Moon Knight has kinda gone off the deep end in Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s recent 12-issue miniseries. Which is pretty much OK because Moon Knight is a B-level street-crime character, BUT THAT DOESN’T MAKE HIM ANY LESS INTERESTING! See, Marc Spector, human “other” for the Egyptian god Khonshu and avatar for Moon Knight, was recently in the Avengers. After that he resurfaced as the creator and producer for a wildly successful TV show called Legends of the Khonshu. All the while, fighting crime as Moon Knight. However, unknown to pretty much everyone is the fact that Moon Knight has developed multiple personality disorder and these personalities are Spider-Man, Wolverine and Captain America – All guiding him to be a better hero. This series culminates with him squaring off against Count Nefaria (who happens to be waaaaaaaay out of Moon Knight’s depth) over the stolen head of an Ultron. Marc had fallen in love with former Avenger, Echo, only to see her murdered by the Count, which is pretty much where we join the action for Moon Knight #12.
The book starts with a scene so implausible, but of something that must come to pass from time to time in comic books. The LAPD (by The Offspring) are at Count Nefaria’s downtown LA hideout to arrest him, something that they feel they can accomplish because they have an arrest warrant. Something that Nefaria feels they will have trouble with because, you know, he is effectively immortal, indestructible, can fly, is one of the strongest beings in the Marvel U, can fire optic blasts and once laughed off Mjolnir being thrown at him from pretty much point blank. To say that the LAPD is outclassed is an understatement. Nefaria is actually so pissed that he goes to the local precinct and politely files a complaint about his civil rights being violated to the presiding officer. By that I mean he vaporizes some dude and gets ready to monocle blast everyone. That is, until Moon Knight shows up.
Nefaria is stunned that Moon Knight has found him so fast. He hadn’t counted on the fact that MK has access to a standard issue police scanner. A heated battle ensues, with Moon Knight using Wolverine-style claws and a hard-light energy Captain America shield (which I’m pretty sure Cap uses as a backup from time-to-time). Count Nefaria is more insulted than anything else. He frequently exclaims things like “Why you?!”, “You’re nothing!!!” and “HUUAARRH!!!” Underdogs are just plain fun to root for, and Moon Knight really has a lot of grit, swagger and casual arrogance. So its easy to cheer for him. This reminds me of a song by The Used, called The Bird and the Worm. I prefer the instrumental version quite a bit, so I’m linking to that. What it makes me think of is that everyday we get to choose whether we are the bird or the worm, the strong one or the victim. And at this point in the comic, Nefaria clearly believes that he is the bird and Moon Knight is the worm, but we’ll see that this isn’t true at all.
The Count begins to take control of the fight, even though the Voices (by Rev Theory, also known as Randy Orton’s entrance theme) of Spider-Man, Cap and Wolverine are guiding Moon Knight. Marc Spector is simply no match for Nefaria’s power. Nefaria gets rid of Spector’ss energy shield, he gets rid of the Wolverine claws and he unmasks him. Nefaria basically breaks MK down and tells him that Moon Knight will give him the Ultron head, and that he will work for him to pay off his debt. And then, only then, will Nefaria not kill Moon Knight just like he killed his girlfriend, Echo. It’s an impressive beatdown, but not as impressive as the one that’s about to follow. Marc tells Nefaria that the head is outside in the parking lot. When Nefaria drags MK out to get the head he is confronted with a startling image.
Moon Knight called the Avengers. And they are pretty pissed about Echo’s death. It’s only a two page spread, but they beat the tar out of Nefaria. Marc gets the final shot and that is exactly how it should be. It’s a great victory for the good guys, and validation of Moon Knight’s super-hero status. All is not peachy however, as Tony Stark informs Spector that Ultron is programmed to keep getting smarter and smarter. And that it’s goal is to replace humans with more Ultron, kind of like a Marvel version of the Borg, but adamantium-er. Marc asks Tony to make sure to let him know when the Ultron thing happens, and Tony reassures him that he’ll know just because it’s sure to change the world. I feel its very appropriate here to listen to the main theme from Terminator 2 by Brad Fiedel. Of course this means that his TV show is cancelled, to which Marc Spector says “I’d rather die in a robot holocaust than spend another second in Hollywood.”
Truer words were never spoken.
The Quick and Dirty