Containing a story titled “Doctor” written by Brian Wood and drawn by Greg Smallwood, “Moon Knight” #9 sneaks in as a critical chapter in the life and times of Khonshu’s agent. Marc Spector returns to his therapist, despite their history, and opens a conversation between the two that carries throughout this comic.
Despite the crux of the issue being a simple couch conversation between a patient and therapist, Smallwood transforms this story into a fun, visually experimental book, partially attributed to the borderless panels filled with atmospheric colors from Jordie Bellaire. Bellaire controls the environment throughout “Moon Knight” #9, giving heat to the fires burning in the Akima War and building a cool chill into the Egyptian night as the conversation shifts to the top of the Sphinx’s head. Smallwood, confident in his colorist’s skill, takes liberties with the visuals, and draws the entire story with dreamlike transitions and environs. Letterer Travis Lanham keeps on track with the surrealism in this issue by giving the word balloons mixed case lettering, underscoring the content by making it seem more conversational.
Subtle, but brilliant, artwork helps measure the beats of Brian Wood’s story, bringing about developments in Moon Knight’s career that are sure to impact this series for issues to come. “Moon Knight” #9 masks itself as a philosophical debate between right and wrong, or two different perceptions of right as right should be. In and around that Wood shows readers the different aspects of Moon Knight and Marc Spector while adding history and depth to the character of Spector’s Doctor. While most of the story is set in the mindscape of Marc Spector, Wood does give this issue enough range of motion to make it active and energetic. In the setting of a character’s mind — especially one with dissociative personality disorder — nearly anything can happen, and in this case, Wood raises the anticipation for readers by flavoring the “anything” with reality.
“Moon Knight” #9 is a turnkey issue that Marvel Comics let slip into readers’ hands and blow their minds. There is a development in the final pages of this issue that not only affects this comic book, but also has potentially long-lasting repercussions. Brian Wood demonstrates a fantastic grasp on the character and his setting by giving readers an entire issue that is, essentially, a conversational psychoanalysis. The end of the issue leaves readers wondering what happens next to Khonshu’s servant thanks to tremendous synchronized efforts from Wood, Smallwood, Bellaire and Lanham. This has been a strong reboot of Moon Knight since issue #1, but this comic book serves up a great example of how to continue to build the world around Khonshu.