Moon Knight #194



MoonKnight194-minDisconcertingly billed as being “the true origin of Marc Spector”, this particularly darkly-themed twenty-page periodical must have proved something of a troubling read for a significant portion of its 23,097-strong audience by exploring the titular character’s desire to be someone else simply “because then I wouldn’t be Jewish.” Of course, this rather worrying anti-sematic statement against Judaism is eventually explained away as being little more than an adverse reaction to a young boy’s entanglement with a disguised, mass-murdering Nazi war criminal, rather than Max Bemis irresponsibly warping Moon Knight into being inexplicably discriminatory against his religious upbringing.

Yet even so, there is such a lengthy delay in this comic’s narrative until the true motivator behind such a prejudicial stance is exposed, that for quite a while it genuinely appears that the lead singer’s attempt to pen a “dark, Coen brothers-type comedy” has badly missed it mark… A situation which frankly is not helped either by Ty Templeton pencilling a pair of ‘disturbing’ panels depicting the former West Coast Avenger giving the thumbs up as Moses destroys the original ten commandments and then ridiculously perching atop a tower block’s gargoyle wearing an instantly recognisable Jewish high-crowned hat…

Ultimately however, the primary composer’s script for Issue One Hundred And Ninety Four of “Moon Knight” does make it clear that the Fist of Khonshu seemingly blames his “dissociative identity disorder” upon his devotion to Judaism because it brought him into contact with “Uncle Yitz”, an apparently friendly, well-educated and caring rabbi who eventually reveals himself to actually be part of a cabal who went on to create “the Red Skull”, as well as “clone Hitler into the Hate-Monger.” This horrific, sadistically bloody encounter beneath the supposedly safe synagogue has an understandably detrimental effect upon the boy’s mental health, and coupled with his father’s own psychological issues, actually provides a pretty sound rationale as to why the ex-mercenary’s “brain… found a wacky way to deal with being scared.”

Indeed, as pointed out by Jake Thomas in this publication’s Letters Page, Bemis’ “last few pages… [provide] a real gut punch” as Spector shockingly discovers the elderly teacher of Torah torturing a nearly-dead boy “hanging from the ceiling” in Ernst’s secret dungeon, and realises that he will be next if he doesn’t somehow escape the vile serial killer’s clutches immediately. Admittedly, Templeton’s storyboarding for this sequence is arguably not quite the “absolutely stellar job” which this book’s editor seems to think it is, but the Canadian cartoonist’s attention to gore splatters, dripping droplets and numerous bladed instruments of pain, genuinely imbues the entire catacomb with an unhealthy atmosphere of barbarous savagery, pain and anguish; “none of this should frighten you more than what we accomplished together as a nation, less than a century ago.”

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


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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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