If there’s one Marvel Comics character enjoying a renaissance, it would be the enigmatic Moon Knight. First appearing in Doug Moench and Don Perlin’s night werewolf #32 in 1975, Moon Knight’s story went through several changes, with writers like Jeff Lemire and currently Jed MacKay leaving their mark on the character. The latest Disney+ series starring Oscar Isaac has been the driving force behind renewed public interest in the damaged anti-hero. To take advantage of this, Moon Knight deservedly gets a Black, white and red adaptation of its own, led by a creative team of Benjamin Percy, Vanesa R. Del Rey, David Pepose, Leonardo Romero, Chris Sotomayor, Patch Zircher and Cory Petit from letterer VC, leaving a haunting aftertaste.
Moon Knight: Black, White and Blood #2 is a three-story anthology, each depicting an intense arc in Marc Spector’s life that may be happening or may have already happened. The first story makes Marc dive inside, because what he is about to attempt can have serious consequences. Being the fist of Khonshu takes an emotional and physical toll on him, and he turns to Doctor Strange for help. Afterwards, Marc sits down with his other personalities after a hard night of superheroes. Steven and Jake each called dibs on Marc’s body to take out the bad guys, including Khonshu, leaving an enraged Marc with mysterious injuries. The final tale takes Moon Knight on a path of redemption and revenge as the past catches up with him.
Moon Knight: Black, White and Blood #2 provides unique insight into the character, dissecting him using different storytelling modes, some dark and fierce and some light, to bring out the man’s inherent complexities. Even art styles match the flavor of the story or cause the tone itself. The first story, “The Empty Tomb”, is a dark tale where swirls of melancholy ooze from Marc’s poetic narration. Khonshu nestled in his broken mind, leaving his waking and sleeping moments in a constant state of restlessness fueled by nightmares. Benjamin Percy takes the tale into psychological horror territory, with artist Vanesa R. Del Rey deepening that sentiment using long, creeping shadows and a grainy aesthetic in the style of a charcoal painting.
In a stark difference from the previous story, “A Hard Day’s Knight” keeps the eponymous character in a more talkative mood, despite being covered in an assortment of bruises and wounds. David Pepose fills the arc with witty banter as Marc, Steven, Jake, and Khonshu look back on their nights, trying to top each other’s stories. Using crisp lines and bold inking, Leonardo Romero gives the drama a minimalist feel, with Chris Sotomayor providing the bright touches of purple where needed. The final segment is a one-man show written and illustrated by Patch Zircher, which injects the book with a new source of action. “Blood Red Glider” makes Marc relive the sins of his past in a fast-paced tale with stunning illustrations. From splashing water to flying balls, there’s a rush through the intricate panels of Moon Knight serving his mark of revenge.
Moon Knight: Black, White and Blood #2 gives talented comic book professionals a chance to explore the different facades of a compelling and complex character, with each storyline focusing on an aspect independent of any continuity constraints. It’s amazing that Marvel took their time bringing Moon Knight to this storytelling format because if there’s one who fits the Black, White & Blood profile, witnessing a life full of violence, it’s him. . Even if the second outing leaves something to be desired in the narrative, it’s nonetheless a beacon for more glorious times to come.