Long ago, struggling Marine mercenary-turned-mercenary Marc Spector got a second chance at life when the Egyptian moon god Khonshu resurrected him as an avatar, the costumed vigilante Moon Knight. Swift and ruthless, but not without humanity, Moon Knight has been both a savior and a monster, fighting alongside the Avengers against all forces of evil – and even against his own creator, Khonshu. Written by Jed MacKay, illustrated by Alessandro Cappuccio, with color by Rachelle Rosenberg and lettering by Cory Petit of VC, Moon Knight #11 puts Marc in an impossible situation and forces him to make an impossible decision.
In previous issues, Moon Knight managed to rescue her therapist, Dr. Sterman, and exact cold and harsh revenge on those involved – but Zodiac is already five steps ahead. Now in Moon Knight #11, Marc is forced to choose between his close friends and a neighborhood full of innocents, and chances are no one will make it out alive. Caught between a rock and a hard place, the Fist of Khonshu has no choice but to turn to the only one who can help him, Khonshu. But great power comes at a price – and that price could prove too high.
Moon Knight is a character shrouded in ambiguity; his portrayal ranges from a ruthless mercenary to an avenging angel. Moon Knight #11 explores this dichotomy quite explicitly through the opposing viewpoints of Dr. Sterman and Zodiac, his nemesis. Dr. Sterman understands – and cultivates – Marc’s inner humanity and vulnerability to make him a better hero. While Zodiac believes Moon Knight is holding back his true violent nature. To him, the Moon Knight does what he does because he enjoys hurting people and he does it well. Zodiac wishes to free him from the restraints of his own fear by any means necessary. This tension works simultaneously to advance the plot and as a metacritic of the character, making him more than just a stand-in for Batman.
In addition to examining Marc’s sense of morality, MacKay also uses Moon Knight #11 to explore his relationship with his allies. For all his quick and efficient brutality as Moon Knight, Marc lets his guard down around his teammates. His interaction with Tigra, who was sent to spy on him on behalf of the Avengers, is particularly touching and speaks to their feelings for each other. The invocation of Mark and his reunion with his god, Khonshu, might be the most important developments in this matter. It’s an intense and glorious, if rather difficult, moment when Moon Knight summons Khonshu and negotiates the powers necessary to save both Reese and the neighborhood under threat from Zodiac.
Moon Knight #11 has strong visuals, with fine line art, delicate and elegant thanks to the light hand of Cappuccio. The realism lends itself well to the serious tone of this series, even in moments where Zodiac jokes in a devilishly entertaining way. Rosenberg’s colors are cold and dark, using touches of bright light to draw the eye in, especially with the glow of Moon Knight’s white uniform. Colors are rendered with organic textures, giving more depth and weight to the otherwise elegant urban environment.
Moon Knight #11 is a major issue in an already impressive series, but it’s also a deeper look into the psyche and mythos of one of Marvel’s most mysterious characters. With Moon Knight reconnecting with his father god for the first time since their breakup, Moon Knight #11 is a glitch not to be missed – and a great setup for a new chapter for the Fist of Khonshu.
REVIEW: Marvel’s Moon Knight: Black, White, and Blood #1