“Wait, why are you reviewing a random issue from one of Marvel’s 1970s horror comics?” I hear you ask. It’s a fair question, but just one look at the cover might give the game away here.
Yep, it’s the newest MCU superhero, Moon Knight – in his first ever appearance. Far more than just a cameo appearance, this issue sort of gives him an origin (which is later retconned), with the moon insignia and silver elements of his costume and weaponry being given to him by The Committee, who even tell him to go by the name ‘Moon Knight‘. Marc Spector is the man under the hood – there’s no mention of alternate identities or disassociate identity disorder at this stage of the character’s life, but that does of course form a big part of what makes him unique, eventually.
As with many 70s comics, the art of decompression hadn’t yet been learned; this is a pretty dense read, with Spector relaying the entire story of how he came to be looking to capture the werewolf – aka Jack Russell – directly to Russell himself prior to his nocturnal transformation. Not only that, but we also get some backstory on how Russell ended up where he currently is, as well a detour to catch up with another werewolf, or at least one who’s recently been cured of his lycanthropy.
It’s very dated in its writing style, but it’s not a bad read. Though the colouring techniques are also dated, the art itself is really good; the action sequences in particular feel weighty and dynamic.
There’s not much here that hints at the potential of Moon Knight as a character who’d go on to have such incredible longevity, let alone depth – but that’s a testament to the creatives who built on this rather slim foundation. He’s a cool visual here, but little else of note that truly sets him apart from other characters of the era.
It’s fun to see the supernatural side of Marvel though – it’s something that hasn’t been explored or exploited all that much since the 70s heyday, but I have always had a soft spot for seeing characters like Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, a Werewolf and even a Zombie running around Marvel’s universe.
It’s an intriguing issue then – if you’re a new Moon Knight fan, it’s definitely interesting to check out where he originated – but it’d take a good few years before he became the character we’ve just got to know on TV.
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