Moon Knight #22
Written by: Mark Benson
Drawn by: Mark Texeira
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: 9/17/2008
Since I was a kid, I was always a big Moon Knight fan, though I don't exactly know why. I really enjoyed Doug Moench's creation since day one (I've even got the first 5 issues signed by Jim Shooter). The story he was involved in that I read the most was the "Round Robin: Sidekick's Revenge" around Amazing Spider-Man #350 or so. And there was a really great four issue mini-series that Moench came back for in 1998 or so.
But for some reason the Moon Knight relaunch they kicked off never got my attention. I bought all the issues, but have yet to read them. And, after reading #22, I'm not sure if I'm going to any time soon. I was hoping when I saw this issue available for review that it would kick me in the ass and make me want to read all the back issues I have laying around in a long-box somewhere.
#22 did and it didn't.
This issue looked really good, but the writing was pretty sub-par. Mark Texeira worked with what he had, but the story was choppy and incomprehensible and was set in places that didn't work for the characters. I mean, seriously, as a writer, you shouldn't write Venom sitting in a movie theatre chair.
See what I mean? Texeira does what he can with it, but it still just looks stupid and it was just a bad writing choice.
And the whole comic runs like that. There's no interesting build-up... The story-arc is supposed to be about the death of Marc Spector, but this issue is mostly the Thunderbolts talking about capturing him and one of his old friends talking to all of his other old friends about how they need to help him. It was a big yawn-fest and this was already the second part of the story.
The most poorly written piece of this issue, though is the recap of the story so far. I don't know if Benson wrote it, or some cross-eyed Marvel intern did, but it was phrased poorly and didn't make me feel like the story was going to be awesome at all. There were some cool concepts in the recap (like all of the registration stuff) but the turns of phrases and structure of it looked like it still needed to be graded by a junior high school English teacher with a red pencil. Recaps, when done correctly, can add so much to the story and capture a reader even if it's in the middle of the arc. One of the best I've read in a long time, actually, was the recap in Daredevil #110. (you can read the review here and I've appended the recap to the bottom of the page.)
Take the first three sentences:
In the age of the Superhuman Registration Act, the only good hero is one that plays by the book. Which Moon Knight assuredly does not. So Marc Spector does the last thing that anyone suspects.
Every comic book is someone's first, why aren't I learning the basics of Moon Knight? Does this tell me Marc Spector is Moon Knight? Do these sentences even make sense? The answer is no.
The whole recap is exactly the same kind of poorly worded and poorly written tripe. It ends with the following:
And before long, Stark's inability to apprehend Moon Knight prompts the Commission on Superhuman Activities to take matters into its own hands, sidelining Stark and tapping a far more dangerous group of individuals for the job. Enter: The THUNDERBOLTS!
Rambling aside, I'd like to know when the last time taking matters into your own hands involved simply asking someone else to do something, in this case, The Thunderbolts. Which raises another question, why do the Thunderbolts seem to be in every Marvel comic I've read in the last month? It's not so bad usually, but it just doesn't seem as though Benson knows how to write them, since this Thunderbolts team seems far less benevolent and much more like a team of villains than in most of the other books they're appearing in at the moment.
With a comic this bland, why would this make me want to read the Moon Knights that are collecting dust in my long box? Because this book is incredibly popular and the launch was supposed to be fantastic. I want to see what the book was like before they flushed it down the toilet with this new writer.
(here's the recap pages for this issue and Daredevil #110:)
(you'll see the difference in quality, right off the bat.)
If this comic book were a loaded gun, I would shoot myself in the face with it! -Slugtron