Friday, 12 October 2018

Marc Spector: Moon Knight 8 - Acts of Vengeance

This issue is quite an odd entry into the crossover as there's no direct sign of the wider plan. Both Moon Knight and Flag Smasher may mention all the conflict going on around them, but there's no sign of it here

Marc Spector: Moon Knight #8

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

Instead both Moon Knight and the guest-starring Punisher drawn into conflict with Ultimatum as a consequence of their regular investigatory activities instead of Flag Smasher being assigned to deal with them. Perhaps that's just as well, as Flag Smasher and Ultimatum are terrorists devoted to overthrowing all the countries of the world, abolishing governments and borders and probably wouldn't be naturals to go along with a scheme headed by, amongst others, a deposed monarch seeking to regain his thrown and various ultra-nationalists. The result is that this doesn't really feel like a chapter in "Acts of Vengeance" and more like a routine issue of Moon Knight's series with both a guest star and a villain from another series (in this case Captain America). But then Moon Knight's successive series have never been especially noted for being conventional Marvel superhero titles.

None of the mystical elements of Moon Knight are present and instead he's presented as a nocturnal crime-fighter without powers, who is a rich man with strong business holdings by day and here operating with a sidekick whose father was killed. It's closer to the Batman model than on previous occasions and it makes for quite a strong team-up with the Punisher. Unfortunately much of the early part of the issue is taken up with the complications of Moon Knight's inexperienced sidekick Midnight, made worse by a failure to explain who he is to readers drawn in by the crossover until after he's been sent home. Too often crossover issues forget that they're going to be read by more than just the regular readership and should be trying to encourage the additional readers to stay around rather than leaving them confused.

Otherwise this is a pretty solid opening issue as Moon Knight and the Punisher track down a terrorist organisation first through the weapons chain and then through one of the financiers. There's a strong grittiness to this story that keeps things firmly grounded and on the level, taking the characters through a dark world. It isn't yet clear how this ties into the wider "Acts of Vengeance" crossover but otherwise it's on top form.

Marc Spector: Moon Knight #8 has been reprinted in:

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