Little known fact: Comedian Bernie Mac got writer Mike Benson his job on "Moon Knight." Well, in that Kevin Bacon-knows-everyone kind of way. Benson was a writer on the popular "Bernie Mac" sitcom before moving to HBO's hit "Entourage." While working on Mac's show, Benson met "Black Panther" writer Reginald Hudlin, who years later introduced Benson to Marvel Comics editor Axel Alonso.
"Axel read some of my work, liked it and we started looking for something to do together," Benson told CBR News. That project turned out to be "Moon Knight." "Not to blow smoke, but Axel is truly a special talent. He wears many different hats: everything from writer to editor to publicist. Hopefully, I said that just the way he told me to."
Alonzo introduced Benson to Charlie Huston, author of the "Joe Pitt" series of vampire novels and the original writer on the re-launched "Moon Knight." The writer continues to plot the series with Benson. "I can't say enough about Charlie. We've become friends since working together on 'Moon Knight.' Charlie is a phenomenal writer," Benson said, adding that although he spent his days growing up in Hartsdale, New York reading "Iron Man," "Power Man and Iron Fist," and "Master of Kung Fu," he still considers "Moon Knight" to be his favorite comic book.
"One of the differences is as much as I know about the character, Charlie is like a human encyclopedia when it comes to 'Moon Knight,'" Benson said. "He is able to reference the most obscure things. I'd also say Charlie is more rooted in noir than I am. I take a more filmic approach when thinking about my shots and [I] am more detailed in my description of scenes."
The creative process is fueled by the artwork of Mark Texeira, who Benson says "Does a terrific job of capturing the mood and the tone of the book. He excels with gritty characters like Moon Knight, after all his pedigree includes Ghost Rider and Wolverine. And the thing about his style is it's so noir, it just works perfectly with the character. He also draws one damn sexy Marlene."
Following Benson's initial six-issue arc, "God and Country," the "Moon Knight" team will go back to the character's horror roots with "In the Company of Wolves," an arc with a guest appearance by Werewolf by Night. "I've always liked Moon Knight's origin, and that the character was rooted in horror," Benson said. "Here's this tragic figure trying to do good as a way of repenting for his sins."
Besides taking crack at MAX's "Punisher," Benson also wouldn't mind working on a "Master of Kung Fu," book and admits he has a decent take on the title that he's been working on with Alonzo. Though when pressed for details, Benson declines to say more about future projects. "I wont say too much but I am currently working on a limited series that spins one of my favorite '70s characters. It's going to be very cool and think people will dig it."
Outside of comics, Benson and his Catapult 360 production company are developing a new series called "Zip," starring Steven Weber of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." "It's a single camera, half-hour comedy about a con man living in Beverly Hills, pretending to be a rich guy as he dupes people out of their money," said Benson. "He also happens to be a dad. Richard Shepard, of 'The Matador' and 'The Hunting Party' directed the pilot and did a fantastic job. I'm very proud of it."
The conclusion to "Moon Knight's" "God and Country" arc hits stands June 11.
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