Moon Knight fights out of his leaguePosted: 05/09/2013
If you aren’t a big comic book fan, you’ve probably never heard of Moon Knight. That’s okay. Despite his forty years in comics, Avengers status, and prominent mental illness, Moon Knight simply hasn’t generated the popularity of his other superhero buddies. But he’s worth your time. I promise. Here’s one of his earliest moments from Defenders #47, volume one:
Marc Spector, soldier and master martial artist, stumbled upon the Egyptian moon god Khonshu who then gave him super powers. Though you don’t have to remember all that jazz, because nowadays he’s a non-powered rich guy in a gadget-filled costume. Maybe that’s why he gets unfairly labeled as Marvel’s Batman. For one, Spector’s superhero career isn’t born out of an unquenchable quest of vengeance. Plus, the guy’s a major schizophrenic, making Moon Knight the poster boy for positive (albeit fictitious) role models succeeding despite mental illness. That and he can use it as a weapon, like against the mind-absorbing Rogue in X-Men Legacy #267, written by Christos Gage and drawn by Rafa Sandoval:
Today though, we’re focusing on his solo series that premiered in 2011. Realizing that New York has plenty of superheroes to keep it safe, Moon Knight packs up his stuff and heads to Los Angeles — both to stop the current kingpin terrorizing the city and to use his wealth and influence to break into show business. Two birds with one stone. Unfortunately, the City of Angel’s big baddie happens to be Count Nefaria. Besides wearing an old-timey vampire costume, the count possesses super-everything including flight and laser eyes. Like a gaudy Superman. Count Nefaria actually aligns himself with Thor’s rogue gallery, if that’s any indication of his strength. Let the count sum it up:
Safe to say Moon Knight simply doesn’t have the power to take this guy, but it’s not going to stop him from trying. Let’s take a look at their battles in Moon Knight #7, #9, and #12, written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Alex Maleev.
After forcing Count Nefaria to make a maneuver for a rogue head of Ultron, Moon Knight pulls a Batman-esque trick of unleashing a weakening virus when a fake Ultron head bombs the count. That old trick.
Round one goes to our protagonist. By the way, remember the multiple personalities? Luckily for Spector, his three others happen to be Captain America, Spider-Man, and Wolverine. Not bad at all. Just remember, the hallucinations are all figments of Moon Knight’s imagination:
Wolverine makes a good point. With Count Nefaria humiliated, he’ll strike back at full power hoping to gain back his reputation. Unfortunately, it happens when Moon Knight’s hanging out with his friend/love interest/partner Echo, the only other superhero in LA.
Normal superheroes couldn’t survive this onslaught. But Moon Knight has some backup. Mental backup. At a clear disadvantage, Spector primarily needs some strategic advice first. Cue Captain America.
No escape here. Poor Moon Knight’s a normal guy in a bulky white costume against a man who’s a challenge for the entire Avengers when they fight him all at one. Impossible situations definitely favor personality number two: Spider-Man.
Watch the beauty of the next part. The action’s so well laid out, plus I’m always a big fan of when supervillains get smashed into things.
Surely that would slow down this monster, right? Oh, you naive reader, anything less than catastrophic damage just gets shrugged off. I promise I’m not joking with the article title.
Maybe Wolverine has a good idea. He wins most of the time, I think.
Of course something bad happens, because good stories get worse before they get better.
Poor Echo. Former Avenger, talented warrior, and a prominent deaf superhero — now dead at the hands of Laser Dracula. And it may not look like it from the above picture, but the girl’s very much deceased:
At this point in the fight, Moon Knight predictably escapes. Or collapses in a bloody blind rage. Look, either way, Moon Knight lost badly — the death of his teammate pretty much wraps up the worst battle of his LA crimefighting career. Still, with great power comes great responsibility, and when Count Nefaria pops up later slaughtering a police station, their battle has to come to an end.
As most hand-to-hand fights against beings with god-like powers go, Moon Knight gets his butt kicked.
But like most non-powered superheroes, Moon Knight learns from his mistakes. He has to rely on his brains and not his brawn, after all. And what’s the smartest way to handle one of the most powerful supervillains in the Marvel universe? Call in the team that only fights baddies like him.
Click on the picture for a larger version of the double-spread. Lesson to be learned from Moon Knight’s LA adventure? Make friends. Lots of friends. Iron Man would be a good one to start with.
Unfortunately like many superhero tales, a bittersweet ending’ll be the best we can hope. I’ll accept it — tragedies sell better anyway.