Moon Knight (#1 – 2, 2021) – Jed MacKay

2 out of 5

With the continual refreshes of series, I recognize it’s harder and harder to write a notable #1 issue. And Moon Knight is a cult-ish type character you can probably get away with doing something more low key. Still, Jed MacKay’s start on Mr. Marc Spector, in his “The Midnight Mission”-manning variant, taking on cases in need of help – generally involving vampires and zombies – the writer introduces some solid psychological components, but seems forced to sidestep those in favor of requisite action. Requisite, generic action, unfortunately, with both of those story aspects watered down by conclusions which rather fall flat, introducing some character with an anti-Moon Knight agenda, but without any real setup or sense of stakes to make that seem like it’s a big deal. Maybe it’s a legacy MK character, but that legacy also isn’t very apparent, so it’s hard to understand what the next-issue appeal is of the book unless you’re already part of the cult.

Artist Alessandro Cappuccio has a readable, open style, and I’d say MacKay knew to write to this, delivering dialogue beats at a pace that works well with Cappucio’s big, broad panels, but the look is also rather flat, and Alessandro sticks to mostly straight-on camera angels – it does not add any dimension to the underwhelming story. Cory Petit upscales the lettering to fill the negative space, but this doesn’t help so much as make it seem like everyone is talking very slowly and plainly; ace colorist Rachelle Rosenberg does add in a fair amount of pop to the page, making the most of an all-white-suited lead against somewhat bland backgrounds.

In these first couple of issues, Spector battles some of the aforementioned beasties, but more interesting is when he’s talking to his psychologist, or sympathizing with his vampire associate, Reese. And I think modern audiences are mature enough to have handled something digging into this even more, but it’s ultimately a very minor part of the books, with more room given to the generic stuff.