Call me crazy, but I'm actually enjoying this go-round of "Moon Knight."
Yes, that was a very lame pun, but you can blame Brian Michael Bendis for that. His witty banter and snappy one-liners inspired me. Well, they at least made me chuckle a bit. Of course those one-liners were from Spider-Man, but not the real Spider-Man. No sir, the witty banter came from the Spider-Man in Marc Spector's head.
Bendis has given Spector a trio of heroes – Captain America, Wolverine, and Spider-Man – to rely on as council during his fights and in the choices of his personal life. Those heroes are actually figments of Spector's imagination, but it makes for an interesting diversion through out the book. It also keeps the story moving without being weighed down by caption boxes.
Bendis throws together a nice mix of talking and fighting with a side of crazy, and the whole thing works well. It certainly helps that the characters in this issue (save for the figments) are unencumbered by responsibilities or significant appearances elsewhere. After all, this issue features Moon Knight, Echo, and the Night Shift (sans the Shroud).
The art side of the book tries hard to shake me off, with its gritty linework and photo-tracing sensibilities for the characters. I like Alex Maleev's stuff normally, but in this issue the figures come across as stiff and wooden, and the action sequences lack action. They seem like cardboard cutouts superglued together, without the effects of motion or gravity applying to them. Maleev's work shines for the talking heads in this issue, but the rest of the book needs a little more excitement. The final panel is less cliffhanger and more "ho-hum."
All the same, this take on Moon Knight is refreshing and engaging. I've come back more often than I expected to, especially since the cover price is absurdly set at $3.99 for a twenty-page story. It's a story I enjoyed, sure, but it'd be just a bit more enjoyable if I could have gotten a soda to drink while reading it on this steamy August evening.
Brian Michael Bendis' take on Moon Knight is a nice tribute to the Who's "Quadrophenia," with Marc Spector playing the part of Jimmy, but the book still needs a little more pizzazz. Bendis is working on showing why Moon Knight is so different and worthy of his own stories, but in doing so is threatening to make Moonie just a pale imitation of the heroes he needs to distance himself from in order to truly shine.
I said it was an unpredictable book when I reviewed the first issue, and I'll reaffirm that. It is just as
unpredictable in the fourth issue. That's all I need to come back for more.