Frenetic and fabulous, Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood’s “Moon Knight” is reality-twisting mindbender that’s simultaneously addictive, exasperating and fun. Alternate realities that perfectly match Marc Spector’s disparate personalities are the norm in this book, and jumping between them is as disorienting for the reader as it is for Mr. Knight. Just when you think you know what’s going on, Lemire and company blow your mind and remind you that you don’t have a clue. And that’s the maddening allure of this title.
At the close of Issue #9, murder was on Spector’s mind. He had spent the last few issues purging his alternative personalities in spectacular fashion, and his next mission revealed itself as a moment of clarity — clarity for Mr. Knight being a relative term, of course — Khonshu must die. The “Death and Birth” story arc begins with Issue #10, and before setting off on that mission, however, Lemire provides an unforgettable glimpse into Spector’s youth, revealing that his multiple personalities have been part of his fractured psyche since childhood.
Is everything that’s happened in this series all in his head? Is Marc Spector just a mental patient, and is the “Moon Knight” series just us tagging along as a madman journeys through his broken mind? Or has the world really been overtaken by the great sands set forth by the Egyptian gods? And is Khonshu’s servant finally ready for the heroic role for which he’s been groomed his entire life?
Because “Moon Knight” raises so many intriguing questions as we are swept along the fragments of Spector’s mind (or is it the real world we’re seeing?), the title has spawned some of my favorite comics discussions of the last year. Unraveling the plot while attempting to back your assertions with “clues” from Smallwood’s thoughtfully paced and beautifully rendered artwork is no simple task. Neither is catching the subtle changes in Jordie Bellaire’s colors through Issue #10, as the past seems bright while the present is bleak before both give way to the psychedelic tones of Spector’s meeting with Anubis and his trippy trip through the Overvoid.
As “Death and Birth” begins, it’s clear that “Moon Knight’s” creative team is firing on all cylinders, which means readers are confounded in the best possible way. Broken and crazy but not beaten, Marc Spector is driving himself toward a collision course with the demons in his head and his definition of reality. And what a ride it is!