Mark Spector is Moon Knight. One of the more obscure heroes in the Marvel Universe, he has been brought back by author Warren Ellis and artist Declan Shalvey. Their six-issue run is probably the definitive run of the character. Moon Knight #4 is our first Pick of The Raid. And you can win it!
Moon Knight is Mark Spector. Or maybe Jake Lockley. Or maybe Yitzak Topol. Or maybe Steven Grant. Because, you see, Mark Spector may or may not be a healthy man. He doesn’t fight cosmic threats, but deals with the stuff that regular heroes deem to weird. That left traces in his mind, unless it was irreparably damaged before he got empowered by the spirit of Khonshu.
Before we get into Warren Ellis’ glorious run, it’s worth pointing out that Khonshu or Khonsu is actually a real thing. Well, as real as Gods get in folklore and myth. It’s a question of belief. Khonsu’s name stands for traveller and thus, the deity was revered as a healer and as a protector. His name was also associated with travelling, mainly at night due to the prevalent association of Khonsu with the moon.
Never Popular, Always Present
When Moon Knight gave his comic book debut in 1975 – and don’t worry, you don’t need to read up on the character – he was branded as The Fist of Khonshu. The egyptian god was reduced to being the god of vengeance and justice. Because you can’t just have a protector, I suppose.
Anyways, Mark Spector got chosen as the avatar of Khonshu in today’s world. He prowls the night and fights injustice wherever he meets it.
Being hardly an original character, Moon Knight was never overly popular and even the most recent attempt at giving the hero his own series in 2011 came and went without much fanfare. Until Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey came along. Which brings us to today.
One Issue, One Story
Ellis and Shalvey disregard pretty much everything that came before, while not denying it. In fact, Moon Knight is a rather mysterious character, always dressed in white and wearing a mask. Four issues in and we haven’t seen his face yet. In fact, the stories aren’t much about him at all. They are about the weird, the mystic, the unexplained. And Moon Knight is cast as the investigator of things like a gang of punk rockers who have become ghosts. Or he tries to hunt down a sniper.
Each issue in the current run is its own, complete story. Which is also rare in today’s comics, where most stories take up six issues so that they make for a nice trade paperback edition. Still, Ellis manages to tell a complete, perfectly weird and very strange story that is not only gripping but also satisfying in 22 pages of comic book. This is why Moon Knight #4 is our pick of the month and our grand prize at the first-ever comic book quiz on The Raid #1.
The Hunter in Dreams
In issue #4, Moon Knight investigates the strange case where people share the same nightmare. They had all been part of a sleep-experiment where their brainwaves were recorded and analyzed to better understand the nature of sleep. But that nightmare came along. People went insane, died even. The scientist in charge of the experiment knows that this is impossible. There is no such thing as collective dreaming, despite a lot of effort in that direction. The scientist has no clue what is going on and his only explanation is that something weird is going on. He calls the foremost authority on weird things: Moon Knight.
The book’s star decides to investigate by going to sleep. It is in the land of dreams that he discovers the gruesome truth behind the shared dream.
It’s the dreamscape that makes this issue stand out from all the others before it. Shalvey’s art shows us a world that looks nothing like anything we’re used to. Full of symbols that point to the solution of the mystery, full of just outright strange imagery.
What is The Raid #1?
The Raid is a new series of events that the Uncannies are starting today. The concept is simple.
- Everyone meets at Kabooom Comic Book Store to share recommendations and talk about comic books.
- There’s a quiz hosted by Dom. Ten questions. Most right answers win. If there’s a tie, a tie-breaker question will settle the matter. The winner gets a shiny issue of Moon Knight #4.
This will happen about once a month. If you have never read a comic book, this is your chance to get into it. Just let us know what kind of stories you like and we’ll see that you get something worth not only your money but also your time.
We’ll meet tonight, June 11th 2014, at 19.45 at Kabooom.
Don’t miss it.
Where is Kabooom?
How do you get there?
- From Zürich HB, take Tram 4 to the Limmatplatz
- Either walk down the Langstrasse or take Bus 32 to Militär/Langstrasse
- Keep looking for the Piranha Bar and turn left.
- Or: If you know where the Happy Beck is, go there.