Following a pair of six-part adventures, “Moon Knight” #13 gives readers a bite-size, done-in-one adventure that mixes in some supernatural to balance out the voice of Khonshu. This next adventure comes from new writer-artist team Cullen Bunn and Ron Ackins.
A trio of inkers — Tom Palmer, Walden Wong and Victor Olazaba — join Ackins, which makes for some mild inconsistencies. Ackins’ style is strong enough to power through the inkers’ variations. Those variations impact the appearance of the characters and the atmosphere in “Moon Knight” #13, but never to the point where the difference from one inker to the next is distracting or limiting. The characters in this comic are fairly limited; Moon Knight, a handful of thugs and a bunch of ghostly folk, so Ackins are able to deliver a satisfying variety of build and appearance. His Moon Knight isn’t as sleek as Declan Shalvey’s nor is it as gritty as Greg Smallwood’s, but he is an intimidatingly chiseled character. Ackins adds his own spin to the most frequently used Moon Knight costume, treating it more like body armor than silvery cloth, with an end result that is a unique look that welcomes comparison to both Batman and Ragman.
Letterer Travis Lanham maintains the mixed case word balloons for all of the characters, save Khonshu, who still speaks in ebony balloons filled with ghastly white capitalized type. Colorist Dan Brown fills the pages with the violent heat of oranges, reds and exploding yellows. Brown’s work is integral to the flow of the story and the path Moon Knight follows to take the reader from cover to cover.
Bunn’s story has no time or room for extensive origins or insightful recaps. Instead, the writer just puts readers right next to Spector as Khonshu delivers clues for Moon Knight to follow in his work as Khonshu’s apostle. Bunn gives readers a story to hook right into: Moon Knight on a quest to kick some ass. This is not going to be the single greatest standalone tale of Khonshu’s avatar but it is effective, fast-paced and enjoyable.
Done-in-ones in a series like “Moon Knight” — which has only had two sweeping arcs in the twelve issues thus far — can either be really memorable or totally forgettable. “Moon Knight” #13 walks the line in between. Bunn, Ackins and crew give readers an interesting premise and one that has legs. Driven by the spirit of Khonshu, Moon Knight’s aversion to interacting with other spirits makes sense and almost demands further investigation. Another few pages or another chapter in this direction would certainly provide more evidence in that case.