From the House of Ideas: A Beginner’s Guide to Recent Moon Knight runs

This Wednesday, March 30th sees the release of the new Disney+ series Moon Knight, starring Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector/Steven Grant and perhaps a few of the titular character’s personalites as well.

While Moon Knight no doubt has his fans, like any Marvel character, he’s never been considered one of the “big” ones, which makes him a bit of a surprise candidate for his own tv series. Over the years I’ve picked and chosen my Moon Knight comics, but I’d never say I was a big fan of the character. If a book looked interesting, I’d pick it up, but I was never someone eagerly anticipating the Fist of Khonshu’s next big adventure.

However, if you’re a regular reader of From the House of Ideas, you know that I’ve loved the most recent series starring the character, written by Jed MacKay and illustrated by Alessandro Cappucio. MacKay has kept the narrative flowing, and Cappucio’s nighttime illustrations are vivid. If you’ve never read a Moon Knight book, this series is a great place to start. The first arc was recently compiled in a new trade, and the ongoing series is up to its ninth issue.

Timed to coincide with the Disney+ series, Marvel also recently released two trades compiling recent runs from some of the biggest names in comics. Moon Knight by Bendis & Maleev: The Complete Collection sees the character relocated from New York to Hollywood, where’s he’s haunted by the voices in his head, voices that take on some familiar forms. Througout the story, first published back in 2011, Moon Knight teams up with Echo (recently featured in Disney+’s Hawkeye limited series) in an attempt to discover and take down the villain looking to become the Kingpin of the West Coast.

Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev are responsible for what I consider to be the most consistently solid run of Daredevil I’ve ever read, and their chesmitry remains intact in their excellent Moon Knight collaboration. The book tells a classic superhero story, but also delves into the troubled psyche of the main character. Moon Knight’s multiple personalties and mental illness has become a larger part of the character’s mythos, and it takes good writing to find the balance of writing a superhero story while also respecting said illness, which Bendis does throughout this Complete Collection.

As good as Moon Knight by Bendis & Maleev: The Complete Collection is, Moon Knight by Jeff Lemire & Greg Smallwood: The Complete Collection is perhaps even better. First published in 2016, this series delves headfirst into Marc Spector’s multiple personality disorder, as it begins with the character trapped inside a mental asylum alongside some of the characters he’s become close with over his career.

Throughout this fourteen-issues series, we’re given the definitive origin of the character, while we also explore those voices that have not just plagued him, but have become part of him over his life. While Greg Smallwood does the majority of heavy lifting for the art, there are other significant contributors as well, depending on which voice is at the helm of the character. The work of Wilfredo Torres & Michael Garland, Francesco Francavilla, and James Stokoe, along with the consider colour work of Jordie Bellaire, make this book one of the most unique and enthralliing works I’ve read, and I’d argue is a must-read for anybody who loves comics, whether they’re into Moon Knight or not.

These are just a few Moon Knight books that are out there, but between the current ongoing series and these two excellent Complete Collection offerings, I believe these are excellent places to start or catch up with the character. I read them during a few sunny afternoons, and my only regret was not waiting until the evening to experience them by the light of the moon.

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