Moon Knight #196



MoonKnight196-minUndoubtedly both reading and looking like an adventure from John Smith’s “Indigo Prime” series of stories “for British comics magazine 2000 A.D.” back in the early Nineties, this concluding instalment to Marc Spectator’s surreal visit inside the Collective Headspace of a malformed, absorbing multi-limbed creature must have proved as befuddling to the vast majority of its audience, as Paul Davidson’s highly-detailed panels were completely mesmerising. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a more mind-blowing narrative than the one penned by Max Bemis for Issue One Hundred And Ninety Six of “Moon Knight”, as the Fist of Khonshu’s different personas join forces with the ancient deity, and utilise the help of “every you you’ve ever dreamed of” to battle the “unrulier aspects of the Collective’s personality”; “Someone needs to kick some butt around here to keep things in line.”

This creation of a Moon Knight Corps really captures the imagination with its numerous members ranging from an Elven warrioress, a formidable-looking armoured incarnation and an orb-like satellite configuration, through to a diminutive cutesy ‘Man-Bat’, and is so very well visualised by the twenty-page periodical’s “self-taught comic book artist” that many a perusing bibliophile probably wished for the idea to be given it’s very own title. Certainly, a publication focusing upon the white-cowled ‘intergalactic police force’ resolving the Oedipal complex, cracking down upon the Collective’s angst quotient or fighting its suicidal and homicidal tendencies would arguably have been worthy of some quite considerable additional ‘screen time’, especially when a giant bloated toad-like Moon Knight helps lead the ‘lawmen’ in their battle against the horned, purple ogres of Maurice’s sentient virus which has been “trying to drive the Collective insane” and been subsequently “cordoned off [in] a hidden area…”

Perhaps this magazine’s one disappointment therefore is just how quickly its quirky story-telling brings Spector’s imprisonment within “the shared mindspace” to an end, and how seemingly simple it is to achieve as well. Jake Lockley’s moustached character has clearly been itching to punch someone in the face throughout the entirety of this adventure, and resultantly his sock to their insane loincloth-wearing host’s jaw is a rather self-satisfying experience. However, the fact that the well-landed blow also results in the “mass of flesh and brains calling itself the Collective” exploding in a grisly-pencilled quantity of bloody gestalt gore which then releases all the people trapped inside, seems far too straightforward a resolution for what initially appeared so very complicated a conundrum.

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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