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Moon Knight #12

by  in Comic Reviews Comment
Moon Knight #12

Brian Wood and Greg Smallwood conclude their arc and their run on the title in “Moon Knight” #12 as Marc Spector and the moon god Khonshu make their move against Dr. Elisa Warsame, the psychologist who had stolen the presence of Khonshu’s spirit from Spector to use as a tool for revenge. Throughout the run, Wood has told two very distinct but related tales: one of Spector and his connection to Khonshu and another of Warsame’s desire for vengeance against her nation’s rebel leader, who deposed and killed her ruling father. The two threads weave back together here and, although Wood leaves untold what exactly transpires once this happens, he still delivers a tense and well-structured showdown that puts a satisfying end to his tenure.

Smallwood plays a large part in the story’s structure, starting off with a series of graduated panels that show a bloody and bruised Spector plummeting through the sky. Anyone who read the previous issue knows this is exactly where the story left off, but it still makes for a captivating introduction that wastes no time as it proceeds to advance Wood’s story. In short order, Spector is back in the game, allowing Wood to cut over to Warsame and her showdown with General Lor. Smallwood arranges a set of small panels on the first page of this scene like a tile collage, introducing the setting and circumstance while Wood contrasts the changing fortunes of Spector and Warsame; while she begins showing uncertainty, Spector has a palpable sense of rejuvenation, heightening the intensity of this final chapter.

Along with this rejuvenation, though, Wood instills a sense of resignation as well when Spector recognizes that his recent actions — or perhaps pending ones unseen — will force him to go off the grid after his encounter with Warsame and Lor is over. Alongside this, Wood puts forth a revelation about Warsame that clarifies her motives while upending what readers thought they knew. This surprise is cleverly laid out in juxtaposed scenes featuring all of the issue’s main players and flashbacks to the singular traumatic moment of Warsame’s childhood. The charcoal textures that Smallwood utilizes throughout most of the issue give way to simpler and heavier vertical lines in the flashback, giving a sense of haziness and darkness to Warsame’s memories as colorist Jordie Bellaire helps differentiate the flashback panels from present ones with monochromatic hues.

Spector only appears as Moon Knight on a couple of pages and, upon his grand entrance, the climax immediately segues into the issue’s near-wordless epilogue. There’s no battle or climactic throw down and, while it feels as though a page or two might have gone missing, the ploy might be intended as a seed for future storylines by other writers. Seeming omissions aside, “Moon Knight” #12 is a nice sendoff for the series’ second arc and an all-around worthy wrap up to the series’ first year.