Marvel Finally Does Moon Knight Right - Moon Knight Annual 1 (2019): A Great Moon Knight Story
By: Karl Stern
Thank you Cullen Bun (writer), Ibrahim Moustafa and Matt Horak (pencilers), Mike Spencer (colorist), and Joe Sabino (letterer) for bringing Moon Knight fans one of the best treatments of the character in years: Moon Knight Annual 1 (2019) “Acts of Evil”. What a fantastic, tremendous, and engaging comic book as we finally see Moon Knight outside of his own head for a change and back to his superhero roots battling fan favorite villain Kang across time.
For far too long Moon Knight has been stuck as an exploration character for mental illness and often times not a very good one. Originally, as explained in our popular Moon Knight article, Moon Knight was introduced to fight supernatural type characters such as Werewolf by Night. He evolved into a street level detective crime-fighter in his first stand alone series featuring the fabulous art of Bill Sienkiewicz. After that, through several series including the long running Marc Spector: Moon Knight, Moon Knight was a street level superhero firmly established in the Marvel superhero universe complete with a stint on the West Coast Avengers.
But the 2000’s have not been as kind to Marc Spector… or Stephen Grant… or Jake Lockley, etc. Where, originally, the multiple identities of Moon Knight were a way for him to work undercover in various levels of society, some modern writers have reinterpreted that to mean he has multiple personality disorder. Had one series explored that angle it might have been fine but, unfortunately, Moon Knight’s character has been stuck in that mire for far too long including a recent almost indecipherable series which, in my opinion, struck a new low for the character with issue 200, literally the worst Moon Knight comic book I have ever read. I thought I was finished with Moon Knight who has been one of my favorite Marvel characters since the 1970s…
Then, out of the blue, I did not expect a Moon Knight Annual to be released in 2019. There isn’t a current on-going Moon Knight series but, for whatever reason, Marvel Comics decided to release one and am I ever glad. Thrilled. Because for the first time in a long time a creative team took Moon Knight seriously as a superhero. There wasn’t even a hint of madness in this issue. Simply Moon Knight serving the Egyptian deity Khonsu on a time spanning adventure to oppose the master of time himself- Kang!
Most of this comic book appears to take place in alternate timelines but I honestly do not care. Moon Knight fans are treated to a fun, action packed adventure of Moon Knight meets numerous other avatars of Khonsu throughout time and most of them are incredibly cool. From the amazingly designed Moon Knight of the wild west to a Roman era Moon Knight, to a Victorian era Moon Knight (and wow, would I love to read some stories about Victorian Moon Knight!), all the way back to the very first Moon Knight. An amazing story that finally re-establishes Moon Knight as a superhero in a fun action adventure.
Moon Knight Annual 1 (2019) is a must have and When It Was Cool gives this issue two huge Khonsu-like thumbs up!
Also be sure to check out the most popular article at When It Was Cool - 100 Greatest Comic Books and Graphic Novels of All Time: The Best Comics Ever.
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