There are soooo many #1s in the world of comics these days; story arcs can conclude, which then apparently merits a new numero uno. Of course, there are mini-series and one-offs that also start at the top. And then there are the usual first issues of what could/should be the beginning of a long-running series. It can be right intimidating and overwhelming sometimes, even if you’re theoretically getting in on the ground floor of a title.
And on that very note, my friends, Moon Knight #1 is an excellent place to start for longtime fans and newcomers alike. No intimidation necessary.
The mysterious Mr. Knight has opened his Midnight Mission, his people petitioning for protection from the weird and horrible. That protection is offered by Moon Knight, who stalks the rooftops and alleys marked with his crescent moon tag, bringing violence to any who would harm his people. Marc Spector, in whichever guise he dons, is back on the streets, a renegade priest of an unworthy god. But while Khonshu languishes in a prison that Moon Knight put him in, the white-cowled hero must still observe his duty: protecting those who travel at night. And let it be known – Moon Knight will keep the faith.
Moon Knight #1 picks up following events featuring the character in the recent Age of Khonshu storyline in Jason Aaron’s Avengers title. Don’t worry if you didn’t read it, though. Writer Jed MacKay does an exemplary job catching readers up on recent events in the character’s life, so that you can come in fresh and simply enjoy the new story. MacKay captures the ongoing battle within Marc Spector’s psyche about who he is and how he handles his responsibilities – the character is a slightly more accessible and emotionally available version of Batman in many ways, keeping the streets safe at night.
While Moon Knight #1, wonderfully illustrated by Alessandro Cappuccio (check out the opening page!) certainly has its fair share of action (hello vampires!), what really appealed to me was the quiet moments between Mr. Knight and his therapist. MacKay and Cappuccio have found that often-elusive balance between character development and action that only the comics medium can deliver. Within its 31 pages, the creative team manages to give you all the backstory you need, keep the action moving, give you a deeper understanding of who Moon Knight is and why he does what he does, all while finally introducing a new big bad that absolutely fits the narrative.
By the time I was finished Moon Knight, I was completely invested in the storyline and the characters, and eager to see where it goes next.
That, folks, is what makes a great #1.