Seraph’s Sanctions: Moon Knight #1

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Greg Smallwood
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Cory Petit
Story arc title: Welcome to New Egypt Part 1

Publisher: MARVEL COMICS (April 2016)

The Breakdown:
Marc Spector … as wMoon_Knight_1_Preview_3e know … is the Moon Knight, the chose Fist of Khonshu. Or at least … that is what Marc believes. Yet, he is in an insane asylum where his career and identities might have been all fabricated … are they? Has Marc truly descended into madness?

The Good:
There is a lot of good here as Lemire sets up a very thrilling status quo. We get to see a bit of Moon Knight’s past mythology mixed with some newer concepts. Lemire really examines Marc’s mental issues and how mental issues are being dealt with within the world of Marvel. Lemire make some very powerful, bold statement about the mental health system here … and while I am sure it doesn’t speak about all of it, it does make some interesting statements on how they operate. Lemire also sets up a very unique look at Marc himself, as a character and as a symbol to what he represents. The mythological side of Moon Knight. The multiple identities. The mental illness that could or could not taken a hold of Moon Knight. What is interesting is that the entire book, Lemire even makes readers question their own reactions and feelings of what is being seen and narrated in the book. It is quite a great ploy and makes for a very intriguing first issue.

Meanwhile, Smallwood’s art is simply amazing here. From the mudane everyday things to the mystical Khonshu and the Egyptian mythology, Smallwood’s style gives the book a feel of ominous dread and powerful emotion with his scratchy-er look. The panels are quite engaging, with plenty of detail. I like the horror like style that Smallwood gives the book, kind of a nice throw back to artists like Bill Sienkiewicz but still adding his own flavor to the style, making it hiMoon_Knight_1_Preview_1s own. Bellaire’s colors are simply haunting in this first issue and really does a great job of adding more of a robust look. The visuals are more vivid while also colors are used to match book and allow emotion to come through.

The Bad:
So far, this issue is pretty solid, but Lemire’s set up can make some readers lost … yet, that might be his plan after all?


The Verdict:
Moon Knight #1 presents us a very unique look at super heroics and psychological illnesses. Marc Spector is in deep trouble because we are not sure what is real and what is not. Lemire tricks readers into questioning if Marc is really nuts or not as well, allowing a lot of second guessing to go on while Lemire does some world building and plants the seeds of a mystery. Smallwood and Bellaire make a fantastic art team that can really giving a great style to the street level action and the more mystical side of Moon Knight. They more than proved it with this issue. Lemire’s over all story is good, but might get readers lost. That may or may not be on purpose. A strong first issue.