Review: Moon Knight #2 by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey

moonknight2

Moon Knight #2

Written by Warren Ellis

Art by Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire

 

The short of it:

Body after body, brought down by sniper fire in a fantastic sequence of pages. Exposition detailing that these people sent a man into a foreign country to do a job, and left him for dead. Now, he’s back, and he’s taking his vengeance, one by one until eight of the members of the specials ops team are dead as they walk out of the banks they now work at. A line of bodies down the street that sends Moon Knight in search of the shooter, and what follows is a fight across rooftops and through a building as the vigilante goes all out to take on the killer.

The shooter eventually tells him why (well, Moonie asks), and he tells him. They left him to die and now they work at banks, they took his life, now he takes theirs. The two resume fighting, but eventually number nine comes in and…well, there’s a body, and there’s a message, and one of those things is really out of place.

 

What I liked:

  • That opening sequence with the snipers was freaking awesome. I love the layouts, I love the pacing, and once I realized what was happening I was excited to flip the page and see who went down next. Very unique, very very cool.

  • Visually the entire issue is amazing, to be honest. Now that I’ve actually finished reading it. The tone is perfect, the panel layouts maximize everything, and the whole thing is just a treat.

  • Less is more. Ellis trusts his artist to tell the story with minimal dialogue to carry the story, and the end result is something great.

  • No sound effects let the art speak for itself.

  • Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire, ladies and gentlemen, the next big artistic thing in comics.

 

What I didn’t like:

  • The ending was kinda anticlimactic. Dude steals the kill and gives a lecture about the bank always winning? What? It fell completely flat for me.

  • After last issue I was expecting some sort of character development for Moon Knight, but there’s none at all in this issue.

 

Final thoughts:

I was actually really confused for the first three pages, then I started over, figured it out, and started loving it instantly.

This book is AWESOME! Whoever at Marvel offered it to Warren Ellis deserves a raise.

My favorite panel in the entire issue is on page four, when Mr. Cape sees the first victim die, the red just exploding out of his head, it’s subtle enough that I didn’t even notice it the first go-around, but it’s perfectly accompanied on the following page with Cape being shot before the other man hits the ground.

I spent a bit of the issue thinking that the sniper was actually Moon Knight, and that he was fighting an aspect of himself. In retrospect, that would have been way more mindscrewy than what we got, even with the weak ending.

For as much as I didn’t like the last page, I do like how simple the end came for the Sniper. Door opens, turns around, bam, over. Given the last Ellis book I read (Supergods, which I read for the first time a few weeks ago), simple is good. Ever read Supergods? It’s fucked up. I mean, it’s Avatar Press, but still.

This book has some absolutely stunning visuals, and it needs to. The issue is completely carried by its art, and the challenge is not only accepted, but completed. Between this, Manapul’s Detective Comics, Nicola Scott’s Earth 2, Andrea Sorrentino’s Green Arrow, and Todd Nauck’s Invincible Universe, this has been a great week for art. Everything has been beautiful so far.

I said after last issue that these artists were on my radar, well, after this they should be on everyone else’s, too.

 

Overall: 8.5/10

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