Review: Moon Knight #3 By Brian Michael Bendis And Alex Maleev

Moon Knight #3
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Alex Maleev & Matthew Wilson

Moon Knight is back for issue three. Don’t know who he is? He’s Mark Spector, a television producer in LA who claims to be the avatar of an Egyptian god named Khonshu. As Moon Knight, he fights crime. Also, he has multiple personalities, three of which are Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Captain America. Do we have your attention now?

Moon Knight’s in hot water after stealing Ultron’s head from Mr. Hyde. Looking into who would want an Ultron, he ran afoul of Snapdragon and Echo.  Also, did I mention his Avengers status is purely in his head?

This month’s issue opens with Mark Spector tracking down and making amends with Maya Lopez, also known as Echo. He proposes a date to discuss a future team up. Then he takes his Ultron head to one of his supporting crew members who keeps the Moon Knight machine running. Seems Mark Spector lucked into a SHIELD agent in his employ, and entrusted him with his Moon Knight secret. There’s a flashback to explain how this liaison came to be and how loyal this man is to his employer.

We then cut to Snapdragon, gathering a gallery of rogues to hunt the Moon Knight down.

That’s it. That’s the issue. Sure, I left the spoilers out, but that’s the issue.

I suppose my point is it was a fast read. I like Bendis. A lot. But this issue read faster than those old Marvel silent issues, and not a lot happened. Unless you happen to love Echo, in which case there’s some nice undergarment fanservice. Guilty. But having spent the $3.99 on this, I didn’t come away satisfied with the episode. The dialogue is snappy, the story has me interested, but I feel a bit cheated, as if there should have been some other reveal to hook me.

The art, however, is fantastic. I have definitely enjoyed Maleev’s evolution from Daredevil to Spider-Woman: Agent of SWORD to Moon Knight. The style is clear, cleaner, and suits the pace of the script very well. Maleev’s inky style is perfect for a seedy character like Moon Knight, and a setting like the grimy take on Los Angeles. The colors are fantastic at playing this up, every scene has a precise tone and feel, and yet there’s an elegant simplicity. Matthew Wilson is as much a draw to this book as Maleev.

The problem is that between Bendis’  brisk, buoyant dialogue and a very clear and flowing art style and panel layout, the book just flows too fast for my liking. Or my wallet’s liking.

Moon Knight is by no means a bad book, but I can see issue #3 being the point where people will walk away to wait for the trade. Which is a shame, because this is the kind of book that makes mine Marvel.

It’s a slow book, and not the best issue of the three. I’m not sure I can recommend you drop the $3.99, if you’re just looking for a comic fix. There are other books that will give you spandex and action in more copious amounts.  But I can ask you, as a fan of the medium, to have faith and support a book that, while stumbling this issue, has a lot of potential and seems to be going somewhere interesting. It’s staying on my pull list, and I find it a nice refuge from the rest of Marvel’s explosiveness this summer.

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