wider event. Otherwise this is a middle parter of the story and very much an action driven one as La Bandera and her rebels try to free political prisoners from a medical centre with a side-line in experiments, whilst Wolverine and Tiger Shark each keep on coming back.

Wolverine #20

Writer: Archie Goodwin
Breakdown artist: John Byrne
Finishing artist: Klaus Janson
Letterer: Jim Novak
Colourist: Mike Rockwitz
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

The issue opens with a strong sequence as Tiger Shark forces Wolverine into the depths of the sea and shoves his claws into a coral reef, leaving him unable to extract himself in the time before his air runs out. It's such a strong sequence that it really should have been the cliffhanger to the last issue instead of just Tiger Shark intercepting Wolverine as the latter fled the medical centre through the sea. It also confronts Wolverine's cockiness well as he initially thinks how he hasn't got a chance against Tiger Shark in the water and these are the sort of odds he likes. A pattern recurs through the issue as each fight makes it appear that the loser is doomed, only he comes back at an unexpected moment later on. Only at the end of the issue do we get a permanent conclusion to the conflict though Wolverine doubts his foe will be killed in the process.

The rest of the issue focuses on a battle with the military dictator who is using a special variant of cocaine combined with his ex-wife's mysterious healing powers to produce a super soldier for the country. Meanwhile La Bandera tries to free political prisoners and confront the dictator but enthusiasm for a rebellion is in somewhat short supply. There's also an indication that the real power is the president's adviser Geist, an aged Nazi who survived the war and went on to help various governments with secrets, acquiring cybernetic elements to his body in the process. However this element of the story is still mired in cliché and doesn't yet overcome it to provide an original spin.

Being the conclusion of the title's involvement in "Acts of Vengeance" but only a middle part on its own storyline means that this is an unsatisfactory issue for the crossover reader even though it confirms that excellent matches of heroes and villains can be made out of the basic premise. But otherwise it has too many cliched elements and leaves the event before sorting them out without being sufficiently gripping to stay around for the local storyline's conclusion.

Wolverine #20 has been reprinted in:

Monday, 5 November 2018

Wolverine 19 - Acts of Vengeance

We come now to what is surprisingly the first ever issue of Wolverine to take part in a crossover. In the early years of this series there was a real determination to ensure that this series stood on its own merits rather than merely feeding off events in Uncanny X-Men, with the result that Wolverine's solo adventures are largely set elsewhere. It notably did not take part in a number of crossovers between the other mutant titles such as "Inferno", "X-Tinction Agenda" and "X-Cutioner's Song" and may also have avoided having annuals to duck out of further crossovers. Consequently the first 74 issues of the title are almost their own beast, give or take the stories that build on revelations in Marvel Comics Presents. But this and the next issue are the exception to this rule, suggesting that either a Marvel-wide event could override the wishes of the X-Men editors or else having John Byrne as the artist on a series guaranteed its inclusion in a crossover he was heading. But notably Archie Goodwin manages to weave the crossover into an existing storyline so that it feels completely natural.

Wolverine #19

Writer: Archie Goodwin
Layouts: John Byrne
Finishes: Klaus Janson
Colourist: Mike Rockwitz
Letterer: Jim Novak
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

The storyline itself concerns Wolverine's investigations into a cocaine supply line that's come into Madripoor, a Singapore-like city where he spends most of the early years of his solo series, with his old foe Roughhouse captured and experimented on. The cocaine has also been supplied to the United States, creating further complications. So when Wolverine arrives at the source, the Latin American country of Tierra Verde, he soon comes across Tiger Shark who's been sent to deal with the country's hero La Bandera. A brief cutaway scene establishes that the Kingpin has sent Tiger Shark both for revenge for disruption to his operations but also as part of the broader conspiracy. It's a sign of how easy it would be to cut the wider event from the storyline. As we'll come to more with the Uncanny X-Men issues, Wolverine has been officially considered dead and undetectable to equipment for a while now so he's one of the few heroes who it's natural to not target. Despite this, Tiger Shark is actually quite a good fit since one of Wolverine's biggest vulnerabilities is drowning and so a water-based foe presents a stronger challenge than usual.

Tierra Verde is a country that's cliché upon cliché. A Latin American country with a military dictatorship, rebellion openly forming in the streets, state involvement in international drug crime and an ex-Nazi operating in the country who actually says, "an embarrassing cliché, yes?" The concepts are so well-worn, especially at Marvel, that it makes one wonder if there are any other story types set in the region. This is La Bandera's first appearance and she quickly falls into the classic sidekick role of the young innocent girl contrasting with the experienced and cynical Wolverine. Otherwise as the first issue to see Wolverine in the country this is predominantly a scene-setter, with the complications of Tiger Shark getting in the way as Wolverine makes his way to the heart of the operation.

Although this is the third part of the overall saga, the scene shifting helps to make the issue sufficiently accessible for readers brought in via the wider crossover. The Kingpin sending someone to take down a previously never before seen hero may not be the biggest event going but given the odd set-up for the X-Men at the time it's understandably hard to arrange a more conventional conflict and Tiger Shark is a good match for Wolverine anyway. Overall this is not the most essential of chapters in the crossover but a good example of how to incorporate it into the regular flow of a title.

Wolverine #19 has been reprinted in:

Friday, 2 November 2018

Daredevil 276 - Acts of Vengeance

This issue concludes the story of Daredevil's battle with Ultron. It continues the android's programming chaos as he struggles with the conflicting programming of his different incarnations and turns to a pagan religion, setting up a bizarre ritual with hundreds of his heads laid out to mark a pathway up a mound as he seeks to solve his "blasphemous" existence and the paradox of Number Nine being the perfect woman when absolute perfection is unachievable.

Daredevil #276

Writer: Ann Nocenti
Penciler: John Romita, Jr
Inker: Al Williamson
Letters: Joe Rosen
Colours: Max Scheele
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

It's an almost terrifying examination of a fanatic struggling to adapt their beliefs to the reality of the world around them and of multiple personality disorder case trying to overcome the different voices to the point that Ultron actually starts tearing out wires in the hope of removing the troublesome circuits. It's made worse by the android retaining his inbuilt weaponry, such that Daredevil's attempt to crash a pick-up truck into him gets nowhere.

Understanding is a key part of this story. Daredevil's enhanced senses may mean that he can hear at a distance, but he doesn't truly understand that Ultron is trying to reform with the help of Number Nine by removing the murderous programming from his earlier selves. Instead he assumes that the android is going to kill the woman. The Inhumans Gorgon and Karnak are still around but the former doesn't contribute much beyond a few futile blows whilst the latter takes an inordinate amount of time to work out just what Ultron's vulnerable point is. Instead it's Ultron's own struggle that brings salvation, as he pulls up his head to expose the non-adamantium wiring inside, and thus making himself vulnerable to attack. This leads to the moment this issue is best known for - Daredevil knocking Ultron's head off with a stick.

Viewed in isolation the full-page panel must seem absurd, but within the story it makes sense that the android has weakened his own defences in an attempt to attack and remove his circuits, and Daredevil and Karnak have taken advantage of this to attack at the critical moment. But it's not a total victory as Number Nine has seen the good in Ultron and wants to rebuild him as the good being she heard.

On the surface of it, the idea of sending a powerhouse like Ultron against Daredevil seems like absurd overkill, although it was justified last issue by the rivalry between Doctor Doom and the Kingpin that leads to the former aiming for a quick, easy kill to show he can succeed where his fellow villain has failed. But the story works so well by making Ultron into a conflicted, vulnerable figure who reflects the wider themes of the series at the moment, showing the conflicts about perfection and societal programming. As a result the android's defeat is convincing and this makes for a good, strong piece.

Daredevil #276 has been reprinted in:

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Daredevil 275 - Acts of Vengeance

One of the more unusual battles spawned by "Acts of Vengeance" must surely be pitching Daredevil against the powerful robot Ultron. On the face of it this is surely absurd yet the devil is in the detail.

Daredevil #275

Writer: Ann Nocenti
Penciler: John Romita, Jr
Inker: Al Williamson
Letters: Joe Rosen
Colours: Max Scheele
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

The Daredevil issues of "Acts of Vengeance" come from an unusual and now largely forgotten era of the series. It's true that Daredevil has lots of forgotten eras, but this is by Ann Nocenti, who until 2006 was the most prolific writer on the title when she was just pipped by Brian Michael Bendis at the end of his run. It says something about Daredevil that it has chalked up over six hundred issues (across multiple volumes with the original numbering returned to a few times), yet its three most prolific writers (Stan Lee is the third) each wrote in the range of only about 50 to 57 issues. The book did a bit better with artists with its most prolific, Gene Colan, turning in nearly a hundred issues. By contrast this issue's penciler, John Romita, Jr, is near the end of a run of thirty issues.

Part of the reason why this period isn't so well remembered is the setting. Daredevil is best known as a New York lawyer by day and vigilante by night, prowling the darker parts of the city. So an extended storyline that takes him out into the countryside and has him meet the Inhumans, Gorgon, Karnak and Lockjaw probably isn't going to spring to mind when one thinks of the series. However the underlying theme of the current storyline is a familiar piece of social commentary that Ann Nocenti's work is especially noted for. Daredevil has found himself at a farm house owned by Skip Ash, a geneticist who has conducted experiments on humans including creating "Number Nine", who can instantly heal and has been mentally conditioned to be an idealised traditional housewife and cheerleader. This brings conflict with Skip's natural daughter Brandy, an artist and ardent feminist, leading to arguments about programming. Daredevil himself ideally just wants to be alone, to escape all the other people with problems around him, but he too reacts to his societal programming.

This creates a good environment for a contrast with the guest villain from the crossover. At first the idea of pitching Daredevil against Ultron may seem absurd, but this is a highly conflicted Ultron. Doctor Doom, yet again, is selecting and overseeing the dispatch of the foe and has reconstructed the android, incorporating all twelve sets of previous brain patterns in the hope of creating the perfect mix. However this instead gives the android multiple personalities that conflict over his purpose and direction as he realises he is flawed and thus his (re)creator is flawed, but Number Nine's perfection attracts at least some of Ultron. Like Number Nine, and indeed like Brandy and other characters, Ultron is driven by his programming with conflicting influences trying to determine what course of action he should follow. It's a good metaphor without being overstated. The actual fight only starts near the end of the issue as Daredevil, Gorgon and Karnak find Ultron, but it makes for a convincing strong power level.

This is a surprisingly thoughtful issue given that the elements at first sight look absurd. Instead we get a foe with an internal struggle that matches the environment into which he is sent, providing a good exploration of an android all too often used for over simplistic battles. This may not be the traditional urban environment that Daredevil is known for, a result of the crossover turning up in the middle of a protracted storyline, but it provides a strong tale none the less.

Daredevil #275 has been reprinted in:

Monday, 29 October 2018

Marc Spector: Moon Knight 10 - Acts of Vengeance

It feels as if Moon Knight was forgotten about by both the villains and the editors co-ordinating "Acts of Vengeance". In his third and final issue in the crossover he once again encounters villains as a side-effect of the events rather than being targeted by the conspiracy.

Marc Spector: Moon Knight #10

Words: Charles Dixon
Pencils: Sal Velluto
Inks: Keith Williams
Letters: Ken Lopez
Colours: Nel Yomtov
Edits: Danny Fingeroth
Chief: Tom DeFalco

What's also surprising is the poor level of checking. Thus one of the villains he encounters here is the Ringer, who was one of many lame villains killed off by the Scourge of the Underworld some years earlier. This is even acknowledged in the story itself, with the comment "Well, I'm the new Ringer. I'm even better than the original!" But new versions of deceased foes simply isn't what this event is all about and this panel is the only acknowledgement of this state of affairs. Thus it's hard to avoid the obvious conclusion that it was only after the story was pencilled and inked that someone realised the character had been killed off and hastily came up with this brief exchange to patch it over. The villains seen here - the Ringer, Coachwhip and Killer Shrike - have all come to New York in the hope of taking part in the grand conflict going on but have so far been unable to find any heroes to fight and agree to team up in the hope of discovered ng some action. It's a pretty incoherent teaming with their abilities easily used against each other. It's also a terrible motivation to simply attack a hero they've never encountered before for the sheer sake of it.

Moon Knight starts the evening saving a young student from killing themselves after getting poor marks, then has to overcome a small boy's fear of costumed figures in order to save him and his mother from a fire. Then the trio of villains find him and attack. A repeated theme throughout this issue is Lula, the suicidal student, steadily rediscovering the importance of all life and realising that she can go on. It's one of the more positive features in an otherwise dull script, though the art does help to bring the fish scenes to life and creates a real sense of tension as Moon Knight/s pilot and friend Frenchie is wounded.

But despite the good art this issue reads like the series was added to the wider crossover event as an afterthought with no proper attention given to Moon Knight by either the editors of the villains. As a result this is a highly forgettable chapter in the crossover.

Marc Spector: Moon Knight #10 has been reprinted in:
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