Another issue of ‘Moon Knight‘ and another issue of Warren Ellis’ unique brand of insanity oozing through the page and into your brain. Repent twisted sinners because each issue to date has been a delightful installment that mixes mystical horror, suspense, and a crime noir element that will draw you in from beginning to end. ‘Moon Knight’ is one of the few titles in the Marvel universe which is currently telling stand alone stories in the majority of its issues (this may or may not change as time goes by) and while sometimes I may complain that there isn’t more to each story it is only because I can keep reading this nonstop! It isn’t just the writing either that will draw you in as Declan Shalvey’s style compliments it at each turn.
In the latest issue, we find that meat of the problems that Moon Knight has been contacted to help solve take place in a dreamscape styled setting. Being an open ended area, I was curious as to if we would be getting nods to such characters as Sleepwalker or some other area of the realm of the Mindscape that we’ve seen and am thankful that it didn’t. Although, a Sleepwalker series written by Warren Ellis would be a full re-creation of the character that I could actually get behind. Long term readers of the characters should enjoy the quick reference to Robert Markham who I had completely forgotten about until a bit of description was brought into play.
So what is happening here is that a man who runs sleep studies has come to Marc Spector for help. His patients are having nightmares. On the surface that shouldn’t be fully out of place but the fact of the matter is they are having the same nightmare and it is driving them all quite mad. Mad enough that they are trying to kill themselves. To find out exactly what is driving them all to insanity, Marc decides to sleep in the same area that the rest of them have been. This is an issue that ignores the fighting abilities that Marc has gained by becoming the avatar of the God Khonshu and instead delves into the spiritual side. When the scientist in charge of the study tries to explain to Marc what he does he quickly comments that he wouldn’t understand right after. Spector, of course, disagreed and went to help.
The issue gets trippy as Marc tells Khonshu to put him to sleep and into the dream world he goes. The noir styled art goes quite quickly to a random dream encounter that was something almost out of Si Spurrier’s recent ‘X-Men: Legacy‘ series. Marc comes up against the creature causing everyone’s nightmares and is able to overcome him and awaken. He puts things to rest in a twist that would have been just as fitting as something out of an older pulp or horror comic. Perfect writing, illustration, timing, build up, and the pay off at the end fit in.
The way these issues are put together make for a great comic that is not your standard run of the mill Marvel comic. Honestly, that is a good thing as it prevents the company from getting stale. If anything, this comic is proof that Disney is still letting Marvel run their own company because Moon Knight is not a character that would be remotely in tune with the anything else that Disney puts out.
Another amazing issue and I cannot wait for the next one! If you are still on the fence on the series but are willing to give something non-Marvel and a little… Wait who am I kidding? Not a little but a lot darker a try – pickup Moon Knight today!
MOON KNIGHT #4
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Declan Shalvey