Billed by “Marvel Worldwide” as “a new day is dawning” with “the introduction of Moon Knight’s greatest nemesis”, this twenty-five page periodical may well have initially disconcerted many of its 50,971 buyers in November 2017. For whilst Max Bemis’ opening instalment to his “Crazy Runs In The Family” story-arc initially appears to follow the titular character’s previous series by focusing upon Doctor Emmett at the Ravencroft Asylum, the New York City-born writer’s narrative soon leads it audience off down a different, yet somewhat familiar track, following another “lunatic [who] joins the army… freaks out and ends up spiritually reborn in a near-death experience.”
Indeed, despite Patient 86’s lank, long hair and somewhat dishevelled beard, it’s all too easy to momentarily believe the disconcertingly obsessed psychiatrist isn’t actually once again re-interviewing Marc Spector, rather than simply a new patient whose hands have been heavily burnt during the multiple military murders he’s previously committed. Fortunately however, such similarities to the cowled crime-fighter’s mental instability actually makes the popular singer’s slightly surreal scenario all the more enthralling, especially when the well-meaning therapist introduces the disgraced soldier “to Egyptian mythology, specifically the god Amon Ra” and her enquiries at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs reveal that “the nameless one” was actually “tied up [and] naked” when he killed the army bullies tormenting him; “How could he possibly have started that fire? No matches. No lighter.”
Coupled with the softly spoken patient’s swelling semblance of sanity, these fleeting glimpses into the Old Kingdom’s pantheon rather cleverly suggest that perhaps it is the counsellor who is struggling to keep her fixations in check, and definitely must have wrong-footed this book’s bibliophiles when the “indie rock” composer finally reveals Patient 86’s true identity in his script’s final act. Delightfully, this truly horrific conclusion, wonderfully sketched by Jacen Burrows, and featuring a heavily-restrained, blood-drenched “Amon Ra” who has bitten off Nurse Hayworth’s nose, is made all the more jarringly shocking by the fact that up until this point, besides a briefly pencilled Doctor Emmett nightmare sequence, this comic had contained a rather pleasantly paced plot.
Interestingly, Issue One Hundred And Eighty Eight of “Moon Knight” also contains an incredibly atmospheric three-page short, written by Robbie Thompson, which seems to confirm a plausible assumption behind this “bizarre” publication that Marc Spector has in fact “managed to make peace” with his multiple personality disorder, as well as Khonshu’s voice, so that “together, we are… Moon Knight”. This brief exposé strongly suggests that previous writer Jeff Lamire’s fourteen-edition long story-arc potentially never happened, especially as artist German Peralta pencils the Moon deity protectively supporting the “mercenary, scoundrel, lunatic” rather than his servant destroying him.