Comic Book Review: Moon Knight #4

Moon Knight is one of my favorite Marvel titles. I am enjoying the work that Huston and Finch have turned in on this title. There is no doubt in my mind that Moon Knight #4 is going to be another great read. Let’s hit this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Charlie Huston
Penciler: David Finch
Inker: Danny Miki

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: This issue starts with Marc kneeling in front of the statute of Khonshu. The statute has the Bushman’s face on it. Suddenly, The Bushman steps out from behind the statute sans face and berates Marc’s pathetic state of being.

We then cut to the Profiler in bed with some chick. The girl asks the Profiler what Marc Spector is like. The Profiler says that Marc is haunted by his past. The Profiler explains that he can’t see the future. He can see people’s programming and that can be caused to determine how they will react to certain situations.

We then shift back to the Bushman telling Marc that he is wallowing in his self-pity and misery. Bushman then takes his face off the statute and puts it back on. Marc pulls out his gun and places it to the side of his head. Bushman then turns into Crawley then Frenchie and finally into Marlene and calls’ Marc’s name. The figure then turns back into Bushman and says “It’s me.” Marc is still huddled kneeling on the floor with his gun to his head. The Bushman says “It is me. My priest.” Marc drops his gun and asks Khonshu why he left him. Khonshu responds that he never left him. That he could not abandon his one true son. Khonshu begins to cry.

We shift back to the Profiler explaining how the new Committee is driven to turn Moon Knight into their assassin which was something their fathers in the original Committee failed to do.

We cut back to Khonshu commanding Marc to stand up. Marc says it hurts. Khonshu says he is the god of vengeance not the god of whining and self-pity. Again, he commands Marc to stand.

We zip back to the Profiler telling his girl that Moon Knight is not a mutant, a science-accident hero or a gadget hero. He is a supernatural hero who derives his power from his god. That those types of heroes are the most difficult ones to deal with.

We cut back to Khonshu telling Marc that there is vengeance to be dealt. Khonshu asks Marc if he has lost his taste for such things.

We shift back to the Profiler explaining how Marc was rejected by his father. His father was a rabbi. So, the son rejects the father’s god. The son then goes looking for love. Along the way, Marc learns that there is something he is really good at: hurting people. And that Khonshu loves Marc for that ability.

We then cut back to Marc telling Khonshu that he is no longer any use for Khonshu’s task of dealing vengeance. Khonshu asks has he not always taken care of Marc? Has he not always raised him up? Khonshu’s eyes are full of tears. Marc responds that he has doubted his lord. Khonshu then commands Marc, his warrior priest, to look up at him. Marc looks up at Khonshu’s fearsome visage. Khonshu asks if Marc still doubts him. Marc responds that he does not doubt his lord. Khonshu commands Marc to do his work. To take vengeance and spread his awful name and that Khonshu will reward Marc with glories as he always has. Suddenly, the Bushman disappears and Marc is alone with the statute of Khonshu.

Marlene then enters the room. Marlene yells at Marc. She asks him if he has gone totally insane. Marlene yells that the police were at Frenchie’s hospital room questioning him if he knew who might have half-killed the guy who attacked Frenchie. Marc then looks at Marlene and says “I’m standing.”

Marlene responds by punching Marc. Marlene says that Marc could always stand. He just didn’t want to. Because it was too hard. That he never wanted physical therapy because it was too hard. That he gave up once it got hard being Moon Knight. That Marlene and Frenchie sacrificed everything for him, but when it got hard, Marc quit.

Marc says it isn’t his fault that Frenchie is in the hospital. Marlene retorts that Marc sees Frenchie for the first time in two years and that night he get attacked and placed in the hospital. Is that just a coincidence?

Suddenly, Taskmaster comes crashing through the window. Tasky quickly takes out Marlene and Marc. (Taskmaster delivers some rather humorous and snappy dialogue.) Taskmaster then tells Marc that he is here to kill him. End of issue.

The Good: Moon Knight #4 was a great issue! I love Huston’s writing. His style is so visceral. The raw emotions of the various characters spill off the page and overwhelm the reader. From the first page, Huston pulls the reader into the story with a vice like grip that doesn’t let go until the end. The pacing was just right. Huston finally has Khonshu “return” to Marc, we have the much anticipated meeting between Marc and Marlene and then we end the issue with some action as the Taskmaster bursts onto the scene. I find the deconstruction of Marc Spector to be fascinating. And watching Marc slowly regain his heroic form and become the feared warrior priest of Khonshu is going to be exciting.

Huston crafts excellent dialogue. Each character has their own distinctive voice and it makes the story more enjoyable to read. I like the Profiler more and more with each issue. His character is so sly. And I loved his sarcastic attitude in his dialogue with his girlfriend. The Profiler has such an unusual power that fosters his odd personality. If a Moon Knight movie was filmed then Johnny Depp or Gary Oldman would have to play the Profiler. I hope Huston keeps the Profiler around for a good long time. The Profiler is a unique character with plenty of potential. Huston also does a great job using the Profiler as a tool to give a new rider more background information on Marc Spector. That is so much better and more creative than doing your standard flashback scenes.

Huston continues to write a fantastic Marc Spector. Huston gets Marc. There is no doubt about it. Marc is a complex man who suffers from multiple personalities and has a very loose touch on reality. This is a man who became a hero for the glory of his god and for his gift for hurting people. There really is nothing of truth, justice and the American way that is found in so many other super heroes. There isn’t even the motivation of revenge like other super heroes. Marc is just a hired killer who found his own brand of religion that caused him to leave behind his life of crime and to lay waste to those that deserve vengeance.

The scenes between Khonshu posing as Bushman and Marc were incredible. Just fantastic scenes. We have seen Marc at his lowest point. Lying there with a gun to his head and total devoid of the will to fight and to live. Khonshu’s mix of tough talking insults toward Marc are wonderfully juxtaposed with a tenderness and love of a god for his priest.

And by the end, we see Marc taking his first step back toward attaining hero status once again. Marc stands. Then Huston brilliantly introduces Marlene to show that Marc still have a very long and hard mountain to climb before he can return to his former glory as a hero.

The scene between the two longtime lovers was well done. Marlene has so much pent up anger toward Marc. And finally it comes boiling over. Marlene tells Marc that he could always stand. He just didn’t want to. That he gave up. That he quit on everyone. Marlene just cuts Marc to the bone and lays his soul out for all to see. It was quite a powerful scene.

The best part of this is we don’t know if Marc is actually insane or if Khonshu really did come speak to him and give him the strength to walk again. Wisely, Huston doesn’t give us any clues as to which is the truth. The reader is left to decide for himself if Marc is insane or not.

And Huston ends this issue with a bang. In comes Taskmaster who kicks some butt and then announces that he is there to kill Marc. That is a great ending that made me excited for the next issue. Hopefully, we will have one seriously nasty fight. Huston writes a great Taskmaster. It is only a couple of pages, but Taskmaster’s dialogue is hilarious.

As always, Finch serves up a fantastic looking comic book. Finch is the perfect artist for Moon Knight. His style wonderfully complements Huston’s dark and twisted tone. Plus, Finch draws a seriously wicked looking Taskmaster. I also enjoy how Finch lays out the panels and varies up the layouts with each page. Finch delivers a very creative layout that makes this an enjoyable comic book to read.

The Bad: No complaints at all.

Overall: Moon Knight #4 was another extraordinary issue by Huston and Finch. These two gentlemen make an excellent team. I hope that Marvel keeps these two guys together on Moon Knight for a good long time. Right now, Moon Knight is one of the Top 5 books that Marvel is publishing. If you don’t mind a dark and violent comic then give Moon Knight a try.