In the current "Moon Knight" story arc "The Bottom," (which concludes with October's issue #6) Marc Spector is clawing his way out of the wreckage that his life had become. In November's issue #7, a new six part story arc titled "Midnight Sun" begins, in which Moon Knight - having reestablished himself as Khonsu's favorite son - encounters a number of Marvel's premier costumed champions. However, Moon Knight's "welcome back" party couldn't come at a worse time because the Marvel heroes are currently divided in a bitter and rapidly escalating "Civil War." CBR News spoke with "Moon Knight" writer Charlie Huston about the story, which is part of Marvel's "Casualties of War" tie-ins.
When the "The Bottom," began Marc Spector was at one of the lowest points in his life. When, "Midnight Sun" begins," Spector is back in the game and in top form. "There is a three month lapse that is referred to between issues #6 and #7," Huston told CBR News. "So by the time issue #7 rolls around, he's physically much better than he will be the end of the first arc. He also will have been active and doing various things."
Having reestablished his reputatation in "The Bottom," it was always Huston's intention in his second story arc to explore Moon Knight's relationships with other Marvel Heroes but the story wasn't originally planned as a "Casualties of War" tie-in to "Civil War." "It was more incidental," Huston said. "What happened was I had planned originally to do the second arc, in which aside from the major through line of it, a big thing that I wanted to do was that I wanted to help fix Moon Knight's identity in the Marvel Universe by having him interact with some other heroes; heroes that he had past connections with. I wanted it to become clearer who the character is and where he stands in relation to other heroes; so it would be easy for other writers, whether somebody else takes over this book or other writers want to use him in their books. I had planned on doing that and then 'Civil War' came along. So there was no way to do that without referencing 'Civil War,' without doing it within the context of 'Civil War.'
"I think it's a case where Marvel quite properly saw an opportunity and I had no problem with it," Huston continued. "Also, even though it's not a direct tie-in, I think they're trying to draw the attention people who are big fans of 'Civil War' to titles that are associated if not playing into the major plot lines.
"Moon Knight" may not be playing into the major plot lines of "Civil War," but Marc Spector definitely has an opinion about what's going on. "Some of the characters come to see him; he's not necessarily stumbling across them while they're fighting Doctor Octopus or anything like that. Some of these characters they'll see him by design and some by accident. As one would expect the big topic of conversation whenever two guys in costume get together is 'What the heck is going on?'"
Huston could reveal Moon Knight's feelings on the fighting between heroes, but had to stay mum on Marc Spector's feelings on Superhero Registration, and what an act about secret identities means to man with identity issues. "I don't think it will come as a surprise to anybody that he thinks the whole issue is kind of nonsense and he thinks that people should spend their time beating up bad guys instead of each other," Huston explained. "The identity thing is a little trickier. I don't want to talk about it too specifically. To the extent that does deal with 'Civil War,' that will be the 'Civil War' part of the arc, finding out what his feelings are."
The "Midnight Sun" story takes place right around issues three and four of "Civil War." So, some of the heroes Moon Knight encounters will have already found their lives impacted by events in that series, especially one of the first heroes he interacts with. "In issue #7 he has a brief encounter with Spider-Man," Huston said. "Spider-Man was one of the first heroes that he ever teamed up with. That actually happened before he ever had his own book. There's been quite a few times when he's crossed path with Spider-Man. It was one of those things where initially I just liked the idea, because they are at such opposite ends of the spectrum, of being able to have Spider-Man almost checking in on him and seeing if he needs a hand kind of thing."
In issue #8, Spector runs into another character whose life has been turned upside down by "Civil War" - Captain America. "Captain America is already deep underground and, as one might expect, if he's taking the time to talk to Spector it probably has something to with talking about where Spector does stand and what he expects of him," explained Huston. "Their history of course is there was a period of time when Moon Knight was an Avenger. So they've got a history and although he was a West Coast Avenger, he definitely worked with Captain America. Spector's reputation within the Avengers was not very good. He ended up burning his membership card in the end."
In the "Midnight Sun" arc, Spector will encounter another Marvel vigilante that he has interacted with in the past, but unlike the other characters he meets The Punisher isn't really a superhero. "They teamed during the 'Marc Spector: Moon Knight' run," Huston said. "They teamed the two of them up a lot, which seems fairly natural when you think about the two characters as being two of the few guys in the Marvel Universe who are not super powered. Most of their team ups I didn't think were very effective, but it was still one of those things that I wanted to play with from Spector's point of view. Because not only are they two guys without super powers but, as I've mentioned several times, Spector is a nut but he's also pretty aware of the fact that he is a nut and he's on a slippery slope and fighting this battle not go all the way down. For Spector, Looking at the Punisher is like looking at the guy who stopped fighting that battle and let himself go. So, I wanted to have them interact. There are nooks and crannies that I found in reading the old issues that are great launching points for future stories, whether I get to write them or somebody else gets to write them. There are aspects of their relationship that I wanted to flesh out. I think most people are going to be surprised that they have some of this history, so I don't want to talk about the details of it."
It won't be just heroes that Moon Knight will be dealing with in "Midnight Sun." He'll also have his hands full dealing with a nasty and powerful super villain, whose identity Huston needed to keep under wraps. "He's completely out of Moon Knight's class and he doesn't stand a chance," Huston explained. "I'm going to say this is a familiar face who is a new villain."
Huston is not sure what his plans are after the "Midnight Sun" arc wraps. He would like to stay on as writer of "Moon Knight," but is not sure if his commitments to his other job as a novelist will allow that. "It's still up in the air," he said. "I'm hoping by December I'll have a clearer picture of what my schedule for next year looks like and I'll be able to tell Marvel out right, 'yes I can do this.' Or, 'No I can't do this.' I want to give them a straight forward answer so that they can move on without ambiguity. My hope is that my schedule will allow me to continue doing it because I enjoy it and I've got a lot of stories I'd like to tell, but it's something I don't know for certain if I'm going to be able to do."
If Huston's schedule doesn't allow for him to stay on "Moon Knight" he would love to return to the book someday. "A lot of that would depend on what happens with the book," he said. "Because it's entirely possible that a great writer could come on it and do a great job, but take it in a direction different from where I wouldn't want it to go. Twelve issues from now another writer could have the character someplace where I don't know what to do with him. I would hope that one way or another, that issue #12 will not be my last issue on 'Moon Knight' and I get a chance to do something more on the book."