Comic Book Review: Moon Knight #8: Casualties of War

The Revolution always looks forward to the newest issue of Moon Knight. Huston has done an incredible job on this title making Moon Knight easily one of Marvel’s strongest comic books on the market. Moon Knight #8 deals with the late Captain America paying a visit to Moon Knight. This should prove to be a rather interesting meeting. Let’s go ahead and review Moon Knight #8.

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: We begin with two snipers trading some idle banter just before one of the snipers blows the head off of some woman who was in protective custody.

We then cut to Captain America in Marc Spector’s house. Captain America address Marc as “soldier” and “sergeant” in an attempt to appeal to Marc’s military side and his supposedly automatic obedience to Captain America.

Marc ignores Captain America and yells at his maid Nedda for rummaging through his desk and moving the papers that he had on his desk. Marc finds the newspaper articles concerning the murders. Marc snaps at Nedda to stay away from his desk and his papers.

Nedda then timidly tells Captain America that she was just a little girl in Vienna when the Nazi’s took over. Nedda tells Captain America that he meant so much to all the little kids at that time. Nedda says she cried when Captain America was back in the 1940’s. Nedda tells Captain America “thank you” and then leaves.

Captain America tells Marc that Nedda is a nice person and that he should treat her better. Marc tells Captain America to leave. Khonshu appears and tells Marc to kill Captain America. That Marc knows he wants to do it. Captain America drones on about the events of Civil War and how the world needs heroes more then ever. That Captain America is working and fighting to make sure that America knows their heroes are here and will always be here for them. Khonshu begs Marc to kill Captain America just to shut him up.

Marc agrees that people are fighting and dying out there while Captain America and Tony Stark play capture the flag. Marc calls Captain America a “self-righteous son of a bitch” coming in here acting like this is anything but a regularly scheduled grudge match to settle out their differences. That both the pro and anti registration heroes are just trying to prove who has the biggest super power.

Marc spits that all of this is over a law. That a person who puts on a mask and fight crime shouldn’t care if there is a law preventing it or not. That anyone who has a choice to be a “super hero” doesn’t belong in this in the first place. Marc tells Captain America for him and Stark to get a room and leave everyone else out of us.

Captain America responds that he has seen the newspaper articles about Moon Knight crashing a plane into a skyscraper. Captain America says he is not here to recruit Moon Knight. That he wouldn’t want him in his command. Captain America tells Marc that he doesn’t like Moon Knight’s style. Captain America says that if he has any doubts about the Registration Act it is because of maniacs like Moon Knight. That the Punisher may belong in jail, but Moon Knight belongs in a straight jacket. Captain America tells Moon Knight to stay on the sideline or else Captain America will take him out.

With that, Captain America leaves. Khonshu says that Marc should have killed Captain America. Marc says no he shouldn’t have because there is nothing to avenge. Marc says he is not a killer anymore. Khonshu laughs at that statement and says Marc is kidding himself.

We then cut to Moon Knight arriving outside an apartment building in his limo. Moon Knight then busts down the door to an apartment and breaks the yellow police tape surrounding a murder scene. Someone else is in the apartment and Moon Knight instinctively believes it is Mogart. However, it is actually Detective Flint.

Flint fills Moon Knight in on the fact that each murder has the killer using the legs and arms of the victim as the hands of the clock and using the victim’s blood to draw the clock and the numbers. And that all the clocks in the room are always smashed. Flint says that it appears that the killer is trying to call Moon Knight out.

Flint then picks on Moon Knight for using a limo instead of his Moon-copter. Flint then tells Moon Knight that he doesn’t care about the Registration Act and values Moon Knight’s help. Moon Knight then leaves and Flint muses how some cops get Spider-Man or a hero on that level, but all Flint gets is the King of Rejects in Moon Knight.

We cut to Marc in his limo watching Marlene leave work. Marlene meets up with a man who gives her a kiss. Khonshu tells Marc that most people would consider this stalking. Marc retorts that he is just making sure that Marlene is safe. Khonshu says if Marc wants Marlene to be safe then Marc should go kill Mogart. Marc responds that Mogart is dead. Khonshu counters that nothing stays dead. Khonshu then asks if they can go hurt people now. Marc answers “yes.”

We cut to Moon Knight brutally taking down a bunch of muggers. Moon Knight asks the victim if she wants a piece of all the downed muggers. The victim declines the offer to which Moon Knight comments “More for me” as he proceeds to torture the muggers.

We shift to the killer “painting” another clock with his latest victim’s severed arm and leg. The killer wonders what in the world does he have to do to get Moon Knight’s attention. How many invitations does he have to send before Moon Knight R.S.V.P.’s?

We cut to Marc musing about “America’s sweethearts” fighting over a law. Marc scoffs that he would need a law to tell him what to do. That a law wouldn’t change what people think of him. Samuels enters Marc’s study and informs him that he has a visitor. The visitor is Frenchie’s boyfriend, Rob, who tells Marc if he won’t come see him for his physical therapy sessions then he will come to Marc. That Marc must take care of his knees.

Marc thinks how people and what they think are both completely irritating. Then Marc thinks that people do have their moments. People like Rob. If only they would know when to leave him alone. End of issue.

The Good: Huston does it again. Moon Knight #8 was another excellent read. Huston just keeps crushing them out of the park with each and every issue. As always, Huston crafts some fantastic dialogue. Every character has their own unique external voice. Huston has an amazing feel for Moon Knight’s character and delivers the best Marc Spector that I have read since Doug Moenich wrote the original series. I dig at what a real bastard Marc is to those around him. All the characters are well developed and have nice chemistry between them.

This issue is well plotted and paced. Huston takes time to further flesh out Moon Knight’s character as well as carve out Moon Knight’s niche in the Marvel Universe. We get a nice balance of action and dialogue.

Moon Knight #8 does an excellent job delineating the differences between Moon Knight and the rest of the heroes in the Marvel Universe. This is an important move because many readers are unfamiliar with Moon Knight’s original character design. Plus, it is critical that Huston establish Moon Knight’s position within the Marvel Universe in order to show how special this character truly is.

And to pull of this task, Huston uses Captain America as a literary tool to act as a foil to Moon Knight’s character and to hi-light Moon Knight’s role in the Marvel Universe. There are two basic groups of heroes in the Marvel Universe. There are all the heroes that make up the pro-registration and anti-registration sides who all view themselves as a special class of people. They are celebrities. They are above us mere mortals. They are in a unique fraternity of super heroes. They bathe themselves in the praise and adoration from the media and the general populace. They view themselves as true heroes who are here to save the world and do things the “right” way which includes no killing or torture.

Then you have the other group of heroes of which the Punisher is the most prominent member. These are the heroes who believe that they are engaged in a war on crime and the only way to stop criminals is to kill them.

Then you have Moon Knight. He doesn’t belong to any group at all. Moon Knight is the ultimate loner. The bad boy. The lone wolf who stalks the outer edges of the celebrity world of super heroes. Nobody accepts him as one of their own. Not super heroes like Captain America or Iron Man. Not super heroes like the Punisher. Not even the media or general public understand or accepts Moon Knight.

Huston uses Captain America to show how absolutely little to no regard that Moon Knight has for the super hero establishment or the big names in the super hero community like Captain America. Marvel has shown us in all of the Civil War tie-in issues how every hero from the Falcon to Luke Cage to Spider-Woman to Spider-Man all fawn all over Captain America whenever he appears in front of them.

Not Moon Knight. Moon Knight couldn’t give a shit about Captain America, his resume and his star spangled butt. Moon Knight just rips right through Captain America like no other super hero in the Marvel Universe would ever dream of doing. Not even the Punisher did this. The Punisher showed big respect to Captain America. Not Moon Knight.

I dig the way that Huston differentiated Moon Knight from Marvel’s other resident psycho crime fighter in the Punisher. The Punisher may have anger issues, no doubt, but he is most definitely not insane. The Punisher knows exactly what he is doing and does it willingly and with careful plotting and planning.

The Punisher is a military man using his background and training to wage war against crime. The Punisher’s sanity is reflected in his admiration for Captain America, the military and any police agency. The Punisher refuses to ever fight a law enforcement officer.

On the other hand, Moon Knight is insane. Pure and simple. There is no rhyme or reason to his actions. He doesn’t plot and plan. He isn’t fighting a war. He is just a pure flood of dark emotions and he takes them out on the criminals he meets. And Moon Knight wouldn’t think twice about tearing the head of a law enforcement officer if they got in his way.

I also liked how Huston had Captain America use the military connection to try and get Marc to listen to him and to command respect. That failed. It may work with the Punisher, but the Punisher isn’t insane like Moon Knight. This move shows how manipulating Captain America can be and how Moon Knight holds no allegiance to anyone not even his military background.

I love how Moon Knight cut right through the bullshit about the Civil War. How it is nothing more than a big pissing contest between Captain America and Tony Stark. That a law is meaningless to a true hero. And this also illustrates a big difference between Moon Knight and the other masked heroes. The other masked heroes do what they do to make the world a better place, they have altruistic goals, they to it to make themselves feel good and some do it for the fame.

Not Moon Knight. He does it because he is compelled by an otherworldly urge to exact vengeance. Moon Knight is a purely visceral character who is compelled to unleash his desire for violence on the world of criminals. Fighting crime for Moon Knight is not a conscious subjective decision. It is an uncontrollable primal instinct. The idea of worrying of a law just seems ludicrous to him.

I absolutely love how Huston is writing Khonshu. Khonshu gets all the good lines. Plus, Khonshu is a great tool for Huston to use to show the war that is waging inside of Marc’s head. To show Marc’s tenuous grip on reality and his efforts to control his murderous urges.

It was cool seeing Detective Flint again. Moon Knight needs a friend in the police department. I dig that Huston is slowly reconnecting Moon Knight with all of his old contacts. Huston does an excellent job with Flint’s dialogue capturing his odd way of talking. Huston also uses Flint as another view showing how the world views Moon Knight as a total reject.

I like that Huston has Marc watching Marlene. Poor Marc has always been obsessed with Marlene and they have had such a strange, tragic and sometimes violent relationship. I dig that Marc is completely unable to move past Marlene. It emphasizes Marc’s obsessive behavior and his desire to latch onto the one thing in his life that gave him a semblance of stability.

Huston continues to turn up the heat on the angle with Moon Knight’s old sidekick Jeff Wilde and Wilde’s father Anton Mogart aka Midnight Man. Moon Knight instinctively thinks that Mogart is somehow behind these murders. Even Khonshu states how no one ever stays dead so that Mogart may be the killer. I’m curious to see how Huston handles this eventual confrontation. It definitely should prove to be a very interesting and emotional showdown.

Finch’s artwork is as great as ever. Finch’s style is a perfect match for Huston’s grim and eerie tone. And Finch can definitely deliver some wonderfully brutal action scenes.

The Bad: No complaints at all.

Overall: Moon Knight #8 was another fine read. Huston continues to turn out one of Marvel’s strongest reads. I have no idea what is going to happen once Huston’s 12 issue run on this title ends. I don’t see how any writer is going to be able to follow what Huston has done on this title. I would be thrilled if Marvel could re-sign Huston for another 12 issue run.