Moon Knight #190



MoonKnight190-minDisappointingly depicting “Marc’s good relationship with his other [split] personalities” badly fracturing having only just established how the different personas successfully collaborate together in this story-arc’s previous editions, Max Bemis’ narrative for Issue One Hundred And Ninety of “Moon Knight” is arguably as choppy as the titular character’s mental stability. For although this 22,064 copy-selling comic contains some intriguing flashbacks through time in order to illustrate Amon Ra’s continuous conflict with the various Fists of Khonshu, it also debatably includes some truly disappointing interpretations of supporting cast members Marlene Alraune, Jake Lockley, and notorious nemesis Raul Bushman.

Indeed, the New York-born author’s version of the savage Burundan mercenary who “once ruled an entire African nation” where “men literally bowed before me” is almost unrecognisable from the sadistic, cold-blooded killer who slaughtered “archaeologist Peter Alraune [simply] to find an Egyptian pharaoh’s tomb”, and is instead replaced by an overweight drug-dealing thug who freely admits before a packed warehouse of his criminal peers that “Marc Spector… scares the c%$p out of me.” Hardly the sort of long-term maniacal antagonist Doug Moench probably had in mind as his co-creation’s arch-enemy when he originally penned Bushman leaving the defeated “rabbi’s wayward son” to “die in the sub-zero temperatures of the desert night” back in November 1980.

Just as bewildering is this comic’s bizarre plot twist that over the past five years, Moon Knight’s female confidante has been having a relationship with his cab driving persona, and resultantly has an infant daughter. Such a scenario sadly smacks of sensationalism, as if the “primary lyricist of the band Say Anything” was desperate to make a quick, indelible mark upon the history of “the masked crime-fighter” and simply didn’t care that historically Marlene had actually become so “increasingly distressed” by the super-hero’s “schizophrenia” that she eventually “moved out of his Long Island mansion.”

Quite possibly just as bemused by Bemis’ erratic scribblings as doubtless the majority of this book’s audience were, Jacen Burrows’ pencilling lacks any semblance of animated life for much of this twenty-page periodical. True, the Savannah College of Art and Design graduate imbues plenty of sense-shattering action into any panels which depict the Fist of Khonshu fending off “a random attack by disabled gentlemen.” But this “dark” sequence is perhaps understandably short-lived, and leaves the American artist to subsequently rather woodenly sketch a seemingly endless series of dialogue-heavy discussions.

This article is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of the site owner.


Reviewed by
For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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